Former Fed Chair Paul Volcker releases his memoir, talks about American public governance, and worries about plutocracy in America.

Apple Boston

2018-10-23 12:36:00 Tue ET

Former Fed Chair Paul Volcker releases his memoir, talks about American public governance, and worries about plutocracy in America. Volcker suggests that public governance entails running the government with few unproductive policy debates. As the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve need not adhere to an explicit 2% symmetric inflation target. The current neutral interest rate hike can continue even when inflation rises above the target range of 2%-2.5%.  Volcker supports stronger supervisory powers for both the Federal Reserve and Treasury. Both regulatory agencies should continue to conduct regular macroprudential stress tests on the systemically-important financial institutions (SIFIs) once per year in the post-Dodd-Frank era. SIFIs should build up sufficient core capital buffers to safeguard against extreme losses that might arise in rare times of financial stress. Also, the Volcker rule separates commercial bank activities from proprietary investment transactions. This firewall serves as a safety valve between safe bank deposits and risky asset investments.

Volcker worries about the impact of money on the U.S. political system, and he expresses grave concerns about the recent trend that America seems to devolve into a plutocracy. In his view, U.S. democratic regulations should restrict the direct influence of crazy rich Americans over political affairs.

 


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