Paul Volcker ’49 had already passed his 81st birthday when he took his most recent job as chairman of then-President-elect Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board in November 2008. In the two years that followed, the former Federal Reserve chairman bolstered an already sizeable reputation in the world of economics. He was a prominent voice in Obama’s inner circle, and as the push for financial reform took hold, his plan to stop banks from making proprietary trades – know as the “Volcker Rule” – became one of the most hotly debated ideas on the table. (In January, the Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Oversight Council issued recommendations for implementing the rule, which was signed into law last July.)
Volcker departed from his advisory role in mid-January, though both he and Obama said he’ll continue to advise on occasion. As The Atlantic’s Daniel Indiviglio put it, “rather than ‘so long,’ he's really saying, ‘keep in touch.’”
In the meantime, Volcker told Forbes this week that he’ll spend some of his new-found free time fishing. An avid angler, he does not draw many connections between his hobby and his profession, but columnist Monte Burke has a different take:
“[O]ne can’t help but be aware of the personality traits that have served him well in both his vocation and avocation. Both require patience and consistency. Volcker’s political reincarnation was a testament to his long-held, unbending belief in financial regulation. And both require that the practitioner remain 'cool under fire' as one Senator described Volcker after a particularly intense cross-examination in front of a Senate sub-committee.”
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