Would everyone be seated please? I would like to report that by unanimous vote the Board of Governors accepted the requests of the twelve Reserve Banks for an increase of ¼ percentage point in the discount rate—much to everybody’s surprise!
As we close today, I would like to take a moment to recognize and to thank the gentleman sitting on my right because this is Normand Bernard’s final meeting as Deputy Secretary of the Committee. He has announced his intention to retire from the Federal Reserve effective at the beginning of November. It is the end of an era. Norm has worked at the Federal Reserve for more than forty-two years. As far as we can tell, today’s meeting is the 345th that Norm has attended in serving this Committee, and I want to emphasize the word “serve.” His dedication, his integrity, and his willingness to do whatever needed to be done have meant that Committee members could always count on him. His institutional memory, as you well know, is prodigious, as of course are his files! [Laughter]
From a personal perspective, he and his team have been a pleasure to work with throughout our meetings and in the preparation of the minutes and transcripts. And Norm always has an amusing story to contribute. I have here in my hand a piece of paper, which is a bit yellowed, signed in 1962 by William McChesney Martin, granting Norm access to the minutes and other confidential material of the Federal Open Market Committee. As the fourth Chairman of the Federal Reserve since then, I regret that I am the one to witness the end of Norm’s extraordinary forty-two years.
Today, Norm, we hope you will consent to join us in having a group picture taken because we would like to have it inscribed and presented to you as a token of our sincere appreciation. Moreover, I understand that there is a cake in the next room prepared for us as part of the celebration. It has the number “345” outlined on its frosting. That, I can assure you, is not the calorie count. [Laughter] It’s commemorating the record number of FOMC meetings that you have attended. I know I speak for the entire Committee when I express our deep gratitude for your hard work, your good humor, and your steadfast support over the years. We wish you the very best in the future.