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Paul Volcker (1927-2019): the man who ushered in the era of independent central banks

The death of the former chairman of the Federal Reserve comes as that independence is under populist attack

By Paul Wallace  

Photo: Mark Reinstein/Zuma Press/PA Images

The reputation of central bankers is a fickle thing. Mervyn King’s stock fell when the financial crisis revealed the former Bank of England governor’s blind spot about the risks building up in British banks in the early years of this century. Alan Greenspan bowed out as head of the US Federal Reserve shortly before that crisis erupted, but his standing took a tumble as the once-feted maestro was criticised for monetary and supervisory misjudgments that contributed to the near-death experience of…

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