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Alan Greenspan "Bullish" on Autism Speaks

Greenspan and Autism Speaks Thank Winning Bidders of Unique Portrait Auction

NEW YORK (February 16, 2006) - Retired Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan today stated his support for Autism Speaks and its work on behalf of individuals and families affected by autism. A statement from Greenspan was read live this morning during a segment on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that featured the winning bidders of a unique eBay auction of a painting of the former Fed chairman. Matthew and Nathan Schirmer, who bid $150,400 for the portrait, were joined live on the program by portrait artist Erin Crowe and Autism Speaks Senior Vice President Alison Tepper Singer. Crowe painted the portrait live on CNBC three weeks ago.

"During my eighteen years at the Fed, I'm sure there were a lot of people who wanted to have me hung," joked Greenspan in the statement. "I'm glad that they're only hanging my portrait! More seriously, while I'm surprised at the attention, I'm gratified that a cause as important as Autism Speaks will benefit from the auction. I'd also like to thank the artist for contributing her work, and, of course, the buyer for helping so many children afflicted with autism."

“We are thrilled that Chairman Greenspan is so bullish on autism research and Autism Speaks,” said Singer. “We hope his comments result in a huge influx of capital.”

The Schirmers stated that they decided to make their identities public to help raise awareness of the growing autism epidemic. One in 166 children, including one in every 104 boys, is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

"We've come forward simply to say that more attention needs to be paid to the issue of autism and the important work being done by organizations like Autism Speaks," said the Schirmers, who are health and life insurance agency principals in Dunedin, Florida. “We made this contribution because we've seen first-hand the enormous impact autism has on families and know that funding for research is critically needed. All of us need to know that a growing number of children are being diagnosed with autism, which makes the search for the cause and cure more urgent than ever.”


Autism Speaks is committed to aggressively funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism. It is devoted to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families and society, and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of the disorder. Autism Speaks was co-founded by Suzanne and Bob Wright in February, 2005 in response to the diagnosis of their grandson. Bob Wright is Chairman and CEO of NBC Universal and is Vice Chair of General Electric. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit its web site at