So far, for the last several decades, nobody in government has inflicted pain on the US economy. Private citizens, of course, the leaders of our banking and investment establishment, have produced the savings and loan debacle, the tech stock bubble, the housing bubble, and then the financial system meltdown.
Volker actually got us out of the Nixon-Carter-Reagan stagflation quagmire by prescribing tough medicine for the US economy. Nobody else has had the foresight or the guts to do the same thing in response to our more recent problems.
Granted Volker is in his 80's, but these young whipper-snappers ought to be seeking out his advise and listening to it. The NYT article intimates that Summers doesn't have a very high opinion of anybody else's opinions. I hope Obama listens to Volker more and Summers less.