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Motivation: "My father lost his Entire Life savings and started working as a day laborer to support us" - Jelena MC Williams... Don't miss out on this!!!

Financial regulator Jelena McWilliams, the head of the FDIC, knows firsthand the devastation that can happen when the public loses confidence in the banking system.

 Her family was the victim of a run on the banks in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, a time when the country was being torn apart by a civil war.

McWilliams' father, dressed in a three-piece suit, waited 11 hours in line on a drizzly day to get money out of a bank in Belgrade. But he was too late. Her father, then 68 years old, lost his entire life savings and was left little choice but to work as a day laborer earning just $5 a day in order to support us, McWilliams said.

Today, McWilliams leads the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the US regulator formed during the Great Depression and charged with protecting depositors from bank runs.

  • "The notion of deposit insurance is not an esoteric concept to somebody like me," McWilliams said. "It's very real because my father was digging trenches as a result of not being able to get his life savings out of the bank when it collapsed."

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