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Photo of William  Poole

William Poole

  • President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 1998–2008

William Poole became the eleventh president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on March 23, 1998, and retired March 31, 2008.

Poole was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in 1959 and a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1963 and 1966, respectively. Before joining the St. Louis Fed, Poole was Herbert H. Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University. He served on the Brown faculty from 1974 to 1998 and the faculty of Johns Hopkins University from 1963 to 1969. Between these two university positions, he was senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He was also a member of the Council of Economic Advisers in the first Reagan administration from 1982 to 1985.

Poole has published numerous papers in professional journals and engaged in a wide range of professional activities. He has published two books: Money and the Economy: A Monetarist View in 1978 and Principles of Economics in 1991 (coauthored with J. Vernon Henderson). During his ten years at the St. Louis Fed, he delivered over 150 speeches on a wide variety of economic and finance topics. 

In 1980 and 1981, Poole was a visiting economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia; in 1991, he was the Bank Mees and Hope Visiting Professor of Economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He has served on various advisory boards of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York and the Congressional Budget Office. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, distinguished scholar in residence at the University of Delaware, senior economic adviser to Merk Investments, and a special adviser to Market News International.

Swarthmore honored Poole with a doctor of laws degree in 1989. He was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2005 and presented with the Adam Smith Award by the National Association for Business Economics in 2006. In 2007, the Global Interdependence Center presented him its Frederick Heldring Award.

Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. See disclaimer.