The media, politicians, and even many businessmen have blamed today’s financial meltdown on capitalism. But in this talk, John Allison—the longest-tenured CEO of a top-25 financial services company’argues that this crisis is a legacy of the government’s anti-capitalist policies.
Mr. Allison presents his unique perspective of the financial services industry to support his argument that massive government intervention into the U.S. economy—from the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 to a reckless crusade to encourage home-ownership—laid the groundwork for an unsustainable real estate boom. He offers his views on what contributed to the current financial crisis and how the government’s response to the inevitable bust—a frenzied series of bailouts, nationalizations, and “stimulus” efforts—is only making things worse.
Finally, Mr. Allison discusses some of his proposed immediate and long-term solutions for moving us towards a stronger economy. He concludes that capitalism, far from being the cause of today’s crisis, is its only cure.
John Allison is chairman of the board of BB&T Corporation. He began his service with BB&T in 1971, became president in 1987 and was elected chairman and CEO in 1989 (serving as CEO until the end of 2008). During Mr. Allison’s tenure, BB&T has grown from $4.5 billion to $137 billion in assets.