History teaches that when government bureaucracies try to direct economies, stifled creativity, distorted markets and low economic growth are inevitable results. One of the easiest and most insidious ways for bureaucrats to control the U.S. economy is through the banks, directing who gets – and who can’t get – loans and other essential banking services. That’s happening today, and it ought to alarm and frighten all of us.
William M. Isaac is a senior managing director of FTI Consulting and serves as Global Head of FTI’s Financial Institutions practice. The financial institutions group provides regulatory counseling and risk management services, strategy consulting, expert testimony, and corporate governance consulting.
Mr. Isaac founded The Secura Group, a leading financial institutions consulting firm, in 1986. Secura was acquired by FTI in 2011. Prior to forming Secura, Mr. Isaac headed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the banking crisis of the 1980s, serving under Presidents Carter and Reagan from 1978 through 1985. Mr. Isaac also serves as Chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp, one of the nation’s leading banking companies.
Mr. Isaac is involved extensively in thought leadership relating to the financial services industry. He is the author of Senseless Panic: How Washington Failed America with a foreword by legendary former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Senseless Panic provides an inside account of the banking and S&L crises of the 1980s and compares that period to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Mr. Isaac’s articles are published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, American Banker, Forbes, Financial Times, Washington Times, and other leading publications. He also appears regularly on television and radio, testifies before Congress, and is a frequent speaker before audiences throughout the world. See www.williamisaac.com.
Mr. Isaac served as chairman of the FDIC during one of the most tumultuous periods in US banking history. Some 3,000 banks and thrifts failed during the 1980s, including Continental Illinois and nine of the ten largest banks in Texas. Mr. Isaac was appointed to the board of the FDIC by President at the age of 34, making him the youngest FDIC board member and chairman in history. Mr. Isaac also served as chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (1983-85), as a member of the Depository Institutions Deregulation Committee (1981–85), and as a member of the Vice President’s Task Group on Regulation of Financial Services (1984).
Mr. Isaac was formerly a senior partner of Arnold & Porter, which was a founding partner of The Secura Group. Mr. Isaac left the firm in 1993 when Secura purchased Arnold & Porter’s interest in the firm. Before his appointment to the FDIC, Mr. Isaac served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of First Kentucky National Corporation and its subsidiaries, including First National Bank of Louisville and First Kentucky Trust Company.
Mr. Isaac began his career with Foley & Lardner where he practiced general corporate law specializing in banking law (primarily regulatory affairs, including securities matters, acquisitions and branching) and antitrust law.
Mr. Isaac is a former member, board of directors of MPS Group prior to its sale to Adecco; former member of the board of directors of Trans Union Corporation; former member, board of directors of The Associates prior to its sale to CitiGroup; former chairman, board of directors, Goodwill Industries, Sarasota; former member, board of directors of Amex Centurion Bank; former member, board of directors, Community Foundation of Sarasota, Florida; former member, board of directors, Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota, Florida; and former member, board of trustees, Miami University Foundation. Mr. Isaac received a Distinguished Achievement Medal in 1995 from Miami University and a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013 from The Ohio State University.
- LLD (Honorary), Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1984
- JD, summa cum laude, College of Law, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1969
- B.S., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1966
- Chairman, Board of Directors, Fifth Third Bancorp
- Chairman, Isaac Family Property Companies
- Member, Board of Directors of BankCap Investment Fund
- Member, Advisory Board of Lynx Global Real Asset Fund
- Member, Bretton Woods Committee
- Member, Board of Directors of the Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota, Florida
- Member, Board of Directors, The Ohio State University Foundation
- Member of Kentucky, Wisconsin, District of Columbia and American Bar Associations
- Former Member, Board of Directors of MPS Group, Inc prior to sale to Adecco
- Former Member, Board of Directors of Trans Union Corporation
- Former Member, Board of Directors of Amex Bank
- Former Member, Board of Directors of The Associates prior to its sale to CitiGroup
- Member, Board of Trustees, Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota, Florida
- Former Chairman, Board of Directors, Goodwill Industries, Sarasota, Florida
- Former Member, Board of Directors, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Florida
- Former Member, Board of Trustees, Miami University Foundation