Volcker, an adviser to President Obama, was commenting ahead of a meeting of Fed policymakers. The Fed is widely expected to purchase at least $500 billion of long-term securities in a bid to boost economic growth and lower unemployment.
As Fed chairman between 1979 and 1987, Volcker tamed inflation by raising interest rates to as high as 20%.
Volcker added that the possibility of future inflation doesn't mean that quantitative easing is alarming. He said the U.S. unemployment rate will remain high, and he acknowledged that the country's economic problems can't all be fixed in the near term.