Before his death, legendary Fed chief Paul Volcker issued one last warning to the US

  
Via:  ender  •  one month ago  •  56 comments

By:   Joseph Zeballos-Roig

Before his death, legendary Fed chief Paul Volcker issued one last warning to the US

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The legendary Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker died on Tuesday at the age of 92, but he had a final warning for an American public wrestling with  a declining trust  in government and each other.

The Financial Times published   the afterword in Volcker's upcoming autobiography which the newspaper said was written in September, three months before his death.

In it, Volcker condemned President Trump's efforts - without naming him - to pressure the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in an attempt to juice US economic growth, already undergoing its longest sustained expansion.

"Not since just after the second world war have we seen a president so openly seek to dictate policy to the Fed. That is a matter of great concern, given that the central bank is one of our key governmental institutions, carefully designed to be free of purely partisan attacks," the former Fed chairman wrote.

Volcker said he trusted the members of the Fed will fend off any attempts to interfere in its monetary policy decisionmaking so it may act "free of partisan political purposes."

Trump has repeatedly assailed Jerome Powell, the current Fed chair, for not cutting rates. Back in August, Trump called Powell an "enemy" of the United States comparable to China,   the Washington Post reported.

The former Fed chair painted a very bleak portrait of the nation's political environment, noting "forces" are rolling back environmental and other protections considered emblematic of American democracy.

"Increasingly, by design or not, there appears to be a movement to undermine Americans' faith in our government and its policies and institutions," Volcker wrote. "We've moved well beyond former president Ronald Reagan's credo that 'government is the problem,' with its aim of reversing decades of federal expansion."

He went on: "Today we see something very different and far more sinister. Nihilistic forces are dismantling policies to protect our air, water, and climate. And they seek to discredit the pillars of our democracy: voting rights and fair elections, the rule of law, the free press, the separation of powers, the belief in science, and the concept of truth itself."

Volcker was best-known for waging a campaign to subdue inflation in the late 1970s and early 1980s as Fed chairman. He later sought to keep regulations in place to oversee the financial industry and became an advocate for financial reform.

The former Fed leader   later chaired   Obama's Council of Economic Advisory Board after the banking system teetered on the edge of total collapse in 2008.

Photo: © Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Ender
1  seeder  Ender    one month ago

Sounds about right. We do have people trying to undermine and discredit departments and aspects of government, deregulation of everything and sowing discord/distrust in agencies.

 
 
 
Kavika
1.1  Kavika   replied to  Ender @1    one month ago
We do have people trying to undermine and discredit departments and aspects of government, deregulation of everything and sowing discord/distrust in agencies.

Yes, we do and some of them are right here on NT.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.1  seeder  Ender  replied to  Kavika @1.1    one month ago

I swear, some would rather burn down the house that try to put out any flames.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.2  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.1.1    one month ago

Some would rather prop up a crooked bureaucracy than see the waste and failure inherent in the system. 

 

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.3  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.1.2    one month ago

My comment rings true. You are only proving the premise correct.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.4  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.1.3    one month ago

Wrong 

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.5  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.1.4    one month ago

Now there is a compelling argument. Put fingers in ears and say no.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.6  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.1.5    one month ago

Your comment is a statement you claim to know what I believe from a few comments.I have already spent to much time on your pathetically weak so called argument. 

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.7  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.1.6    one month ago

My so called argument is going by ones own comments.

One thing people cannot deny.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.8  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.1.7    one month ago

Weak very weak.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.9  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.1.8    one month ago

Hey, your comments....

Or are you trying to say to not go by what people actually type out...

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.10  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.1.9    one month ago

I actually don't think you actually understand what you posted it's actually fucking hilarious. 

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.11  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.1.10    one month ago

I understand feeble attempts at misdirection.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.12  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.1.11    one month ago

Wow just wow.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1    one month ago

The government  should be discredited along with the wasteful military budget and many other failures on their part.The FBI had 17 major failures of protocol or normans in just one case.I still trust my fellow americans and would help anyone I could bureaucrats in the government not a chance. 

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.1  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2    one month ago

Just a couple of days ago the FBI was being hailed as doing their job when they took down a political money laundering scheme in California.

Now because of some discrepancies in findings to the FISA court, the whole agency is corrupt and not to be trusted.

So according to you it is all the fault of bureaucrats (deep state) and not the elected officials...

You sound exactly like what Volcker was talking about.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.2  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.1    one month ago

No it should held accountable my brother served for 22 years in the FBI hostage rescue team,supervising special agent and served well over a 100 fugitive warrants he is disgusted with the bureau leadership.    

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.3  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.1    one month ago

The government is all, bureaucrats ,elected officials, appointed officials I give not one of them a pass.    

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.4  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.2    one month ago

Then blame the CIC for putting the people he did at the top.

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.5  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.3    one month ago

Except the man at the top.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.6  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.4    one month ago

No I blame the apparatus the breakdown is  owned from top to bottom at some point a real whistle blower should have come forward 3 years ago there is plenty of blame to go around. 

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.7  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.5    one month ago

When he actually does something illegal and not want some partisan claims he did  is illegal I will pissing off malcontents isn't reason enough for m. 

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.8  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.7    one month ago

Yet it is reason enough for everyone else.

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.9  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.6    one month ago

Three years ago? Don't tell me, it was all Obama's fault.

So transparent.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.10  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.9    one month ago

Sure he was in charge when this started.

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.11  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.10    one month ago

I knew it. So it all started under Obama and poor trump is just a casualty.

Spare me the BS.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.12  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.11    one month ago

So you are ok with the FBI breaking norms and abusing the FISA process?

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.13  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.12    one month ago

Then look into it. I guarantee they could find a lot more cases where this happened.

Why are they not looking at the whole and instead only looking at one case.

Seems to me that would be the logical thing to do, if there is wrong doing.

Imo they don't want to open that can of worms.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.14  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.13    one month ago

17 major infractions just in one case  FISA  alone and the investigation is still ongoing please by all means post them so they also can be ridiculed. 

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.15  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @1.2.14    one month ago

Has nothing to do with what I said.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
1.2.16  Sean Treacy  replied to  MUVA @1.2.14    one month ago

That's 17 major infractions in a high profile case where they had to expect greater than ordinary scrutiny (on the off chance Trump won).  This would  never have seen the light of day had Clinton won.

Imagine what's going on in routine cases, if they are willing to literally fabricate evidence to get at someone in Trump's orbit. But I guess we already do know how contemptuous they are  because of the FBI crime lab scandals.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.17  MUVA  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.16    one month ago

I can that is why leftist can't get control of this country  they will use the might of the DOJ to punish their political opponents and the media will help them do it. 

 
 
 
Ender
1.2.18  seeder  Ender  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.16    one month ago

If the people already in jail is going after the people in the trump orbit, I say go right ahead. Or do you think these people should be free just because of their orbit...

My point was if they are so critical of the FBI, open a congressional investigation of all cases and how they conduct themselves. Narrowing the scope to one case is weaponizing the agency just like you accuse others of.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.2.19  MUVA  replied to  Ender @1.2.18    one month ago

I sure we can find many cases of trying to take down a president with the FBI if we look hard enough.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.3  WallyW  replied to  Ender @1    one month ago

We have the recent glaring example of the previous administration weaponizing federal agencies to dig up dirt on Trump

 
 
 
Ender
1.3.1  seeder  Ender  replied to  WallyW @1.3    one month ago

And you all say the left has TDS. Holly hell everyone here on the right has to bring up trump even though Volcker never said his name.

 
 
 
Ronin2
1.3.2  Ronin2  replied to  Ender @1.3.1    one month ago

Who has TDDDDS? From your seeded article no less.

In it, Volcker condemned President Trump's efforts - without naming him - to pressure the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in an attempt to juice US economic growth, already undergoing its longest sustained expansion.

"Not since just after the second world war have we seen a president so openly seek to dictate policy to the Fed. That is a matter of great concern, given that the central bank is one of our key governmental institutions, carefully designed to be free of purely partisan attacks," the former Fed chairman wrote.

Volcker said he trusted the members of the Fed will fend off any attempts to interfere in its monetary policy decisionmaking so it may act "free of partisan political purposes."

Unless you posted this excrement to prove how asinine the author is.

The FED has way too much power, period. They operate in their own little damn world. Pretending that Trump is the only President to ever be critical of the FED or to try to influence it is flat our wrong.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/trump-isn-t-first-president-try-influence-federal-reserve-n1001596

"Every president wants to influence the Fed," Kathleen Day, a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, said.

President Lyndon B. Johnson was so consumed with the effect of the Vietnam War on the budget that he reportedly "pushed Fed Chairman Bill Martin up against a wall," said Brigid Harrison, a professor of political science and law at Montclair State University in New Jersey. "This was a physical threat in order to produce an outcome for the American economy."

"Many of the same things, including threats of firing Fed chairmen, is not really new," Peter Earle, a research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, said. "Trump just happens to be louder about it and says it while looking into the TV camera."

The first time a president tried to push the Fed into taking specific action was in the 1920s, when President Herbert Hoover understood there was too much speculation on Wall Street "but didn't know what to do about it," Day said.

Hoover tried to make the Fed raise the interest rate to prevent overheating — but the independent agency chose instead to slash rates, which led to more borrowing as credit became easier to come by. Eventually, the market seized up, resulting in the stock market crash of 1929. When Hoover pressured the Fed to lower rates to initiate a recovery — and save his presidency — the Fed then raised them, which froze borrowing and plunged the country into the Great Depression.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/18/greenspan-says-that-before-trump-other-presidents-criticized-fed-policy-all-the-time.html

President Donald Trump’s emphatic criticism of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate actions really aren’t so different from what his other recent predecessors have done, former central bank Chairman  Alan Greenspan  told CNBC on Thursday.

Asked if he ever received input from any of the four presidents under whom he served, Greenspan said it happened “all the time.”

“You’ll find every president has an insight into how the markets work and where interest ought to be, which is always superior to that of the Federal Open Market Committee,” he said in an interview on “ Squawk Box .”

Greenspan served as chairman from 1987-2006 under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

During that period, he earned a reputation as the “Maestro” who helped orchestrate the U.S. economy through some rapidly changing economic times, from the Reagan boom through the days just before the financial crisis that exploded under the latter Bush administration.

He said he learned that it’s best to try to ignore the outside political pressure and focus on doing the job. The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate six times since Trump took office.

“The best thing that you can do if you’re in the Fed is put earmuffs on and just don’t listen,” Greenspan said. “I was at the Fed for 18½ years. I got innumerable notes, pledges, requests, et cetera to lower rates. I do not recall a single instance where somebody in the political realm said we need to raise rates, they’re too low.”

Even Obama questioned the head of the FED calling them to the White House several times during the recession. I am sure they were all just beer summits of good will./S

 
 
 
Tacos!
2  Tacos!    one month ago
"Not since just after the second world war have we seen a president so openly seek to dictate policy to the Fed. That is a matter of great concern

I’m more concerned about people who think the president loses his freedom of speech as soon as he’s sworn in. Let the man talk. No one is making you do what he says.

the central bank is one of our key governmental institutions, carefully designed to be free of purely partisan attacks,

No, it’s designed to be free of day-to-day partisan control. However, members of the board of governors are still appointed by the president and approved by the Senate, so there is some political influence. There is nothing that says political people can’t criticize the central bank.

The Supreme Court is also supposed to be independent and free of political “influence” but that hasn’t kept presidents from being highly critical of the decisions they make. Invariably, when they do speak up, we hear the other side cry out about the threat to an independent judiciary. It’s the same insecure nonsense. I am suspicious of people whose first response seems to be trying to get someone else to shut up.

 
 
 
MUVA
2.1  MUVA  replied to  Tacos! @2    one month ago

Yes sir left has become what they claimed they hated most the man.. 

 
 
 
Ender
2.2  seeder  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @2    one month ago

I didn't read anywhere where anyone was saying the pres has to shut up.

He was talking about influence.

It is about more than one person. It is about what seems like a concerted effort to undermine all aspects of government.

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.2.1  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @2.2    one month ago

Undermine? Or be skeptical of it? I see the latter. The machinery seems to be humming along just fine. If Americans (high or low) are maybe not so trusting of our bureaucracy, I think that’s healthy.

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.2.2  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @2.2    one month ago
I didn't read anywhere where anyone was saying the pres has to shut up

He literally said the president speaking so openly about fed policy is a problem. That sounds like Volcker is telling the president to shut up.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.3  seeder  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @2.2.1    one month ago

We both know it is better to have a healthy skepticism.

I think we also both know there are people that will decry a whole organization as crooked just because of something they don't like.

Sorry but I don't think the pres or other top officials telling their followers that an agency is corrupt just because they don't like what they are doing is healthy.

Neither is putting people in charge of agencies that wanted them dismantled.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.4  seeder  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @2.2.2    one month ago

That was still only one aspect of what he was trying to convey. Only picking one part of the whole is doing him an injustice.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.5  XDm9mm  replied to  Ender @2.2    one month ago
It is about what seems like a concerted effort to undermine all aspects of government.

They often times do that sufficiently well themselves to themselves, and then when caught beg forgiveness and promise to correct the problems.  Which more often than not are never corrected.

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.2.6  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @2.2.3    one month ago

Anybody can take it too far, and I certainly think Trump does that now and then. I remember Obama’s comments about Citizens United made it sound like he thought the SCOTUS was crooked. We have to respond and adjust to that, not try to get him to stop talking.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.7  seeder  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @2.2.6    one month ago

Sadly I agree with him. I think CU has caused a lot of the problems we have today.

"Today we see something very different and far more sinister. Nihilistic forces are dismantling policies to protect our air, water, and climate. And they seek to discredit the pillars of our democracy: voting rights and fair elections, the rule of law, the free press, the separation of powers, the belief in science, and the concept of truth itself."

And he still wasn't just talking about a president, though he fits the criteria.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
3  XDm9mm    one month ago
"We've moved well beyond former president Ronald Reagan's credo that 'government is the problem,' with its aim of reversing decades of federal expansion."

And what is wrong with reigning in an ever expanding federal bureaucracy more concerned with protecting itself from public scrutiny?

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1  MUVA  replied to  XDm9mm @3    one month ago

Yep this government is broken and some don't want it fixed. 

 
 
 
Ender
3.2  seeder  Ender  replied to  XDm9mm @3    one month ago

Who is reigning it in? Funny what some want 'reigned in'. The EPA, Department of Education...

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2.1  MUVA  replied to  Ender @3.2    one month ago

Definitely the department of education look at the failure it is. 

 
 
 
Ender
3.2.2  seeder  Ender  replied to  MUVA @3.2.1    one month ago

And don't forget to add Medicare to the list. It is crooked. s/

Odd that all the agencies the right see as crooked are designed to help people.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2.3  MUVA  replied to  Ender @3.2.2    one month ago

So now you are saying I think medicare is crooked when my comment was about the failing department of education you are a hoot.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
3.2.4  XDm9mm  replied to  Ender @3.2    one month ago
Who is reigning it in?

Unfortunately the swamp fights back.

And yes, Medicare IS broken.  The EPA grossly oversteps it's bounds and authorities and the DoE is an abysmal failure at anything other than spending enormous amounts of money.

 
 
 
Ender
3.2.5  seeder  Ender  replied to  XDm9mm @3.2.4    one month ago

Seems to me Medicare actually works so I wouldn't call it broken.

Is the answer to try and fix things or as some would rather have, get rid of them.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
3.2.6  XDm9mm  replied to  Ender @3.2.5    one month ago
Seems to me Medicare actually works so I wouldn't call it broken.

It works to a degree, but when it will be bankrupt in a couple of years, it cannot be called a success.

I don't know the answer to the 'health care' issues we face, but "medicare for all" or some iteration of that is an impossibility, UNLESS the government takes control of the entire system, including putting "health care professionals" on it's payroll, having government owned and operated clinics and hospitals all over and only gives you the 'health care' it thinks you need. 

On a personal note, I have first hand knowledge of the failures of the Canada system.  I've had both hips replaced and in each case, I was in immediate post surgery rehab with people from Canada.  All of them gave up waiting for surgery in Canada.  The shortest time before surrender was 5 months the longest was 14 months.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I'll deal with what we have until something is devised that is at least as good as what we have if not better.

Of course, those with the funds will still be able to buy private insurance as they do in socialized medicine countries or simply go around the system entirely and see private doctors operating concierge type practices. 

 
 
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