Sheila Bair "I would be damned if I would let them see me shaking" - Bull By The Horns


Sheila Bair “I would be damned if I would let them see me shaking” – Bull by the Horns

Sheila Bair “I would be damned if I would let them see me shaking” – Bull by the Horns

Excerpted from Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street From Wall Street and Wall Street From Itself, by Sheila Bair. To be published September 25, 2012, by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


I took a deep breath and walked into the large conference room at the Treasury Department. I was apprehensive and exhausted, having spent the entire weekend in marathon meetings with Treasury and the Fed. I felt myself start to tremble, and I hugged my thick briefing binder tightly to my chest in an effort to camouflage my nervousness. Nine men stood milling around in the room, peremptorily summoned there by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Collectively, they headed financial institutions representing about $9 trillion in assets, or 70% of the U.S. financial system. I would be damned if I would let them see me shaking. I nodded briefly in their direction and started to make my way to the opposite side of the large polished-mahogany table, where I and the rest of the government’s representatives would take our seats, facing off against the nine financial executives once the meeting began. My effort to slide around the group and escape the need for hand shaking and chitchat was foiled as Wells Fargo (WFC) chairman Richard Kovacevich quickly moved toward me. He was eager to give me an update on his bank’s acquisition of Wachovia, which, as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), I had helped facilitate. He said it was going well. I told him I was glad. Kovacevich could be rude and abrupt, but he and his bank were very good at managing their business and executing on deals. I had no doubt that their acquisition of Wachovia would be completed smoothly and without disruption in banking services to Wachovia’s customers, including the millions of depositors the FDIC insured.


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One Response to “Sheila Bair “I would be damned if I would let them see me shaking” – Bull by the Horns”

  1. Sarah says:

    Did Richard Kovacevich mention drug money laundering or how the saps in steerage would eventually need to be removed from their houses? These tales of the elite are entertaining but we don’t see the status quo even slightly threatened, then, now or ever.
    I see a regulator right in there with them, regrettably saving TBTF, while most everyone else in the country gets the shorter, poorer, end of the stick. Who can forget Sheila, having the money and the means to purchase her Chevy Chase castle with BOA, while BOA is rolling around the country hammering “the undeserving” people to the street. A careerist will never rock the boat, no matter if millions are sucked into Bankster attrition, it simply doesn’t matter.


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