- President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1968–1980
- Born: October 6, 1916
- Died: July 17, 1999
M. Monroe Kimbrel served as the tenth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from February 1, 1968, to March 31, 1980.
Kimbrel was born in Colquitt, in rural southwest Georgia, in 1916. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Georgia in 1936. In college, he was a student of Malcolm Bryan, a future Atlanta Fed president. Kimbrel was also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Kimbrel's career began with jobs in the lumber business in Thomson, Georgia and as a credit examiner with the Farm Credit Administration in Columbia, South Carolina. In 1946, he began a career in banking with First National Bank of Thomson, where he later became president and chairman. He became the youngest person to serve as president of the American Bankers Association in 1962.1 Kimbrel was also chairman of the Bank of Fort Valley, Georgia.
Kimbrel's service to the Federal Reserve System began as a member of the board of directors of the Atlanta Fed from 1960 to 1965.2 Senator Richard Russell of Georgia approached him about becoming U.S. comptroller of the currency, but Kimbrel declined that role to take a position at the Atlanta Fed.3 On June 1, 1965, he became a senior vice president of the Bank and, five months later, was promoted to first vice president.
Kimbrel took office as president of the Atlanta Fed in 1968. His 1969 article "Our Greatest Economic Problem" describes the public cost of inflation, one of the defining issues of his tenure.
Over the course of Kimbrel’s 12-year presidency, the Atlanta Fed made major improvements in its operating efficiency, at a time when southeastern banking activity grew significantly.3 The growth of the "Sun Belt" economy of the southeast was accompanied by expansion of the region’s banks. Banking assets in the Atlanta Fed district more than doubled during Kimbrel’s presidency, and the number of international banking offices grew from one to over 25.4 To accommodate the need for Federal Reserve services, the Atlanta Fed created a check collection and coin and currency center in Miami. In 1975, the Miami operation became the Atlanta Fed’s fifth branch.
Kimbrel took early retirement from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in 1980 to become vice chairman of First Railroad and Banking Co. of Georgia.5 He died in 1999.
- 1 Associated Press. "A.B.A. Chief, Country Banker, Is Youngest to Hold the Office." New York Times, September 26, 1962.
- 2 Franklin Miller Garrett. "A History of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Sixth District." Unpublished manuscript, December 31, 1968:1287.
- 3 Richard H. Gamble. "The Bank in the 1960s." A History of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1914-1989." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1989.
- 4 "Monroe Kimbrel to Retire as Atlanta Fed President," American Banker, January 24, 1980.
- 5 Richard H. Gamble. "The 1980s: New Challenges." A History of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1914-1989." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1989.