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News > Economy
Who's who on the FOMC
September 29, 1998: 7:12 a.m. ET

The people making the decisions about U.S. interest rates
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - As stock market volatility and speculation over a possible U.S. interest rate cut dominate the news, you may be wondering who else other than U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan decides whether rates rise or fall.
     The answer is members of the Federal Open Market Committee. The committee, which sets short-term monetary policy for the Fed, currently is made up of six Federal Reserve governors, the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and four other presidents of Federal Reserve Banks from across the country.
     Following are highlights of their careers.
     Alan Greenspan, chairman of the FOMC, is currently serving his third four-year term as chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System. He has been designated chairman by Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton.
     Before joining the Fed in 1987, Greenspan was chairman and president of Townsend-Greenspan & Co. Inc., an economic consulting firm in New York City, for a period of 30 years between 1954 and 1987. From 1974 to 1977, he served as chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers under President Ford, and from 1981 to 1983 as chairman for the National Commission on Social Security Reform. Greenspan is famous for his cautious public statements about monetary policy that often leave outsiders wondering exactly what he means. He does not give interviews to the media.
     William J. McDonough, vice chairman of the FOMC, has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 1993, a year after first joining the bank and serving as its executive vice president as well as manager of open market operations for the FOMC.
     Prior to his work at the Fed, McDonough served as vice chairman of the board of First Chicago Corp., where he worked for 22 years in various executive positions including CFO, and as a director of its bank holding company from 1986 until 1989.
     Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., a Federal Reserve governor since 1997, was a partner at the international management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Inc. There he managed studies for financial institutions for 13 years and served as director of the firm's research and information systems, managing its investments in knowledge management technologies. Prior to that, he worked as a lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell where his casework included syndicated loans, public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.
     Before joining the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 1997, Edward M. Gramlich served for three years as the dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where he had been a professor of economics and public policy since 1976. During his academic tenure, Gramlich acquired extensive governmental experience through a variety of appointments, including chair of the Quadrennial Advisory Council on Social Security, acting director of the Congressional Budget Office and director of policy research at the Office of Economic Opportunity.
     Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas M. Hoenig took office in 1991, 18 years after first joining the bank as an economist in banking supervision. In the intervening years, he was promoted to vice president, then senior vice president. For several years, he also taught economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
     Jerry L. Jordan has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland since 1992. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and chief economist of First Interstate Bancorp in Los Angeles. From 1980 to 1985, he served as dean and professor at the R.O. Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. During that time, Jordan also served on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers and on the U.S. Gold Commission. In the 1960s and 70s, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, eventually becoming its senior vice president, and as an economic consultant to the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt.
     Edward W. Kelley, Jr., has served as a Federal Reserve governor since 1987. From 1959 to 1981 he served as president and CEO of Kelley Industries Inc., a Houston-based holding company with subsidiaries in manufacturing, distribution and business services. A founding director of three banks in the Houston area, Kelley also became board chairman of Investment Advisors Incorporated in the 1980s.
     Widely recognized as one of the nation's leading economic forecasters, Laurence H. Meyer joined the Federal Reserve board in 1996, having once served as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In 1982 he co-founded Laurence H. Meyer and Associates, a St. Louis-based economic consulting firm, where he served as president until being appointed to the Fed. He also taught economics for 27 years at Washington University, where for a time he chaired the economics department.
     Cathy E. Minehan has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston since 1994. Having spent her entire career with the Federal Reserve System, beginning in 1968, Minehan has held a variety of executive positions with the Fed. Among them, she has served as senior vice president with responsibility for the funds, securities and accounts group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and immediately prior to her current post, she was first vice president of the Boston Reserve Bank for three years.
     William Poole is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a post he has held since March of 1998. Like Minehan, Poole began his career with the Federal Reserve System, joining the Federal Reserve Board in 1964 and becoming a senior economist there in 1969. Five years later, he joined the economics department at Brown University, twice serving as chairman and heading up the Center for the Study of Financial Markets and Institutions. Poole has been a visiting scholar and advisor at numerous institutions, including the Cato Institute, the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York and the Congressional Budget Office.
     Alice M. Rivlin has been vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 1996. Before becoming a member of the board, Rivlin had served as director for the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1996 and as its deputy director from 1993 to 1994. A founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, where she worked from 1975 to 1983, Rivlin has also served as a director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution, and as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Back to top

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.