The former FDIC chair joins Bill to talk about American banks’ manipulative practices and seeming immunity from real scrutiny or prosecution.

Sheila Bair, the longtime Republican who served as chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) during the fiscal meltdown five years ago, joins Bill to talk about American banks’ continuing risky and manipulative practices, their seeming immunity from prosecution, and growing anger from Congress and the public.

“I think the system’s a little bit safer, but nothing like the dramatic reforms that we really need to see to tame these large banks, and to give us a stable financial system that supports the real economy, not just trading profits of large financial institutions,” Bair tells Bill.

March 22, 2013

Bair is the author of Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself.

Category: Bailouts, Regulation, Video

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14 Responses to “Sheila Bair Takes on the Banks”

  1. JEHR says:

    How can Bair claim that the system is “a little bit safer” when we know that there is going to be another financial crisis, according to a number of economists. While Bair was running the FDIC, she kept settlements secret to protect the banks. She is part of the problem.

    “But the government cut a deal with the bank’s lawyers to keep it quiet: a “no press release” clause that required the FDIC never to mention the deal “except in response to a specific inquiry.”

    “The FDIC has handled scores of settlements the same way since the mortgage meltdown, a major policy shift from previous crises, when the FDIC trumpeted punitive actions against banks as a deterrent to others.”

  2. Joe_in_Indiana says:

    I originally thought she could be a game changer. But overall, she has been just like all the rest that have promised to “change the system”.

    I am “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of all the talk and not the DO.

    Sorry for the rant, but I am very disappointed in the whole “system”.

    • ancientone says:

      Me too, Joe. The banks own Washington, that’s pretty clear.

    • PamTy says:

      In order for there to be change, ‘we the people’ have to let our congressional ‘representatives’ know what we want them to do, so call or write or email your U.S. Senators and Representatives and let them know they need to back banking reforms and that you do not believe that Dodd Frank did the job. Sheila Bair cannot change the system, but she does try to hard to spread the word that further reform is still necessary.

      I am an American born and raised citizen, and it saddens me greatly that the everyday citizens have failed to stay informed and involved enough to keep the politicians on the right track. They represent us, they are not (in many cases) any smarter than the rest of us. We need to let them know what we want done. Your Senators and Representatives email addresses and phone numbers are only a ‘google’ away. So, tell them, you are mad as hell and they will never get your vote again if they do not vote for serious banking reforms.

  3. She never promised anything — she came into DC as a conservative GOP staffer and left aghast at how DC sold its soul to the highest bidding banker

    • The Window Washer says:

      What happened to the comments disclaimer? I just saw it didn’t make the new design.
      Liking the reply, dare I hope for and edit?


      BR: Oooh, where did that go? Let me look into that.

  4. The Window Washer says:

    Ad hominem comments against Sheila huh. If that all you have to offer don’t comment.
    There weren’t many good players around the table in 07-09. If they would have handed her the reins and got out of the way the world would be a better place today.
    Sheila can communicate balance sheet risk issues to the layperson better than anyone.

  5. lo574 says:

    As much as I hate to admit it (having been in financial sector for 25 years) it’ll never stop as long as they’re guaranteed golden parachutes and are not forced to forfeit of bonuses and stock options. One can always take their toys and move on. Just ask Dick Fuld.

  6. Seaton says:

    Spot-on, BR. I’m not sure it’s possible to clean-up the mess in DC at this point–too much money chasing too few congress-critters & senators…and winning! I just think back to the 1960′s, when it was said, “Don’t send an honest man to D.C., you’ll just ruin him.” Evidently true for women, I think she was just easily “boxed-in/marginalized” way too well. Not sure but ponder Paul Farrell’s latest essay, signs pointing to bigger disaster a-coming.

  7. romerjt says:

    Bair is one of the good-guys in this mess save your slings and arrows for the real culprits – mainly Geithner who was on the side of the banks and sometimes a traitor to Obama. I am not one for conspiracy theories but the power of the banks over the government is so alarming as to be mysterious. Read her book she fought the good fight but powerful forces were allied against her.

  8. joe2012 says:

    Hopefully Sheila’s comments on incoming SEC chair Mary Jo White pan out. Not having to grovel for a job when this assignment is over should give her the opportunity to re-arm the agency to PROSECUTE violations with JAILTERMS. Todays version of a fine , or No-Contest is a JOKE and viewed by the Banks and violators as the cost of doing business.

    BR..blogs like yours and many other High profile news sources will HAVE to support her activities as the PR/Lobbyist machine of Wall Street is unrelenting!


    BR: I don’t have any special insight or opinion of her — she was a good prosecutor, I hope she will be a good SEC chair. . .

  9. Been Around 1963 says:

    I wish someone would ask Bair about her affiliation with the American Enterprise Institute.

    She’s a member of the AEI Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee, which recently trashed Dodd-Frank’s Qualified Mortgage Rule. The author of the anti-QM statement was Peter Wallison.