Volcker Warns Top Bankers They've "Been Inadequate"

Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker decided to set straight a group of top-ranking bankers at a conference held yesterday in the UK. The bankers, concerned that new regulation could constrain future financial innovation, were shut down by a “clearly irritated” Volcker.

According to the Times Online:

“…he criticised them for failing to grasp the magnitude of the financial crisis and belittled their suggested reforms … for their failure to acknowledge a problem with personal rewards and questioned their claims for financial innovation.

“On the subject of pay, he said: ‘Has there been one financial leader to say this is really excessive? Wake up, gentlemen. Your response, I can only say, has been inadequate.'”

Volcker went on to say:

“I wish someone would give me one shred of neutral evidence that financial innovation has led to economic growth — one shred of evidence…”

Read more about the intense outburst by the Economic Recovery Advisory Board chairman in the Times’ coverage of the Future of Finance Initiative event.