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.