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Interview with Peter J. Wallison

Peter J. Wallison

Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies 
American Enterprise Institute 
Former General Counsel, United States Treasury Department (1981-1985); Member, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (2009) 


Peter J. Wallison holds the Arthur F. Burns Chair in Financial Policy Studies and is codirector of AEI's program on financial policy studies. Prior to joining AEI, he practiced banking, corporate, and financial law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, DC, and New York. Mr. Wallison has held a number of government positions. From June 1981 to January 1985, he was general counsel of the US Treasury Department, where he played a significant role in the development of the Reagan administration's proposals for deregulation in the financial services industry. During 1986 and 1987, Mr. Wallison was White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan, and between 1972 and 1976, he served first as special assistant to New York governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and, subsequently, as counsel to Mr. Rockefeller as vice president of the United States.

Mr. Wallison is admitted to practice before the courts of the District of Columbia, and he is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1963 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1966. Mr. Wallison is the author of Ronald Reagan: The Power of Conviction and the Success of His Presidency , published in December 2002 by Westview Press. On financial or regulatory matters, he is the author of Back from the Brink , a proposal for a private deposit insurance system, and coauthor of Nationalizing Mortgage Risk: The Growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ; The GAAP Gap: Corporate Disclosure in the Internet Age ; and Competitive Equity: A Better Way to Organize Mutual Funds , all of which were published by the AEI Press. He is also the editor of Optional Federal Chartering and Regulation of Insurance Companies and Serving Two Masters, Yet Out of Control: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , also published by the AEI Press. On campaign finance, he is the author (with Joel Gora) of Better Parties, Better Government (AEI Press, 2009).

Mr. Wallison is a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of the Washington Post , Wall Street Journal , and Financial Times . He has also been a speaker at many conferences on financial services, accounting, and corporate governance, and he is a member of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations, the SEC Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting (2008), and the congressionally authorized Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He is also cochair of the Financial Reform Task Force. In May 2011, Mr. Wallison received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Colorado.