Sheila Bair on Keeping Banks Honest
Bill talks with financial expert Sheila Bair about the lawlessness of our banking system and the prognosis for meaningful reform. Bair was appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush to chair the FDIC. During the 2008 meltdown, she argued that in some cases banks were NOT too big to fail — that instead of bailouts, they should be sold off to healthier competitors. Now a senior adviser to the Pew Charitable Trusts, Bair has organized a private group of financial experts including former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, former Senators Bill Bradley and Alan Simpson, and John Reed, once the chairman of Citicorp, to explore ways to prevent the banking industry from scuttling reforms created by the Dodd-Frank Act.
“I worry that the public is getting cynical,” Bair tells Moyers. “One of the reasons I started the Systemic Risk Council is I feel the special interest lobbying is, in a calculated way, trying to slow down reform, complicate reform, water reform down. And the public loses interest — they become cynical about if the regulators in Washington can fix any of this, and they don’t exert counter political pressure to get meaningful reforms in place.”