02/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Patricia Sellers On The New Era Of Responsibility

I'm just back from five days in Washington, D.C. (yes, I commuted against the crowds this morning) and I'm feeling "the new era of responsibility" that President Barack Obama spoke about in his inaugural address today. This responsibility is power. It's also quite a burden. Are you feeling it too?

On Friday, I had a keen sense of it when I was meeting with Sheila Bair, the chairman of the FDIC. Here's a woman who expected a fairly benign job in 2006 when she arrived in Washington from a teaching gig at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. But of course, that was before the global economy fell apart. On Friday, when we met, she mentioned that she'd been in her office until 11pm the night before, approving another whopping bank bailout package - for Bank of America (BAC), on top of Citigroup's (C) weeks before.

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