JOHNSON CITY — When Larry White arrived in the area in 2007 to chair the banking program and be a finance professor at East Tennessee State University, he had 20 students. Then the 2008 financial crisis hit, and that number dwindled to 16.
“Today, I have about nine [students],” White said of the prospective future bankers under his wing.
So why did young people abandon banking — and its good paying white-collar jobs — as a field to study and an avenue for establishing a career?
“Every time it seems anybody talks, including the president, they always use this very broad general statement about banks, and banks as a rule by the [news] media have not been treated very accurately or very fairly,” White said. “In my opinion ... the media tends to be the least educated and the most opinionated.”
In 2009, President Barack Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes,” “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”
Relations between the banking industry and the White House have been frosty since the 2008 financial crisis, with large banks lobbying against portions of legislation to toughen financial market regulations and administration officials angered by some banks’ continued payment of high bonuses and reluctance to lend.Read more of this story in Sunday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded electronic edition.