Well, he talks about fear being a big problem, and then sandwiches that bit of ham with all sorts of skeery talk.
If you'd like to read what former Federal Reserve King Alan Greenspan said to the Economic Club of New York today, Yahoo News has most of his speech here.
Here are the tidbits that everyone is going with (IHT, Bloomberg, Financial Times):
... the current worldwide recession will "surely be the longest and deepest" since the 1930s ...(I read this to mean that it's going to be as bad or worse as that of the Great Depression)
"[t]o stabilise the American banking system and restore normal lending, additional TARP funds will be required ..." (how many trillions is he thinking about? Does no one remember the German printing presses?)
the plummet "cannot persist indefinitely...." (this too shall pass?)
the housing market must recover for this horror to end, and "the prospect of stable home prices remains many months in the future...." (wasn't this the guy that everyone's blaming for the housing bubble mess?)
The stock market is being impacted by "a degree of fear not experienced since the early 20th century .... Certainly by any historical measure, world stock prices are cheap. But as history also counsels, they could get a lot cheaper before they turn."(I read this as please, people, keep buying cuz that's all that's keeping this thing afloat.))