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Lessons Learned

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Lessons Learned Oral History Project

Learn more about the project.

Lessons Learned Participants

Learn more about the participants we've interviewed thus far.

The Interview Process

Learn more about what happens when you accept and invitation to participate.

Use of Lessons Learned Materials

Review our usage policies for our lessons learned materials.

YPFS Interviewers

Meet the interviewers behind the project.

Suggest a Lessons Learned Candidate

Recommend a candidate to participate in the Lesson Learned Oral History Project.

About the Lessons Learned Oral History Project

At the Yale Program on Financial Stability (YPFS) our mission is to create, disseminate, and preserve knowledge about financial crises and to make resources related to preventing, diagnosing, and combatting crises available to policymakers, scholars, and others.

As an enhancement to our document-based research, we are interviewing key participants in the efforts by the U.S. and other governments to stem the crisis and other significant parties. Initially, our focus is on augmenting our research. Secondarily, we are hoping to uncover general observations, insights and “Lessons Learned” that will be helpful to policymakers in the future.

Lessons Learned Participants

We have interviewed a number of Federal Reserve officials including the former General Counsels of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, executive staff of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and several Treasury officials involved in the AIG rescue.  Explore full range of interview candidates who have participated in our project  thus far in Lessons Learned Interview Archive.

The Interview Process

Yes. Your Interviewer will be happy to show you our intended questions before the interview. Our goal is for you to be comfortable with the process.

YPFS interviews typically last 1 hour. However, we are happy to make adjustments to accommodate your schedule and are grateful for whatever time you can grant us.

We do not videotape our interviews. We make an audio recording of the Lessons Learned interviews in order to enhance the accuracy and completeness of our transcripts. We use a third-party transcribing service that we have selected based on the quality of their service and their privacy policies. Once you have approved the transcript, we will direct the service to destroy the recording.

Yes. YPFS edits the transcripts for the sake of clarity and accuracy. We opt to omit fillers such as expressions of deliberation (i.e. “umm,” “uhm”, etc.), slang words, or repeated words. The views of the interviewees are their own and are not in any way approved or endorsed by organizations that they are, or have been, affiliated with, or YPFS. Because the interviews are based on personal recollections, they may include misstatements and errors. YPFS edits the transcripts for the sake of clarity and accuracy. We do not fact-check the interviews but may address an obvious significant misstatement or factual error.

Yes. Once edited, we will send you a copy of the transcript for review and work with you to make sure it is accurate. Once you have signed-off on the transcript, we will provide you a final copy for your records.

We ask all Participants to sign a simple Participation Form granting copyright to YPFS. However, this agreement does not restrict your ability to use the transcript.

We will maintain the Lessons Learned transcript on a restricted/nonpublic basis for one year after the date of interview. During this period, we will only use the transcript for YFPS purposes. After one year, we will add the transcript to our YPFS website where it will be available to policymakers, scholars, and the public.

Yes, we are happy to speak with any PR representatives and explain the project to them. We do not ask Interviewees to discuss any confidential information or anything that s/he, or her/his employer would be uncomfortable becoming public. We can also include a disclaimer that the opinions expressed in the interview are the Interviewee’s personal opinions and not those of his/her employer.

Use of Lessons Learned Materials

Scholars, policymakers and others are welcome and encouraged  to utilize the Lessons Learned interviews and summaries (collectively “LL materials”) in their work free of charge in accordance with the following terms: 

You may cite, copy, and redistribute part of one or more of the LL materials for noncommercial purposes so long as you provide proper attribution (which may be done using our recommended citation) and indicate if any changes were made to the cited content. You may not remix, transform, or build upon any interview or summary, and may not distribute any modified interview or summary. The use of these LL materials is governed by a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

The suggested citations for LL materials are:

Interview:  Kohn, Donald. “Lessons Learned” Interview by Maryann Haggerty. Yale Program on Financial Stability. (2020). .

Summary: Haggerty, Maryann (2020) "Lessons Learned: Donald Kohn," Journal of Financial Crises: Vol. 2 : Iss. 3, 964-968. 

Further, we would appreciate receiving a copy of papers that utilize our materials, which you may email to: .

YPFS Interviewers

Although sometimes a YPFS staff member will conduct the interview, we generally utilize experienced freelance journalists or writers (“Interviewers”) for our Lessons Learned interviews. Our Interviewers are independent contractors who have been chosen for their excellent interview skills and their familiarity with one or more of the following topics: finance, banking, Federal Reserve, Treasury, the investment industry, financial regulation, or financial policy. Interviewers are coordinated by YPFS staff and receive bylines for their work.

Read more about individual members of our YPFS Interview team below.

Mercedes Cardona is a New York-based journalist and founder of editorial consultancy Commerce and Reads. She is a veteran editor for media organizations including The Associated Press and The Economist Group and has contributed to books including The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising and Single Women and Money. 

Charles Euchner is a writer and teacher based in New York and New Haven. The author of books on civil rights, politics and policy, cities, baseball, and writing, he teaches writing at Columbia University.   A former case writer at the Yale School of Management, Euchner is now completing books about new models of "flipped" learning and Woodrow Wilson's campaign for the League of Nations.

Maryann Haggerty is a journalist with more than three decades of experience at national newspapers and with the Federal government. At The Washington Post, she was a financial reporter and editor for 22 years, including as real estate editor leading up to and during the global financial crisis. She was managing director of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a Congressionally appointed panel that published an extensive report on the causes of the crisis. She has been a senior writer-editor in the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), which oversaw the TARP financial rescue program, and also a senior writer-editor for the Office of Financial Research (OFR), an entity within the U.S. Treasury established by the Dodd-Frank Act. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Lieber is an independent researcher focused on market access, institutional capability, and civic activism. His experience includes government service at the US Treasury Department, building and promoting a bilingual business college in Mexico City, and teaching political science at public and private colleges in Wisconsin and Connecticut. He has published articles on overseas development aid and comparative methods and completed projects for clients including Filene Research Institute and Info-Pro Lender Services. He holds a PhD from Brown University, an MA from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA from Carleton College. He enjoys ice hockey, cycling, and family trips near and far.

Mary Anne Chute Lynch is a journalist and communications specialist who has written health/science articles for The New York Times, and health, business, and commentary for National Public Radio, The San Francisco Chronicle, Yale News, Trail Dirt, and other publications. She has also worked as an editor/writer for the Yale Office of Development and the University of Connecticut. Aside from writing, she has run 55 marathons from Chile to Boston Marathon's bombing, and loves camping, hiking, traveling, and literature.

After studying at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Sim Esmen started her journalistic career at Turkey’s most prominent investigative TV news program. She then worked in Turkey’s leading English-language newspaper as a reporter and editor before moving to the U.S. to receive her master’s degree in business journalism. She lives in New York and loves sailing, skiing, the arts, and nature.

Sandy Ward brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to her position as an interviewer for the Yale Program on Financial Stability’s oral history project. As a senior editor at Barron’s magazine for 22 years, serving in roles ranging from feature writer to columnist to mutual funds editor to heading up the magazine’s must-read Q&A, among others, she continues to be fascinated by the events leading to the Great Financial Crisis and feels privileged to be able to collect firsthand accounts from those charged with finding solutions to the crisis and investigating its causes. Sandy lives in the beautiful coastal community and lobster fishing port of Stonington, Maine.