I was in the Federal Reserve, Treasury, a conservative guy who's always against inflation. The general tenor of the times was inflation was the least of evils, if it's an evil at all. What changed drastically in the 1980s and running through today is the presumption that inflation is bad [and that] the primary job of a central bank is to prevent inflation. That's taken for granted. The great ideology these days is that the central banks ought to be independent; they ought to have an inflation target, and an inflation target ought to be close to zero. That's a very different environment then the '50s and '60s and into the '70s.
~ Paul Volcker, Commanding Heights interview (PBS), September 26, 2000