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Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair to Discuss Core Issues Behind Economy's Meltdown, Sept. 19

Merrick School of Business Speaker Series Hosts Key Figure in Government's Efforts to Rein In Big Banks

August 12, 2013
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Sheila Bair, former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and a noted figure in the federal government's efforts to rescue several major banks during the 2008 economic crisis, will discuss her ongoing analysis and critique of the nation's fiscal woes as the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business Speaker Series continues on Thursday, Sept. 19. Bair, author of the book Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself, will speak in the Wright Theater in UB's Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m. Attendance details are listed below.

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—an independent agency created by the Congress in 1933 to "maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system by insuring deposits, examining and supervising financial institutions for safety and soundness and consumer protection, and managing receiverships"—for a five-year term, from 2006-11.

Reviews of Bull by the Horns are enthusiastic:

  • "A crisp, telling and often funny narrative of the 2008 meltdown," says Forbes.
  • "A useful, corrective addition to the already extensive literature on the crisis," reports Foreign Affairs.
  • "Bull by the Horns is the story of financial calamity seen from the perspective of this public servant, rendered from detailed notes. We learn with whom she met, what was said, what decisions taken, and how things turned out… This is a book for aficionados of infuriating detail. Yet beneath the froth of facts courses an epic struggle. It pits Sheila Bair and the civil servants of the FDIC on one side and [then-president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Timothy Geithner] on the other," says economist James Galbraith.

Prior to her appointment as FDIC chair, Bair was the Dean's Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She also 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 at the FDIC. 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. A year later, she was named one of Time's "Time 100" most influential people; awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award. 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.

Tickets for the general public to attend Bair's talk are $15 each. Current UB students, as well as faculty and staff, may receive a complimentary ticket upon registration to the event.

Registration and other information about Bair's appearance at UB is available here.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.