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Don't blame Fed for financial crisis: Greenspan

Greenspan's biggest regret

The Federal Reserve cannot be blamed for the global financial crisis, the central bank's former chairman, Alan Greenspan, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Some critics argue the Fed's easy money policy of the early 2000s ultimately led to the 2007-2008 economic crisis, largely regarded as the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression.

Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Greenspan, who was Fed chairman from 1987 to 2006, acknowledged that the central bank did cut rates over fears of inflation during his tenure. But the noted economist insisted the moves were not detrimental to the economy.

"Despite the fact that we lowered rates, we did not have long-term rates moving down. We did not have money supply accelerating. There were no fingerprints of an easy money policy in the marketplace," Greenspan said on "Closing Bell."

"I've made lots of mistakes in the 18½ years that I was at the Fed. I don't think that that one was one and I don't think that we were as an organization significantly involved in what was happening in the global markets."

The subprime mortgage crisis was what ultimately led to the global financial meltdown, Greenspan suggested. He noted both Australian and Canadian housing markets climbed at the same rate as the United States, but the U.S. suffered the most because it was the only country facing the slew of subprime mortgages.

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm.