Volcker on the Spot

Congress and the White House step up pressure on the Federal Reserve

Tough audiences are nothing new in Las Vegas. Even so, when Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker stepped to the microphone at the Las Vegas Hilton last week to address a standing-room-only crowd of 3,000 delegates to the National Association of Home Builders, the mood was distinctly chilly. In the past two years, sky-high and gyrating interest rates have pitched the American housing industry into its worst sales slump since 1946. Now a rising chorus of critics in the Administration and Congress...

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