There are other comments at the link which will warm the cockles of Keynesian hearts, and chill the "no-tax-increase" crowd.
ALAN MURRAY: Mr. Volcker, you have heard the reports from all four of these groups and you have heard the priorities that they have agreed on. We would love to hear your responses.
PAUL VOLCKER: Well, you are not going to be very happy with my response. I heard an awful lot of particulars here that I agree with to some degree, but my overall impression is that you have not come anywhere near close enough to responding with necessary vigor or structural changes to the crisis that we have had.
If it is really true that financial weaknesses brought us to the brink of a great depression that would have ended your livelihood and destroyed a lot of the global economy, then let me explain.
You concluded with financial-services executives showing cultural sensitivity and responsible leadership. Well, I have been around the financial markets for 60 years, and how many responsible financial leaders have we heard speaking against the huge compensation practices?
Every day I hear financial leaders saying that they are necessary and desirable, they are wonderful and they are God’s work. Has there been one financial leader to stand out and say that maybe this is excessive and that maybe we should get together privately to think about some restraint?
I hear about these wonderful innovations in the financial markets, and they sure as hell need a lot of innovation. I can tell you of two—credit-default swaps and collateralized debt obligations—which took us right to the brink of disaster. Were they wonderful innovations that we want to create more of?
You want boards of directors to be informed about all of these innovative new products and to understand them, but I do not know what boards of directors you are talking about. I have been on boards of directors, and the chance that they are going to understand these products that you are dishing out, or that you are going to want to explain it to them, quite frankly, is nil.
I mean: Wake up, gentlemen. I can only say that your response is inadequate. I wish that somebody would give me some shred of neutral evidence about the relationship between financial innovation recently and the growth of the economy, just one shred of information. I am getting a bit wound up here.