Fair Game | Sheila Bair: Questions From a Bailout Eyewitness

Questions From a Bailout Eyewitness

IT has become almost unpatriotic to question the many and munificent bank rescues of 2008 and beyond. If you have the temerity to do so, you’re likely to hear that the bailouts were the only thing standing between us and financial obliteration. You will also be told that, four years on, many of the bailouts have made money.

It’s hard to argue against this narrative, not knowing what would have happened had cooler heads prevailed. But Sheila C. Bair, former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is well positioned to question the dogma of the bailout brigade. And she does so repeatedly in “Bull by the Horns,” her new book about the crisis. As one of the main participants in the battles surrounding the rescues, and perhaps the coolest head in attendance, Ms. Bair provides some straight talk that represents an important piece of history and a rebuttal to the conventional wisdom.

As described by Ms. Bair, the events of the fall of 2008 showed that many financial regulators were desperate to make anyone but those who created the crisis pay for its devastation.

Rest here…

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