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May 7, 1998

Greenspan, Sheen had secret dialogue
Unwitting media helped pair plan vacation timeshares

HOLLYWOOD — Actor Charlie Sheen and Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan have brazenly used the media to maintain a secret, five-year dialogue, the Weekly Week has discovered. This remarkable conversation, the most visible example yet of the close and insidious connection between monetary policy and the Hollywood elite, seems to have centered around the posh villas in Rome, Madrid and Dangriga, Belize that the two were timesharing.greensheen.gif (8995 bytes)

The first known communique was buried deep in the November 13, 1993 edition of The New York Times, when Greenspan was quoted about rumors of a cut in interest rates. The full quotation read: “With employer costs dropping and the labor market still loose, the interest rate still depends on the growth rate of the economy’s output of goods and services. Charlie Sheen, the movie actor, will be using the villa in Madrid for the month of November and then I will spend the first two weeks of January in the Rome villa.”

Sheen’s reply to Greenspan came in the February 1, 1994 issue of Entertainment Weekly. The actor had finished a grueling year of filmmaking, starring in “The Chase” and “Terminal Velocity.” “I was very excited to work with Nastassja Kinski. She's a great actress — we had a special chemistry on the Terminal Velocity set. And I was just as excited to work with Mario Van Peebles' brother, Melvin Van Peebles. The Van Peebles family produces such explosive actors! Alan Greenspan, if you are going to be going to Madrid again to stay in the villa that we both timeshare, then you absolutely must try Mirejos, a little bistro just a mile up the road. Their shrimp garlic tapas are a treasure!”

A friendship joined — and torn asunder

How did this mysterious dialogue develop? And what sinister purpose lies behind it? To answer these questions, one must first travel to Belize, to the ancient seaside city of Dangriga. It was while vacationing in this tiny paradise in October of 1993 that Sheen and Greenspan, both avid snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, first met. As fate would have it, they ended up on the same diving boat. According to boat owner Jimar Palenquo, Greenspan was an oxygen tank short and Sheen happened to have an extra.

“They spent all week snorkeling on my humble boat. I don’t remember much of what they said, only that one of them kept mentioning a movie of some sort [Hot Shots! Part Deux had been released around that time] in a very sad manner. I believe it was the young-buck man who was sad about this movie. The older man was very excited because he had caught many blue lobsters. He seemed to really love those small blue lobsters.”

It is after this meeting that the coded media messages first started appearing. However, it soon became evident that the friendship between the shifty, hedonistic actor and the retiring, inscrutable economist was crumbling. A mutual love for snorkeling and international leisure proved to be too superficial a bond for this odd couple.

The first public signs of this strain appeared in the February 1995 edition of The Economist. Greenspan was quoted in a controversial article regarding whether the Federal Reserve’s sessions should remain private or be made open to the public.

“The Federal Reserve’s policy-making sessions are loaded with deliberations and postulations that are oftentimes radical, sweeping, and quite frankly, fickle,” said Greenspan. “It would be disastrous to the domestic and international markets if this unstable information were printed before an actual policy or decision were finalized. These meetings will remain private, despite Congress’s objections. And, Charlie, could you please not pee all over the toilet seat? Quite frankly, it’s a bit crude. Also, the next time you are in Rome, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t let your scugnizzi [street children] friends run through the chalet with dirty shoes. Could you vouchsafe me that, Charlie?”

The tension appears to have been mutual, as is apparent in an interview Sheen had with Details magazine in December of 1996. On the rebound from marrying and divorcing two porn stars, he seemed to be a man reborn. “I’ve made mistakes. I’ve slept with whores and I’ve run with the street children, or, as the Italians call them, the scugnizzi, of Rome. But my bad boy days are over.

“I am having a lot of problems, however, with this timesharing thing I’m doing with Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Alan, the next time you decide to just up and leave Belize, you’d better make damn sure you leave enough food for the parakeets. I found them panting in their cages, barely alive. You left the all this food to rot and there was a loose hen in the bedroom. We’re not running a fucking free-for-all here. Wake up, Greenspan. Wake up.”

The final curtain

By the summer of 1997, the relationship was clearly destroyed. All that remained was their media dialogue, which had turned hateful and ugly. Quite out of character, Greenspan lashed out at Sheen in a foul-mouthed and emotional interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal. The interview ran July 18, 1997.

“As far as any rate actions the Federal Reserve will be taking, I ... ahh, I can’t talk about this shit. I’m so, so angry! Listen here, Sheen, as far as I’m concerned, you can eat me! Loose hens, my ass. That was a present for you. I let that hen in the Belize villa for you. But you don’t appreciate jack shit. You can rot for all I care. I thought you sucked in Platoon. Find yourself a new timesharing partner, I’m through with you!”

“Screw you. Screw you, you old rat-headed fool,” Sheen responded in an feature interview with GQ that ran last October. “The economy sucks and you suck. You think you can say a few words and then you’re the one who can take all the credit for the booming economy? Don’t you, Greenspan? Well, give some fucking credit to the small man. This economy should be credited to all the entrepreneurs out there, not to mention the exploding venture capital industry. But do you mention them, you old hag? You make me sick, Greenspan. You make me fucking ill.”

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