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Well-Fed?

Will Greenspan's successor be able to give the economy the nourishment it needs?

By Julie Monahan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The stock and bond markets tend to hang on every word AlanGreenspan speaks. So what happens when those words include"goodbye"? After the second longest reign as FederalReserve chairman in the history of the position, Greenspan isexpected to retire at the end of his current term in 2004. But noclear successor has emerged.

Analysts expect markets to dip once a successor is named, butpredict a swift recovery if skittish investors are won over. Areputation as an inflation fighter and a grasp of the Fed'slimitations are what the markets will look for. "My bet isthat under a Bush administration it will be someone close to theequity markets," says J. Patrick Raines, an economicsprofessor at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Sucha choice will go a long way to reassure the markets, particularlybecause it resonates with Greenspan's own policies.

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