This event will be a discussion between Chairman Bair and Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor in the Department of Economics at Princeton University and formerly a member of President Clinton’s original Council of Economic Advisers and vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Bair, who started a five-year term as FDIC chair in 2006, has played a pivotal role in the banking crisis that began to unfold in 2008. In 2007 she warned against the danger of subprime loans and advocated modification of them to prevent a foreclosure crisis. During the start of the crisis she pressed for a provision in the Bush administration’s rescue bill that raised the cap on FDIC-insured deposits. She also supported the creation of a consumer financial protection agency, while opposing the creation of a single regulatory agency for all banks on the grounds that it would hurt smaller, state-chartered banks and lead to more consolidation in the banking industry. Recently Bair has spoken publicly about the long-term financial stability of the country. In a recent op-ed piece for the Washington Post, Bair warned against excessive government borrowing and the spiraling federal deficit. She has urged Congress to cut spending and introduce gradual tax increases to cover expected shortfalls.
Bair, a graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law, was Dean’s Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst before her appointment to the FDIC chairmanship. She has also held positions in the U.S. Department of Treasury, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. A Republican, she served as counsel to Kansas Republican Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole from 1981 to 1988.