Summary of Volcker

The Triumph of Persistence

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Volcker book summary
Paul Volcker’s integrity guided him during tempestuous times at the helm of the Federal Reserve.


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Paul Volcker’s family extolled public service as honorable and necessary, instilling in him a duty to serve. He sought and spoke the truth – not the politics – of situations as he lived them. His plainspokenness cost him being appointed US treasury secretary a few times. His greatest achievement was becoming Federal Reserve chairman in 1979 and taming chronic inflation. Hardships, such as family illnesses and financial stress, never tempered his devotion to public service. In his 80s, he contributed vital facets of recent financial regulation in the form of the “Volcker Rule.” Author and professor William L. Silber brings his professional and personal relationship with Volcker to bear on this significant biography of an “American financial icon.” Volcker sat for interviews and shared personal documents, which lend the book a singular intimacy, but this is a definitive portrait, not hagiography. getAbstract recommends it to bankers, students of finance and politics, financial strategists and anyone who seeks to understand Paul Volcker.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How tenacity, integrity and a devotion to public service drove Paul Volcker’s career
  • How his leadership at the Federal Reserve in the 1980s tamed inflation
  • Why he re-entered the public sphere during the late 2000s to sponsor banking reform


Paul Volcker learned the value of public service at a young age. His father, the city manager of Teaneck, New Jersey, restored the city’s Depression-ravaged finances. He instilled in Paul – nicknamed Buddy – a sense of duty, integrity and a propensity to speak the truth, no matter...
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About the Author

William L. Silber, co-author of several classic textbooks on finance, including Money, is an economics and finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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