Speaking via satellite to a conference in Johannesburg, Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said the financial market crisis will continue for some time, and could last well into 2009.

The data implies the U.S. economy is on the brink of recession, said Greenspan, citing forecasts for very sluggish growth over the next 12 months.

Nevertheless, the Fed rate cuts over the last several months will help avoid a recession, he added.

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Cristina Markham