E. Gerald Corrigan served the Federal Reserve System for nearly twenty-five years, including time at the Board of Governors and tenures as president for the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and New York.
Corrigan was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Fairfield University in 1963. He attended Fordham University where he received his master's in economics in 1965 and his doctorate in economics in 1971.
Like most presidents, Corrigan had a significant amount of experience within the Federal Reserve System before becoming president. He began his career in 1968, when he joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as an economist in the Domestic Research Division. He continued his career at the New York Fed, working in various official positions, until 1979 when he took a leave of absence to serve as special assistant to then-Chairman Paul Volcker at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC. While there, he was named chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision by the governors of the central banks of the Group of Ten countries.
While working at the Board of Governors, Corrigan was appointed president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Corrigan took office on August 1, 1980, as the tenth president. During his four-year tenure as president, a major change in the nation’s banking system occurred with the passage in 1980 of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act. To comply with this act, the Federal Reserve had to price its financial services, establish reserve requirements for all eligible financial institutions and offer financial services to all depository institutions. Corrigan wrote extensively about what this meant to financial institutions and to the Federal Reserve System.
Corrigan returned to the New York Fed on January 1, 1985, to serve as president at the age of forty-three. He led the New York Fed through the dark days of October 1987 when the financial markets experienced record-breaking declines. He was also instrumental in steering the Reserve Bank through what came to be known as the Drexel Burnham Lambert scandal in 1989.
Corrigan had a specific vision for the New York Fed, saying that the Reserve Bank was not just about "what we are, but [about] what we can be." 1 Though he agreed that the New York Fed is "perhaps a bit mysterious and certainly is imposing … there cannot be, either to us [the Federal Reserve System] or to bankers, an imaginary fence around our Florentine structure on Liberty Street." 2
Corrigan stepped down as president of the New York Fed on July 19, 1993. That same year, President Bill Clinton appointed him to head the newly established Russian-American Enterprise Fund. He currently serves as a partner and managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Company.
Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. See disclaimer.