Bush School Welcomes Former SEC Official to Discuss Financial Crises

February 23, 2016

the Honorable Richard C. Breeden

The Honorable Richard C. Breeden

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, will host a discussion titled, “Restoring Trust: Financial Crises and Regulatory Responses in the Bush Era and Beyond.” The event will feature the Honorable Richard C. Breeden, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and former assistant to the president for issues analysis, and will include a conversation with Donald E. Powell, former chairman of the FDIC. The evening’s discussion is a part of the Mosbacher Institute’s Conversations in Public Policy series and will include a reception at 5:00 p.m. followed by the lecture at 5:30 p.m., both at the George Bush Presidential Library.

During the event, Chairman Breeden will share his experience working with President George H. W. Bush in handling a wide variety of complex issues involving US financial and capital markets. As assistant to the president in 1989, Chairman Breeden led White House efforts to confront and ultimately defuse the S&L Crisis. The evening’s discussion will look at how those regulatory choices remain highly relevant to US capital markets today.

Following President Bush’s inauguration, Breeden became assistant to the president for issues analysis, focusing on long-run domestic and economic policy issues.  In particular, Breeden led the White House effort to end the financial crisis in the US Savings and Loan industry, which was imperiling over $1 trillion in deposits of more than 110 million Americans.  Only three weeks into his term in office, President Bush announced an aggressive program using $500 billion in bonds to finance the closing of hundreds of insolvent firms while protecting their depositors and making a wide variety of corrective regulatory changes.  The president’s program also created the Resolution Trust Corporation, which helped sell the assets of failed firms back into private ownership to repay the program’s costs.  The president’s leadership won strong bipartisan support, and the program swiftly ended decades of instability. 

In late 1989, President Bush nominated Breeden to lead the SEC.  Under Chairman Breeden’s leadership, the SEC overhauled its rules so that large and small companies could raise capital with fewer barriers and lower expense.  It also worked to promote investor interests through many initiatives, such as better accounting and disclosure standards, access to new types of mutual funds and investment products, and improved proxy rules.  While he reinvigorated the SEC’s efforts to fight fraud through greater resources and stiffer penalties, Chairman Breeden also supported many initiatives to lower barriers to innovation and competition and to use market mechanisms in place of regulation wherever possible.

This event is offered free of charge, but reservations are strongly recommended by Wednesday, March 2, 2016. For more information and to register, go to

Please call 979.845.1927 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions.

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