Paul Volcker with President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Three years later, Mr. Volcker wrote in his book, the president would pressure him not to raise interest rates. Photo: Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

By Andrew Ross Sorkin
23 October 2018

(The New York Times) – Paul Volcker, wearing a blue sweatsuit and black dress socks, stretched out on a recliner in the den of his Upper East Side apartment on a Sunday afternoon. His lanky 6-foot-7 frame extended beyond the end of the chair’s leg rest. He added an ottoman to rest his feet.

“I’m not good,” said Mr. Volcker, 91, the former Federal Reserve chairman, who came to prominence after he used shockingly high interest rates to help end the runaway inflation of the late 1970s and early ’80s. Long one of finance’s wise men, he has been sick for several months.

But he would rather not talk about himself. Instead, Mr. Volcker wants to talk about the country, the economy and the government. And if he had seemed lethargic when I arrived, he turned lively in his laments: “We’re in a hell of a mess in every direction,” he said.

Hundreds of books surrounded Mr. Volcker — filling shelves and piled high on virtually every flat surface — as did pink pages of The Financial Times, folded into origami. “Respect for government, respect for the Supreme Court, respect for the president, it’s all gone,” he said. “Even respect for the Federal Reserve.

“And it’s really bad. At least the military still has all the respect. But I don’t know, how can you run a democracy when nobody believes in the leadership of the country?”

Before Mr. Volcker fell ill, he finished his memoir, Keeping at It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government. The book was supposed to be published in late November, but given Mr. Volcker’s health, its publisher, PublicAffairs, a unit of Hachette, moved its release up to 30 October 2018.

“I had no intention of writing a book, but there was something that kind of was irritating me,” he said. “I’m really worried about this governance thing.”

The book, which Mr. Volcker wrote with Christine Harper, editor in chief of Bloomberg Markets, is a telling memoir about a man who not only redefined the role of Fed chairman but, after the financial crisis, conceived of a namesake rule that eliminated some of the most blatant risk-taking by Wall Street banks. The Volcker Rule, which was part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory legislation, is being chipped away at by Republicans, which doesn’t sit well with him. [more]

Paul Volcker, at 91, Sees ‘a Hell of a Mess in Every Direction’

0 comments :

 

Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews