The former FDIC chief went up against Wall Street in 2006. To her, the nation’s $1.4 trillion student debt is the disaster around the corner.
Sheila Bair approached the podium in the downtown Renaissance Washington hotel ballroom to address the American Bankers Association for the final time as one of their most powerful regulators.
Arms crossed, brow slightly creased, Bair took the calm tone of voice of a frustrated teacher who had grown sick of her students’ excuses.
During her five-year tenure chairing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Bair had gone up again and again against bankers and lobbyists who resisted her attempts at imposing regulation. Even now in March 2011, with the economy still reeling from a crisis caused by bad loans, none of them wanted to listen.