First I describe my background in American historical scholarship. Thereafter, I assess the efforts of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama and their senior advisors to stabilize American financial institutions during the period 2008–2009. My fundamental contention is that state actors such as Bush and Obama structured financial industries and markets. Despite the ubiquitous presence of these state actors, however, American business and political leaders maintained the fiction that state and business were, and properly ought to remain, separate entities. In Part III, I return to my scholarly background and to a proposed scaffolding for historical scholarship focused on the political economy of U.S. financial institutions since 1970.