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Photo of W. Lee Hoskins

W. Lee Hoskins

  • President, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, 1987–1991

W. Lee Hoskins, the eighth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, served from October 8, 1987 to November 15, 1991.

Hoskins received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. He was a first lieutenant in the US Army Intelligence Corps from 1964 to 1966.1

In 1969 he became an economist took a break from the Federal Reserve System, working as chief economist and senior vice president for economics and corporate affairs of PNC Financial Corp. in Pittsburgh.

Hoskins re-joined the Federal Reserve System in 1987, and assumed the presidency of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.3 As president of the Cleveland Fed, Hoskins was well-known for his outspoken views on many subjects, including price stability, inflation, and deposit-insurance reform.4 At the time, he was one of the most vocal and effective advocates of zero inflation among the Reserve Bank presidents.

Hoskins also advocated for efficient management of the Federal Reserve System to remain a competitive player in the marketplace where it provides services to banks.5 In addition, he emphasized the benefits of improved communications from the Federal Reserve:

I believe we get better policy from open and frank discussions. We have very formal mechanisms for dissenting with respect to monetary policy. The framers of the Federal Reserve Act and those who amended it clearly believed that different views ought to be made public. In fact, that's what we do in the monetary policy process. On internal matters relating to the Fed, we ought to have an open forum to present our ideas, but then we should reach a point when we all get in the boat and row in the same direction.2

Hoskins resigned as president of the Cleveland Fed in 1991 to return to the private sector as president and chief executive of Huntington National Bank in Columbus.6


Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as of November 2013 and updated by Ella Needler and Genevieve Podleski as of December 2022. See disclaimer and update policy.