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Why 4 Fed Chairs See No Immediate Recession Risk

Paul Volcker, the Federal Reserve chairman for much of the 1980s, tamed the runaway inflation of the previous decade in part by making credit very, very expensive.

His successor, Alan Greenspan, soothed U.S. markets after the "Black Monday" crash of 1987 wiped out a fifth of their value, building a reputation as an economic soothsayer before handing over the office to Ben Bernanke in 2006.

Bernanke, a student of the Great Depression, helped lead the U.S. through the 2008 financial crisis -- an event prompted by widespread defaults in a mortgage market valued at $15 trillion -- in part by cutting interest rates to almost zero. He then passed the baton to Janet Yellen, the current chair, who presided over the first interest-rate increase since the crisis last December.

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Each of them in their own way made a significant mark on U.S...


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