Agora Interview with Paul Volcker

Agora Interview with Paul Volcker

Agora Financial just published an interview with former Fed Chairman, “Tall” Paul Volcker which they conducted in sync with the release of their new documentary I.O.U.S.A.

Brief excerpt:

When I became chairman of the Federal Reserve, I think there was a general feeling in this country that economic affairs, and inflation in particular, had reached a kind of crisis point. Things were not going very well. There was a feeling of uncertainty.

There was a lot of speculation in commodities and the gold price, which was then free to fluctuate up to $ 800 an ounce. In an odd kind of way, that’s a good time to step into a job because people thought that something needed to be done. I also think the mood of the country was willing to accept action, which 10 years earlier they wouldn’t have been willing to accept. And once we got caught up and I got caught up – or the Federal Reserve Board got caught up, for that matter the country got caught up – in an anti-inflationary effort, there was a certain willingness to take very high interest rates and eventually a rather severe recession, with the hope and expectations – certainly, the expectation that I had – that things would get better. And if we could restore any sense of stability in the currency, the country would be better off as long as we sustained that phase.