Jeffrey M. Lacker

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Jeffrey M. Lacker
Richmond lacker.jpg
President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
In office
August 1, 2004 – April 4, 2017
Preceded byJ. Alfred Broaddus
Succeeded byThomas L. Barkin
Personal details
Born (1955-09-27) September 27, 1955 (age 63)
Lexington, Kentucky

Jeffrey M. Lacker (born September 27, 1955) is an American economist and was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond until April 4, 2017. He is now a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business in Richmond, Virginia.[1]

Early years[edit]

Lacker was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey.[2] He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Franklin and Marshall College in 1977. Following graduation, he joined Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates in Philadelphia. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1984. He was an assistant professor of economics at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University from 1984 to 1989.

Career at Federal Reserve[edit]

Lacker (right) with Richmond Fed Presidents J. Alfred Broaddus (left) and Robert P. Black (center)

Lacker joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in 1989 as an economist in the banking area of the Research Department. He was named research officer in 1994, vice president in 1996, and senior vice president and director of the Research Department in May 1999.[3]

Lacker took office on August 1, 2004, as the seventh chief executive of the Fifth District Federal Reserve Bank at Richmond. He served the remainder of a term that began on March 1, 2001. He served as a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing his district's perspective to policy discussions in Washington.

Lacker's vote was the solitary dissent in the August, September, October, and December 2006 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings.[4] The FOMC decided to keep interest rates steady at 5.25 percent after a series of seventeen consecutive increases of twenty-five basis points each, while Lacker voted for additional tightening. At the January 2009 meeting, "Mr. Lacker dissented because he preferred to expand the monetary base by purchasing U.S. Treasury securities rather than through targeted credit programs", according to the FOMC minutes.

In addition Lacker voted against the action at April 2012 meeting: "... who does not anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate through late 2014", according to FOMC press release.[5] He cast the sole vote against quantitative easing by the purchase of mortgage-backed securities and the issuance of forward guidance at the September 2012 FOMC meeting.[6]

When the Fed met in September 2015, Lacker issued the only vote in favor of increasing interest rates. His was the first such dissenting vote from the committee all year.[7][8] He was termed "a maverick" in a February 2017 Richmond Times-Dispatch cover story in the RTD Metro Business section.[9] Previously in 2017, the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced that Lacker would retire on October 1, 2017.[10]

On April 4, 2017, Lacker abruptly resigned his post, admitting that he spoke to a Medley Global Advisors financial analyst about confidential Fed deliberations in 2012, and also "failed to disclose the details of the conversation even when he was questioned directly in an internal investigation."[11] The Fed, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and U.S. Attorney's Office all investigated the leak, but no charges were brought against any person. Lacker's attorney said that Lacker had cooperated with the Justice Department and that he was "informed that no charges will be brought and that the investigation as to him is complete."[11]

On August 14, 2018, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business in Richmond, Virginia announced that Lacker had been appointed Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics.

Other activities[edit]

Lacker is the author of numerous articles in professional journals on monetary, financial, and payment economics, and has presented his work at several universities and central banks. He taught at The College of William and Mary in 1992 and 1993, and in 1997 he was a visiting scholar at the Swiss National Bank.[12]

Lacker is a member of the Advisory Board of Side by Side, and is a director of the Council for Economic Education and the World Affairs Council of Greater Richmond. He serves on the University of Richmond board of trustees.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Jeffrey Lacker was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of William Ralph Lacker and Marion Pharis Spears ("Mern") Lacker.[15][16] He and his wife, Lisa Halberstadt, daughter of Jack Halberstadt and Elaine Greenberg Halberstadt,[17] have two sons, Benjamin and Daniel.[18]


  1. ^ "Former Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker to join VCU School of Business". Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  2. ^ Harper, Christine. "A Conversation with Jeffrey M. Lacker", Council on Foreign Relations, May 9, 2013. Accessed April 17, 2014. "It's delightful to be back in New York. I grew up just over the river, Ridgewood, New Jersey, and -- son's here, had dinner with my son last night and was treated to just an exceptional flight in over Lower Manhattan last night."
  3. ^ "President Jeffrey Lacker Bio - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond". 2004-08-01. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  4. ^ FOMC: Transcripts and Other Historical Materials, 2006. Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
  5. ^ "FRB: Press Release-Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement-April 25, 2012". 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  6. ^ All Things Considered (2012-09-15). "Fed's Latest Stimulus Lacked Unanimous Support". NPR. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  7. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (17 September 2015). "Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Blackwell, John Reid (February 27, 2017). "Fed's Lacker 'a maverick':Lacker outspoken at Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond--While retiring president often questioned policies, he defended institution itself" (RTD Metro Business). Richmond Times-Dispatch. pp. E1, E12–E14.
  10. ^ Blackwell, John Reid (January 11, 2017). "Richmond Fed chief to retire in October: Advocate of workforce training and early childhood development" (RTD Business). Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Times-Dispatch. pp. D1, D4. He joined joined the Richmond Fed in 1989 and served in various positions before his appointment as president in August 2004, succeeding J. Alfred Broaddus, Jr. when he retired as president. "When Jeff leaves the bank in October, he will have completed over 13 years of exceptional service to the Richmond Fed, the Federal Reserve System and the country," Broaddus said.
  11. ^ a b Binyamin Appelbaum, Richmond Fed President Resigns, Admitting He Violated Confidentiality, New York Times (April 4, 2017).
  12. ^ "President Jeffrey Lacker Bio - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond". Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  13. ^ Blackwell, John Reid (January 11, 2017). "Richmond Fed chief to retire in October". Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. D4.
  14. ^ "Jeffrey M. Lacker To Retire In October As President Of The Federal Reserve Bank Of Richmond - Bing News". Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  15. ^ "LACKER, WILLIAM RALPH". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Marion Pharis Spears". Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "HALBERSTADT, JACK". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  18. ^ "The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond: Who we are: President Jeff Lacker". Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012.

External links[edit]