Who Is Sheila Bair?

Steve BushStarred Page By Steve Bush, 25th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1yqm5bw3/
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Economics

Sheila Bair was head of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) in the period leading up to the recent banking crisis. She tried to warn everyone about developing bank problems.

Sheila Bair Tried to Warn Us About Banks

When something goes very wrong and somebody accurately told us beforehand what was about to happen, most of us will listen more intently the next time that individual says almost anything. Sheila Bair is the individual we should all be listening to based on her proven ability to see the most recent banking crisis well in advance of its actual occurrence.

As the previous head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Sheila Bair truly qualifies as someone who knows banking and bankers. Fortunately she has written a book ("Bull by the Horns") which makes it much easier to find out what she has been saying lately.

Do you want to know what Sheila Bair is saying about banks and the economy?

Sheila Bair's 20-20 Banking Vision: Was She the First to Know?

Sheila Bair might not have been the first to know about the banking problems that were caused by sub-prime mortgage lending, but she is arguably one of the first people to accurately identify the crisis that subprime mortgages would eventually cause. She was often the only woman in the room during many of the discussions that took place throughout the banking crisis.

In my opinion the men ignored her because they could not face the fact that a woman might know more than they did about banking. Banking is still dominated by men, but we need to be listening to women like Sheila Bair if we genuinely want to repair the banking system so that it again is serving the interests of society and not just working for the banking men in the room.

Sheila Bair Says

Here are three observations by Sheila Bair that provide some insight into her understanding of banks and bankers:

• ”The banks should have been let go."
• "How many times can you go into a wall at 90 miles per hour?”
• "They would bring me in after they'd made their decision on what needed to be done, and without giving me any information they would say, 'You have to do this or the system will go down.' No analysis, no meaningful discussion."

What People Have to Say About Sheila Bair

It is equally important to understand what astute observers have said about Sheila Bair:

• "Bair is everything you'd want in a public servant: thoughtful, practical, independent-minded - a straight shooter with political savvy who can manage the details of policy without losing sight of the big picture." (Steven Pearlstein)
• "Ms. Bair warned about the housing crisis before many of her colleagues." (The Wall Street Journal, 2009)
• "During the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, Sheila Bair has been the little guy's protector in chief." (Time magazine, 2009)

The following video shows an enlightening conversation between Sheila Bair and Bill Moyers:

What Went Wrong with the Banks and What Needs to Be Done?

According to Sheila Bair, greed and the lack of accountability caused the recent banking crisis.

 She is not optimistic about the current state of banks.

Here are four revealing chapter titles from her book:

• The Audacity of That Woman
• Bailing Out the Boneheads
• The Skunk at the Garden Party
• Turning the Titanic

Sheila Bair's recommendation is to downsize the biggest banks because they are too big to manage effectively. In her words, the banks are not too big to fail but they are too big to manage.

One More Thing About Sheila Bair

Sheila Bair served as chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for five years from 2006 to 2011. This period overlapped the terms of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and placed her square in the middle of the biggest banking crisis since the Great Depression. She was ranked by Forbes magazine as the second most powerful woman in the world during 2008 and 2009 (number one was Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor). "Bull by the Horns" was published September 25, 2012.


Banking Crisis, Bull By The Horns, Fdic, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila Bair, Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Jail

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Bush
Steve Bush is a business finance consultant and writer. He served in the military as an officer in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. Bush obtained an MBA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar cnwriter..carolina
25th Aug 2014 (#)

thank you Steve for this important information...

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?