David Cooke's 24-year government career came to a close last Wednesday, and friends at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Resolution Trust Corp. threw him a party. Among the guests were L. William Seidman, who had deaded both agencies, current FDIC chairman William Taylor, and current RTC chief executive AI Casey.
For a moment, it sounded as if even Ronald Reagan was calling to offer his congratulations. Actually, though, it was just someone who sounded like the former president. But the capacity crowd collapsed with laughter when the taped Reagan voice complimented Donald Coke for a job well done at the "ROTC."
Someone with President Bush's voice also left a message saying he would have called to wish Mr. Cooke well but "no one answered the RTC's phone."
People praised Mr. Cooke as the man who got the thrift cleanup up and running. FDIC board member C.C. Hope noted that while Mr. Cooke was its executive director, the RTC took over 675 S&Ls and sold $230 billion in seized assets.
Mr. Cooke, who is notorious for being late, was 45 minutes tardy for his own party, making the gifts he received seem particularly apt. Mr. Cooke was given a huge alarm clock wristwatch as well as a Seiko watch with a mother-or-pearl face.
While Mr. Cooke has no other job jet, Mr. Seidman told him the private sector is the place to be. "You won't be bothered by members of Congress or presidential appointees or the other nefarious annoyances of your present job," he said.
Financial policymakers were out in force last week for a celebrity tennis tournament that raised $30,000 for the Institute for Education, a nonprofit education research group.
Among the players: John E. Robson, deputy Treasury secretary; Michael Boskin, President Bush's chief economic adviser; Peter Monroe, president of the Resolution Trust Corp.'s oversight board; and Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, the bankers' perennial adversary on Capitol Hill.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was to compete, but he was sidelined with a bone bruise. He came to watch.
A new hierarchy is taking shape at the Savings and Community Bankers of America. The thrift trade group's president, Paul A. Schosberg, named key staff directors last week.
Mr. Schosberg named Denis O'Toole director of government relations; Brain Smith, policy development; Lamar Brantley, technical services; and Frank Haas, finance and administration. All are veterans of the old U.S. League of Savings Institutions.
From the National Council of Community Bankers, Martin Regalia was put in charge of economics and research, and Roger Raber was made director of membership services.