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FTC Chairman Visits IU Mauer School of Law

Liebowitz likened working for the federal government to donning a cape and tights – either way, he said, it’s about catching the bad guys.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Liebowitz visited Indiana University’s Mauer School of Law this week with a message about childhood dreams: You can still be a superhero.

Liebowitz, who said he dreamed of playing in the NBA, likened working for the federal government to donning a cape and tights – either way, he said, it’s about catching the bad guys. But Liebowitz admitted to one audience questioner that regulation can be the FTC’s kryptonite, as in his department’s inability to prosecute bankers responsible for the nation’s financial crisis.

“It would be great is some of the miscreants and malefactors and fraudsters who were involved in the economic meltdown were brought to justice. I think that will happen.”

And, like a superhero, Liebowitz said becoming a federal regulator is about principal more than it’s about capital.

“I think you’ve got to remember, there’s always a trade-off between real income and there’s nothing wrong with real income and making a lot of money – and psychic income. And sometimes your psychic income is much higher when you’re representing the public.”

Liebowitz noted that during a recent hiring phrase, the FTC received 100 applicants for every open position.

“I’m really lucky I’m the chairman,” he joked. “If I applied for a job now, I’m not sure I would get one.”

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