Is being Fed chair love 'being God'?

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 9:37 PM

S. Federal Reserve was once described as being "God on a good day." That was before the two thousand eight financial crisis and the Grand Recession, but still, the Fed chair is the director of the world'south largest economy.

Is being Fed chair love 'being God'?

The work of being chair of the U. S. Federal Reserve was once described as being "God on a good day."

That was before the two thousand eight financial crisis and the Grand Recession, but still, the Fed chair is the director of the world'south largest economy. Stocks, bonds and exchange rates surge and fall based solely on the words that arrive out of the Fed chair'south mouth.

Speak about a power trip.

But the four people lively today who have actually held the position don't think it'south anything love being a deity.

"You can't precisely do what you want," former Fed chair Paul Volcker said Thursday at an event at International House in New York. "You've a board. You've a public. You've got [regional] reserve bank presidents."

CNN'south Fareed Zakaria moderated the discussion with former Fed chairs Volcker, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and current chair Janet Yellen. It was the first time all four living Fed chairs were interviewed at the same time. Excerpts of the historic event can be seen on Zakaria'south Sun GPS indicate at 1p. m. ET and on CNNMoney. com.

Related: What scares America's four Fed chiefs

Major decisions on interest rates and other measures to boost or unhurried down the economy are all made by a committee. The chair only gets one vote.

Volcker, who served as Fed chair from one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine until one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven, is well-known for tackling inflation. His committee did it by hiking interest rates to an all-time high of twenty%. That raised American'south mortgage rates, credit card rates and other borrowing costs and made Volcker a very unpopular man for a while.

Instead of an ego boost, he frequently felt more love people "gave us some rope to hang ourselves."

He suspects the carpet in the Fed chair'south office still shows the wear from where he paced back and forth.

Related: Has the Federal Reserve messed up?

Ben Bernanke was chair from two thousand six to two thousand fourteen -- right in the center of the financial crisis and major recession. He called the Fed a "wonderful institution," not a one-man show.

"I didn't get the work for adulation," he told Zakaria. "We'd tremendous responsibilities to attempt to address these terrible risks."

Related: Janet Yellen disagrees strongly with Bernie Sanders

The Fed chair who got the closest to rock star status was Greenspan. He led the Fed from one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven to two thousand six, a mostly boom time. Bob Woodward called his two thousand book about him "Maestro." Greenspan joked that all his celebrity status "embarrassed him," but he "got past the embarrassment very easily."

The aura of Greenspan has taken a hit since the Grand Recession. Presently some blame him for helping cause the housing crisis and overheated market. He told Zakaria that the hardest portion of the work for all Fed chairs is that you can only forecast so distant into the future, yet people seem to think you've some sort of psychic ability.

Current Fed chair Yellen feels that pressure acutely. Zakaria pressed her: Did she regret raising interest rates in December for the first time in years?

"I don't think December was a mistake," Yellen said. "We think a gradual path of rate increases will be appropriate."

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