So what is next? Two alternatives stand out. Either American capitalism finds a way to ease the 'functional importance' of credit so that the economy can grow without needing to expand credit, or American capitalism finds new, innovative ways to begin freely lending and investing again. At least until they burst too.
Bottom line: These data suggest that Greenspan's "bad decisions" were actually reasonable responses to "tough conditions" -- namely, the economy had to expand credit or the economy would contract. Greenspan chose to expand credit and keep growing the economy. Make no mistake his mandate was to do just that.