Bank Chairman to Speak Out on Banking Crisis and Capitalism at CEI 25th Anniversary Gala

This Thursday evening John Allison, Chairman of BB&T Bank, will deliver the keynote address at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s 25th Anniversary Gala. Allison will explain the practical origins of the mortgage and banking crisis and the challenges they pose for those in business. He will also explain his underlying belief in the inherent morality of capitalism.

Competitive Enterprise Institute 25th Anniversary Gala

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.

Reception 6:00pm

Dinner 7:15pm

Mr. Allison will discuss the origins of the mortgage and banking crisis and the challenges they pose for those in business. He will also explain his underlying philosophical belief in the inherent morality of capitalism.  The gala will also feature political commentator Tucker Carlson as Master of Ceremonies. 

Although long prominent in the banking world as a BB&T executive, Allison became best known in political circles in 2006 when he announced that his bank would not participate in economic development projects that involve seizure of property through use of eminent domain. This announcement came in response to the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to uphold broad use of eminent domain powers by local governments in the case of Kelo v. City of New London (2005)

As Allison said in January of 2006: “The idea that a citizen’s property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it’s just plain wrong. One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won’t help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.” 

Mr. Allison is also an outspoken critic of government intervention in the economy and in financial markets, in particular. His unique perspective as a longtime banking CEO, a participant in public police debates, and a defender of capitalism makes him ideally suited to speak on the present financial crisis. 

Also during the gala, CEI will proudly bestow its prestigious Julian Simon Memorial Award to Richard Tren, founder and chairman of Africa Fighting Malaria.  Reason magazine science correspondent Ronald Bailey will pay tribute to the late, great journalist Warren T. Brookes.  An after-dinner party will follow. 

News media are welcome to cover the CEI Anniversary Gala. A limited number of complimentary tickets to cover the entire evening’s entertainment are still available. Please contact Richard Morrison at 202-331-2273 for further information. 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website at