William Seidman, former Chairman of the FDIC and first chairman of the Resolution Trust Corp, has passed away at age 88.
My enduring memory of him was during the crisis last year when he was on CNBC along with Larry Kudlow. Kudlow suddenly floated, for more or less the first time to the public, the idea of the Federal Government bailing out Big Finance with TARP.
Seidman, obviously not in on the plan, exploded with anger. The idea that big companies, with shareholders and bondholders, would not suffer the first losses, seemed alien to him. In his capacity as chair of RTC, after all, he was dealing with the assets of companies that had been allowed to fail. The idea that he and other taxpayers would subsidize the stakeholders in large financial companies drove him crazy. I hope it did not contribute to his death.
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