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Merrick School of Business

Sheila Bair

An Evening with Sheila Bair

Please join the Merrick School of Business as we welcome Shelia Bair to campus to discuss her forthcoming book Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself.

Event Ticket Information

Date: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: UB's Student Center, Wright Theater, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

 General Admission Information

General admission tickets are $15 and are available on e-Tix. Click here to purchase a ticket for this event (Note: e-Tix will charge a processing fee in addition to the ticket price).

Current UB Student, Faculty and Staff Information

UB Student tickets are free to currently enrolled students, faculty and staff.  Registration is now closed.

In her book, the former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chair describes the conflicted world of bank regulation in our democracy. She'll provide the audience another authoritative view of the degree to which fraud was the root problem on Wall Street.

Sheila Bair is widely acknowledged in government circles and the media as one of the first people to identify and accurately assess the subprime mortgage crisis. Appointed by George W. Bush as the chair of the FDIC in 2006, she witnessed the origins of the financial crisis and in 2008 became—along with then-Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, and then-Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy Geithner—one of the key players trying to repair the damage to the economy. Bull by the Horns is her remarkable and refreshingly honest account of that contentious time and the struggle for reforms that followed and continues to this day.

A level-headed, pragmatic figure with a clear focus on serving the public good, Bair often was one of the few women in the room during heated discussions about the economic crisis. Despite her years of experience and her determination to rein in the private banks and Wall Street, she frequently found herself at odds with Geithner. She is withering in her assessment of some of Wall Street's stars, and her narrative of Citibank's attempted takeover of Wachovia serves as a stinging indictment of how regulators and the banks worked against the public interest, at times to serve their own needs.

Bair is steadfast in her belief that the American public needs to fully understand the crisis in order to bring it to a conclusive end. Critical of the bank bailouts and the lax regulation that led to the economic crash, she provides a sober analysis as well as a practical plan for how the country should move forward. She helps clear away the myths and half-truths about how the economic engine was driven into the ditch, and tells how everyday citizens can help get the financial and regulatory systems back on track.

As The New Yorker said, "Bair has consistently stood out for her skepticism of Wall Street and for her eagerness to confront the big banks. A Kansas Republican, she has become an unlikely hero to economic liberals, who see her as the counterweight to the more Wall Street-centric view often ascribed to Timothy Geithner, the Treasury Secretary." (July 6, 2009).

About Sheila Bair

Bair has an extensive background in banking and finance in a career that has taken her from Capitol Hill, to academia, and to the highest levels of government. She served as the 19th chair of the FDIC for a five-year term, from June 2006 through June 2011. Prior to that, Bair was the Dean's Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She served as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (2001-02), Senior Vice President for Government Relations of the New York Stock Exchange (1995-2000), a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (1991-95), and Research Director, Deputy Counsel and Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (1981-88).

Bair received a number of prestigious honors during her tenure as FDIC's leader. In 2008 and 2009, Forbes named her as the second most powerful woman in the world, after Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. In 2008, she topped The Wall Street Journal's annual "50 Women to Watch" list. The following year, she was named one of Time's "Time 100" most influential people, awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award as well as the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award. In December 2011, subsequent to leaving office, Bair was named by The Washington Post and Harvard University as one of seven of America's Top Leaders.

Bair continues her work on financial policy issues as a senior advisor to the Pew Charitable Trusts and as chair of the Systemic Risk Council, a public interest group that monitors progress on the implementation of financial reforms in the U.S. She is a founding board member of the Volcker Alliance, serves on the prestigious International Advisory Council to the China Bank Regulatory Commission and writes a regular column for Fortune on financial policy matters.

A Kansan by birth, Bair received a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas in 1975 and a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1978. She also holds honorary doctorates from Amherst College and Drexel University.