The extraordinary life story of the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, whose absolute integrity provides the inspiration we need as our constitutional system and political tradition are being tested to the breaking point.
As chairman of the Federal Reserve (1979-1987), Paul Volcker slayed the inflation dragon that was consuming the American economy and restored the world's faith in central bankers. That extraordinary feat was just one pivotal episode in a decades-long career serving six presidents.
Told with wit, humor, and down-to-earth erudition, the narrative of Volcker's career illuminates the changes that have taken place in American life, government, and the economy since World War II. He vibrantly illustrates the crises he managed alongside the world's leading politicians, central bankers, and financiers. Yet he first found his model for competent and ethical governance in his father, the town manager of Teaneck, NJ, who instilled Volcker's dedication to absolute integrity and his "three verities" of stable prices, sound finance, and good government.
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About the Author
Paul A. Volcker worked in the United States Federal Government for almost 30 years, culminating in two terms as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1979-1987. Earlier he served as Undersecretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Since leaving the Federal Reserve Mr. Volcker has continued his public service: as chairman of the Volcker Alliance; as head of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board; chair of the investigation of the UN's Oil-for-Food program; and head of the committee formed by Swiss and Jewish organizations to investigate deposit accounts and other assets in Swiss banks of victims of Nazi persecution and to arrange for their disposition.
Educated at Princeton, Harvard, and the London School of Economics, Mr. Volcker is a recipient of honorary doctorates from each of his "alma maters," as well as a number of other American and foreign universities.
Christine Harper has been a financial reporter and editor for more than two decades. She is the editor of Bloomberg Markets and previously was executive editor responsible for overseeing Bloomberg News's global coverage of financial companies.
Table of Contents
Introduction The Wise Old Parrot 1
Chapter 1 Growing Up 5
Chapter 2 Getting an Education 15
Chapter 3 Early Experience 30
Chapter 4 Oft to Washington 45
Chapter 5 "The Best Job in the World" 59
Chapter 6 Monetary Reform Frustrated 75
Chapter 7 Back to the Beginning 93
Chapter 8 Attacking Inflation 102
Chapter 9 Financial Crises, Domestic and International 120
Chapter 10 Unfinished Business: Repairing the Financial System 138
Chapter 11 After the Fed 152
Chapter 12 Mr. Chairman in Several Guises 166
Chapter 13 The Search for Integrity 176
Chapter 14 Setting Standards 193
Chapter 15 The New Financial World: Breakdown and Reform 203
Chapter 16 The Three Verities 220
Epilogue Credit Where Credit Is Due 241
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Volcker - Best Federal Reserve Chairman in my Lifetime In my lifetime Paul Volcker is the most repected Federal Reserve Chairman in my eyes. He used his position to the betterment of everything he has been involved with. He is highly respected around the world as a honest public servant and has served on many investigations involving financial fraud or misbehaviors. One comment he made was the 2% inflation goal for an economy has no theoretical justification. He said it is difficult to be both a target and a limit at the same time. A 2% inflation rate would mean prices double every generation. And allowing inflation means it leads to more inflation via the price increases. This book is an interesting read and he cares deeply about the United States and has started the Volcker Alliance to promote good government and to encourage young people to become good public servants to provide the United States with good future leadership. He is one the few civil servants who never thought about promoting himself, but doing the right thing for our country. If any young people need an idol, Paul Volcker is the one they should aspire to be like.