Volcker worked in the US federal government for nearly 30 years, culminating in two terms as chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1979-1987, "a critical period in bringing a high level of inflation to an end", according to the Volcker Alliance, an advocacy group aimed at advancing effective management of government founded by the former central bank chief.
As with the man who succeeded him, Alan Greenspan, Volcker could soothe or excite financial markets with just a vague murmur. "We've got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they're rich because they're smart and constructive".
Volcker, who slammed the brakes on the economy like no other Fed president, also absorbed his share of legislators' barbels in the 1980s. Yet critics say he also pushed the United States into an unnecessarily severe recession in 1981-82.
While Carter embarked on bruising battles to end industry cartels that kept prices artificially high, Volcker sought to restrict consumer spending, pushing interest rates up to the previously unheard of level of 20%.
In a statement Monday, former President Jimmy Carter, who had chosen Volcker to be Fed chairman, called him a "giant of public service".
Farmers drowning in debt drove tractors to encircle the central bank's offices. One US senator demanded that he take his "boot off the neck of the economy".
After leaving the Fed, Volcker accepted troubleshooting missions.
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He found that some 2,200 companies in 66 countries have diverted $ 1.8 billion ($ 2.6 billion) to Saddam's government, and that Saddam has gained an additional $ 8 billion by selling oil out of the country. program. He led a commission to investigate what Swiss banks did with the assets of Holocaust victims during and after World War II. Economics correspondent Paul Solman remembers Volcker's life and work.
Years later, under president Obama, Volcker headed the Economic Recovery Advisory Board from 2009-11, where he was a sharp critic of modern banking. That rule - dubbed "The Volcker Rule" by Obama - became part of the landmark Dodd-Frank Act. It is the basis of many current financial regulations. Since publishing his book in 2018, Volcker has even criticised the Fed's overly precise devotion to a 2-percent inflation target.
"I don't think there is any feeling or any evidence around at the moment that the economy is suffering grievously from a shortage of money", Volcker testified during his Senate confirmation.
Former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman credited with bringing down sky-high U.
A grandson of German immigrants, Volcker was born in 1927 in Cape May, New Jersey, developed a love of fly-fishing and studied at Princeton and Harvard.
His 44-year-old wife, Barbara, died in 1998 after many years of rheumatoid arthritis. The home builders affixed postage stamps on bricks and wooden boards two by four and mailed them to the Fed to protest the extremely high interest rates that had destroyed their businesses.