Ex-Fed chair, Treasury Secretary Miller dies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – G. William Miller, who served as
both chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and secretary of the
U.S. Treasury during the inflation-plagued Carter
administration, has died.
Miller, 81, whose tenure at the Fed was one of the shortest
on record, died Friday at his home in Washington. Michael
Cardozo, a managing director at the firm, said Miller had
suffered from a degenerative lung ailment called idiopathic
pulmonary fibrosis and was on oxygen at the time of his death.
A native of Oklahoma, Miller achieved a record as a
successful businessman early in his career after guiding a
Rhode Island-based textiles firm, Textron Inc., into a
conglomerate that produced a range of goods including military
He was named chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1978,
serving until 1979. Short as it was, Miller’s service at the
U.S. central bank came at a crucial period when inflation was
soaring, oil prices were rising and unemployment was high,
giving rise to the term “stagflation.”
There was considerable criticism of Miller from Wall
Street, which felt he was overly cautious in tackling the
problems. President Jimmy Carter eventually asked him to leave
the Fed and move to the secretary’s job at the Treasury
Department. Miller was replaced at the Fed by Paul Volcker, who
wrung out inflation by pushing interest rates to lofty levels.
Miller ran the Treasury from 1979 to 1981 and during that
time supervised the Chrysler Corp. Loan Guarantee Board, which
handled the $1.5 billion loan guarantee that kept the automaker
going and saved jobs.
After leaving government service, Miller founded G. William
Miller & Co., a Washington-based private investment company.
George William Miller was born on March 9, 1925, in
Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and spent much of his childhood in Borger,
Texas. He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1945
and was a 1952 graduate of the University of California Law
School at Berkeley.
He is survived by his wife, Ariadna, along with three
sisters and two brothers.