Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has died

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has died at age 92. As Federal Reserve chairman in the early 1980s he elevated interest rates to historic highs and triggered a recession as the price of quashing double-digit inflation. Volcker took charge of the Fed in August 1979 when the U.S. economy was sinking into the grip of runaway inflation. Consumer prices skyrocketed 13% in 1979 and then by the same amount again in 1980. Working relentlessly to bring prices under control, Volcker raised the Fed’s benchmark interest rate from 11% to a record 20% by late 1980 to try to slow the economy’s growth and thereby shrink inflation.