Silber on Volcker

August 21, 2012

Bill Silber, our star teacher of Foundations of Finance, has a book out about Paul Volcker that’s getting a lot of attention.

Volcker is known for many things, among them the Volcker rule, the Volcker Commission, and (to us) his long-time support of the Stern School.  But to macroeconomists, he’s the guy who killed off inflation.  Inflation ratcheted up in the 1970s and resisted attempts to bring it under control through wage and price controls (Nixon), WIN buttons (Ford), and “a number of partial remedies” (Carter).  Volcker took over as chair of the Federal Reserve in 1979 with inflation nudging 10%.  By 1983 it had fallen below 4%, where it has stayed ever since.  Silber recounts the story in a Bloomberg View piece.  Silber’s version is more lively than what we do in class (slides 103-106), but we like to think we have better graphics.

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