Volcker: The Triumph of Persistence

William L. Silber. Bloomsbury Press, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-1-60819-070-6
This admiring biography leaves no doubt about Silber’s view that the world owes Paul Volcker a great debt. As Federal Reserve Board chairman from 1979 to 1987, “Volcker did nothing less than restore the reputation of an American financial system on the verge of collapse.” Silber (When Washington Shut Down Wall Street), a professor of finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business, spent hundreds of hours interviewing his subject and ably charts Volcker’s career, from his early years as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank and the Treasury Department in the 1950s and 1960s to becoming undersecretary of the Treasury under Nixon. In the early 1970s, Volcker oversaw the precarious shift from a dollar backed by the gold standard to a currency by fiat, which ushered in the era of floating currency exchange rates and launched the modern financial era. Though Silber lucidly explains this process, a prior understanding of economics would aid a casual reader. While it’s difficult to enliven some of this material, Silber gamely tries, and sometimes resorts to clunky sports analogies. It’s a measure of Volcker’s lasting influence that current financial reforms include a restriction on banks’ ability to engage in speculative trading, known as the Volcker Rule, a fitting third act for a lifelong government servant who “laid the foundation for restoring fiscal integrity in America.” Agent: Eric Lupfer, WME. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2012
Release date: 09/04/2012
Show other formats
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-60819-392-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-60819-376-9
Paperback - 454 pages - 978-1-62040-292-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.