The most important appointment for the housing industry under the new Clinton administration will be the Treasury secretary, and the best choice there would be Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. That is the consensus. although not a unanimous one. among trade association leaders, lobbyists and other experts on the housing industry interviewed in the wake of last Tuesday's election.

"A Volcker appointment would be a signal to the business community that President Clinton won't get rolled by a spendthrift Congress," asserted a former Bush administration official. Volcker, who served as Fed chairman during the Carter and first Reagan administrations is credited--or blamed--for restrictive monetary policies that broke the back of inflation but led to the 1981-1982 recession.

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