Dec 9, 2019

Former Fed chairman Paul Volcker dies at 92

Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker died Sunday at 92 years old, according to the New York Times.

The big picture: Volcker was known for leading the Fed's aggressive campaign to bring down inflation throughout the late 1970s and early '80s. He served in the Treasury Department under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon before moving to the Fed. President Carter nominated him to be chairman in 1979, and President Reagan re-nominated him in 1983.

  • Volcker's family has not confirmed the cause of his death. He had been treated for prostate cancer in 2018.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon: "Volcker will go down in history as a dedicated public servant and as the last uncontroversially great Fed chair. No financial technocrat alive today has his moral stature."

Go deeper: The market will need the Fed again in 2020

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What Jerome Powell learned from Paul Volcker

Paul Volcker. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Former Fed chair Paul Volcker died Sunday at 92 years old, it was announced yesterday. It reminded me of comments current Fed chair Jerome Powell made about him at the National Association for Business Economics conference in October.

Powell said of Volcker: "I don’t think there has been a greater public servant in our lifetimes."

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

The last of the heroic technocrats

Felix Rohatyn (l) and Paul Volcker. Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Wally McNamee/Getty Contributor and Ted Thai/Getty Contributor

Two giants of the postwar economic landscape died last week. The actions of Paul Volcker (1927–2019) and Felix Rohatyn (1928–2019) had profound effects on millions of Americans, and bestowed stellar reputations on both men.

Why it matters: There are, and will be, many other successful and powerful technocrats, many of them just as capable as these two paragons of austerity. But none of them are likely to receive the kind of popular acclaim that Volcker and Rohatyn enjoyed.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019

Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a news conference in October. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would keep the benchmark interest rate at its current range of 1.5%-1.75%, a widely expected decision that ends the Fed's rate-cutting streak.

Why it matters: The central bank is confident the economy doesn't need easier borrowing conditions to stay afloat and signaled no further cuts through the 2020 presidential election, though uncertainties like the U.S.-China trade war remain. Wednesday's decision comes despite President Trump's continued push to goad the Fed to further trim rates.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019