“I think we’d all be doing a lot better if somebody like you was in there.”
–Ron Paul to Paul Volcker
“By common consent, Paul Volcker is never happier than when he is casting for trout in a river or lake, far from the chaos of New York and Washington.
Then, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve will happily wait long hours before landing a catch, and afterwards share in the bonhomie of his fellow fishermen. “When he is away fishing he is a delight,” says Jim Wolfensohn, the former World Bank chief who hired Mr Volcker to join his investment firm on leaving the Fed. “He lets his guard down and nobody is interested in his views on interest rates.”
That quiet patience is now serving Mr Volcker well. Almost exactly a year ago, Mr Volcker presented a report calling for restrictions on banks engaging in risky activities such as proprietary trading while continuing to enjoy taxpayer support for insured deposits.”
Volcker’s proposal is common sense: If you get a taxpayer guarantee, you cannot behave in a way that is potentially reckless putting taxpayer dollars at risk.
I especially like the next excerpts:
“Long appalled by the lack of what his former protégé Gerry Corrigan calls “financial statesmanship” on Wall Street, Mr Volcker has become increasingly critical of banks since the financial crisis broke.
In mid 2009, he joked that the only useful recent banking innovation was the invention of the ATM; by late last year, this was no longer presented in jest and he was deploring excesses in risk-taking and bonuses.”
Good read the full article (free if you register).
Man in the News: Paul Volcker
Krishna Guha and Gillian Tett
FT, January 22 2010 21:12