A Tough and Thankless Task

Of all the jobs in Government, Paul Volcker's post as Federal Reserve Board Chairman is perhaps the most complex, controversial and least understood. Charged with controlling the U.S. money supply, Volcker is caught between crit ics who say he is being unconscionably tight, those who fear he is being irresponsibly loose and those who complain that he swings from one extreme to the other.

The confusion is understandable. For the past two years the money stock has alternately surged and dipped and then surged again. Some critics of the Federal Reserve say that in...

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