William Isaac was just 34 when he joined the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1978.
The country was on the precipice of a banking crisis that would stretch throughout the next decade.
Isaac — a Lido Key resident who remains the youngest FDIC board member in U.S. history — would end up serving five years as chairman of the agency, a job that put him in contact with George H.W. Bush back when Bush was vice president.
A wave of bank failures in the 1980s kept Isaac extremely busy. The financial turmoil led to calls for reform.
In the early 1980s Isaac participated in a federal task force on reforming the nation’s financial regulators. It was led by Bush.
Isaac met with Bush privately and in group settings as the task force worked on a plan. The problem, Isaac said, is that the financial regulatory system had evolved piecemeal over 100 years and lacked proper coordination, which resulted in failures to identify problems.