When Chicago's largest bank Continental Illinois went under in 1984, the Federal Reserve rushed in to save the day, issuing Continental $3.6 billion in loans. Volcker was at the Fed's helm.
Testifying before the Senate, he later defended the move, saying bailouts are "the most basic function of the Federal Reserve. It was why it was founded."
Since then, Volcker has advocated against the "Too Big to Fail" monster he helped create.
NEXT: The helicopter speech