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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Volcker’

Until this week, Paul Adolph Volcker, the 82-year-old architect of President Barack Obama’s latest assault on Wall Street, was not so much yesterday’s man as the man of a couple of decades ago.

Paul Volcker: the 'big man' behind Barack Obama's bank reform Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Tracy Corrigan | Daily Telegraph | 22 Jan 2010

After all, the pinnacle of his career was being chairman of the Federal Reserve, a job he held from 1979 until 1987.

Mr Volcker, who currently heads the President’s external panel of advisers on economic recovery, has consistently advocated a more aggressive approach to fixing the financial system that has not, until now, found favour within the administration.

In September, Mr Volcker told the House of Representatives banking and financial services committee: “As a general matter, I would exclude from commercial banking institutions, which are potential beneficiaries of official (ie. taxpayer) financial support, certain risky activities entirely suitable for our capital markets. Ownership or sponsorship of hedge funds and private equity funds should be among those prohibited activities… There are deep-seated, almost unmanageable, conflicts of interest with normal banking relationships.”

But his advice appeared to fall on deaf ears. “Volcker fails to sell a bank strategy,” ran a New York Times headline just three months ago. The big man – he stands six feet seven inches tall – was unfazed. According to the report, he scoffed at the notion that he was losing his clout, remarking: “I did not have influence to start with.”

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