PETER D. STERNLIGHT
When I came to the New York Fed's Research Department in 1950, Alan Holmes had been there for a couple of years. Incredible as it may seem, we were both in the Foreign Research Division--somewhat of a far cry from the open market operations arena where we both ended up. Perhaps even more astonishing, Alan Holmes had started out as a Russian expert--having come to the Bank after a stint at Columbia's Russian Institute. By the time I joined the Bank, though, in the British unit as it happens, Alan had switched over to be the Middle East expert--but really he was becoming an all-around utility infielder, as his talents became better known to the Bank's top management. That brought him in touch with foreign exchange operations, domestic desk operations, and various research positions at increasing levels of responsibility. I, like just about everyone at the Bank, had exceptionally high regard for Alan as the consummate professional.
My own path was a little different. After returning from military service, and notably after the famous Treasury-Federal Reserve Accord of 1951 that opened up scope for more meaningful use of domestic monetary policy, I was able to switch from foreign to domestic research for several years. During part of that time I was on loan to the Open Market Desk, helping to draft reports. That led, in time, to a permanent move to the open market area in 1961, where I have been ever since, except for a couple of years at the Treasury in the mid- 1960s. I also did an earlier stint at Treasury for a few months in 1961, assisting Bob Roosa ( undersecretary for Monetary Affairs). I followed Alan Holmes as manager of the System Account for Domestic Operations in 1979. Actually, it took two people to replace Alan because by that time he had been serving for a few years as manager of both the foreign and domestic operations desks at the New York Fed.