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Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker: 'We're in a Hell of a Mess'

which way? economy indicator with red level arrow pointing to  far right boom, far away from left bust
(Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 October 2018 02:49 PM

Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker reportedly thinks the U.S. is in "a hell of a mess in every direction."

He told the New York Times that the nation has lost respect for its leadership and institutions.

Volcker said he sees "a hell of a mess in every direction," including a lack of basic respect for government institutions, a current Fed that seems to be following a completely arbitrary benchmark and a "swamp" in Washington run by plutocrats, CNBC.com cited him as saying.

"At least the military still has all the respect. But I don't know, how can you run a democracy when nobody believes in the leadership of the country?" Volcker asks New York Times columnist and CNBC "Squawk Box" co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin in a Times column.

However, White House officials will obviously disagree and be much more optimistic.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said the American economy is still beating the rest of its global rivals despite stock-market volatility.

“We are the hottest economy in the world right now. We’re crushing it,” Kudlow told CNBC. “Europe is slowing down. Asia is slowing down. We are moving rapidly,” the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser said.

“Right now, the U.S. is carrying the ball. I don’t see an end to it,” said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.

“You can have the short-term oscillations in certain business indicators, but look at the big picture. The big picture is we are growing faster than almost anybody dreamed possible, I think it's the biggest story of 2018, I really do. We are in a economic boom most folks thought was impossible,” he said.

Kudlow contends that the economic strength is built upon very real, solid fundamentals.

“With all due respect, I don’t think this is anything resembling a sugar high. President Trump has changed the incentives in the economy. The war on business is over,” said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.

To be sure, other former central bank chiefs have also recently chimed in with their opinions on current events.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is urging current central-bank officials to just ignore any criticism coming from the Oval Office.

Greenspan explained to CNBC that the four presidents he served under commented on central bank policy "all the time."

Greenspan served as chairman from 1987-2006 under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

"The best thing that you can do if you're in the Fed is put earmuffs on and just don't listen," Greenspan recently told CNBC.

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Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker reportedly thinks the U.S. is in "a hell of a mess in every direction."
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2018-49-23
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 02:49 PM
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