Life After FDIC Will Be No Vacation for Seidman

WASHINGTON -- A day after retiring from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., L. William Seidman embarked on a new career as television commentator, public speaker, and author.

Starting next week, the former FDIC chairman will begin appearing on CNBC, the 24-hour cable business-news channel. He also will hit the banquet circuit at an asking price of $20,000 a speech.

And Mr. Seidman is negotiating with publishers for a book about his experiences in government. One of his staff is leaving the FDIC with him to help prepare the manuscript.

Chief Commentator for CNBC

Mr. Seidman, 70, is setting up shop at a northwest Washington address just a few blocks from his Georgetown home.

He will serve as CNBC's chief commentator - "a job that's lots of work and no pay," the multi-millionaire quipped during a telephone interview Wednesday. CNBC is paying him something, he said, but not much. The cable network is owned by National Broadcasting Co., a subsidiary of General Electric Co.

Details are still being worked out, but Mr. Seidman will appear at least twice a week on the "Business View" and "Market Wrap" programs. He expects to be "commenting from a financial and business view on the events of the day," he said.

A |Very Eager' Prospect

"He's been on our air lots of times as a newsmaker," said CNBC vice president Peter Sturtevant. "We took the initiative" in hiring Mr. Seidman, but "he was very eager to do it."

Mr. Seidman also plans to sign up with the Washington Speakers Bureau to give talks around the country.

"My speech will say: Here's what happened to me in my six years in Washington, and here's what I make out of it, and here's what's likely to happen in the future."

Bernie Swain, one of two partners at the speakers bureau, said Mr. Seidman already has five speaking dates. The first will be Oct. 22 at Trinity University in San Antonio.

Mr. Swain expects about 80% of Mr. Seidman's business will come from corporations curious to know how Washington works and what their government is up to.

Mr. Swain noted that his company competed with others to sign Mr. Seidman. As for the $20,000 price, Mr. Swain said, "Quite frankly, [it] is pretty standard."

|Malice Toward None'

For the book detailing Mr. Seidman's experiences as chairman of the FDIC and the Resolution Trust Corp., his FDIC speechwriter, Jackie Pace, is following him out of the agency. The tentative title: "Seidman's Washington Journals - With Malice Toward None and Charity Toward All, with a Few Exceptions."

The book is expected to bare all, including White House chief of staff John Sununu's attempt to dump the outspoken FDIC chief last year.

"Like any author, I'm in the throes of deciding whether I can complete it," Mr. Seidman said of the book.

The obstacle? "I'm deciding if it makes too many enemies."

PHOTO : L. William Seidman Writing "Washington Journals"

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