The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PoliTALK with Jennifer Taub: Regulation of Financial Institutions

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Read a student's account of a recent lecture by Jennifer Taub and the following dinner and discussion hosted by PoliTalk.

I remember sitting in my living room, less than a month before my sixteenth birthday, and hearing that Lehman Brothers had declared bankruptcy.  My parents explained the significance of this event to me, but I still had very little idea of the implications.  More than four years later, with far too much of an understanding now of what that day meant, I found myself in a lecture given by Jennifer Taub, a law professor at the Vermont Law School, on bank regulations.  Although over the past four years I have been exposed to considerable amounts of information on the 2008 financial crisis, I found Professor Taub’s analysis of the weaknesses of the U.S. financial system that led up to the meltdown incredibly informative. However, what was most interesting to me was her discussion of what problems—many of them the same as before the crisis—still remain, as well as the weaknesses of the regulations enacted past and present to address these issues.  I feel that in many of the discussions I have participated in, or the articles I have read, focus on what happened rather than the problems that continue to exist and the actions taken to address them.

After the lecture, I joined a small group of Dartmouth undergraduate and graduate students as well as Professor Taub for the PoliTalk dinner and discussion on bank regulations.  The conversation began with such topics as mortgages and the ethics, or lack thereof, of the financial system.  However, Professor Taub encouraged us to discuss other topics as well.  She asked students what they were interested in and why they had attended the dinner. She discussed her own background, providing insight into how she discovered her law interests, as well as the process of law school and job searching following graduation.  I discovered many of my own interests and experiences aligning with Professor Taub’s and was able to discuss with her my career plans in human or civil rights law.  Banking regulations quickly developed into other topics such as the Citizens United Supreme Court case, and then on to education reform.  At the end of the dinner, Professor Taub gave students her contact information, encouraging us to keep in touch and follow-up with any other questions we may have concerning any of the topics covered during dinner.  As I left the Rockefeller Center with the other students, we made plans to meet again so as to continue the conversation.  

If I were asked what part of my Dartmouth experience reaffirms my belief that I chose the right school, I would reply that such events as the lecture by and dinner with Jennifer Taub are perfect examples.  I left that night with a better understanding of an issue that has played such an important part in my life and in many other lives for more than four years.  I also left with a stronger connection to my classmates who also attended the dinner, and many ideas and thoughts on the possibilities that lie ahead in my future.
 -Shoshana Silverstein '15

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