If you run a bank, George E. French can save you money.

Mr. French, 37, leads the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. researchers who calculate the size of the Bank Insurance Fund.

The sooner the insurance fund holds $1.25 for every $100 of insured deposits, the sooner premiums will come down.

For now, he's sticking to the agency line: The 1.25% goal will be reached in 1996.

Mr. French has some experience estimating insurance funds.

When came to the FDIC in 1986, he was in charge of forecasting the size of the savings and loan bailout.

That assignment evolved into writing a rescue plan for the industry, which eventually became the Financial Institutions Recovery, Reform, and Enforcement Act.

Major Role

He played a role in Major Banking Legislation Part II as well, coordinating the FDIC's contribution to the Bush administration's "Modernizing the Financial System." That's the thick, green tome that laid the ground work for the FDIC Improvement Act of 1991.

During that time, it was Mr. French cranking out dire predictions of massive bank failures. They never materialized, and to that he says now: "It taught me a good lesson about taking models with a grain of salt."

Mr. French moved on to designing the risk-based premium system the FDIC now uses to vary the rate banks pay for insurance. He thinks it is working well, but admits it is hard to tell now that the industry is making so much money.

In Mr. French's future is a broad study of the banking industry's role in the financial system. He is also part of a group of staff members at the FDIC that is reviewing the deposit insurance assessment base.

Mr. French has a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University. His bachelor's degree is from Princeton University. He taught economics at Tulane University for four years before going into government work.

He lives in Arlington, Va., with two cats. His big goal outside work is to regain his status as a master chess player. He is single, but plans to marry in May.

George E. French

Associate director, research division

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

550 17th St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20429


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