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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 06:52 GMT
Greenspan memoirs sold to Penguin
Alan Greenspan, on right, jokes with US President George W Bush
Mr Greenspan, right, mixed with the world's most powerful people
Alan Greenspan, the former head of the US Federal Reserve and a man whose words moved markets, has sold the rights to his memoirs to Penguin.

Bidding is said to have topped the $7m (4m) mark, though Penguin, which is owned by UK publishing group Pearson, did not reveal how much it paid.

Mr Greenspan retired in January after almost 19 years at the helm of the Fed.

The 80-year-old is credited with steering the world's largest economy through some of its trickiest moments.

As well as having to steady markets following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Mr Greenspan guided the US through the stock market crash of 1987 and the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000.

Confusingly clear

A quiet man who eschewed the spotlight, Mr Greenspan was well known for his long and often turgid speeches.

He once commented: "If you think you understood me, it's because I misspoke."

He saw all the major events. He met all the major players. He was involved in all the significant events
Alan Greenspan's legal representative Robert Barnett

Mr Greenspan is the latest big-hitting business and political figure to sign a book deal.

A biography of veteran billionaire businessman Warren Buffett is set to hit the shelves, while Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary, and former GE boss Jack Welch have all graced the covers of bestsellers.

However, some analysts have questioned whether the musings of an elderly central banker will prove a strong enough page turner to justify a multi-million dollar agreement.

Mr Greenspan is unlikely to worry about what his detractors have to say.

As well as his book writing, Mr Greenspan is an honorary adviser to the UK Treasury, has set up a new consulting firm - Greenspan Associates - and gives speeches at private functions.

"Alan Greenspan sat at the top of one of the most important institutions for 18 and a half years," the central banker's legal representative Robert Barnett told the AP news agency.

"He saw all the major events. He met all the major players. He was involved in all the significant events."

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