Patrick M. McQueen resigned Friday after six years as Michigan's banking commissioner.

Deputy Commissioner Gary K. Mielock, a 25-year veteran of Michigan's Financial Institutions Bureau, was named acting commissioner.

Mr. McQueen, 53 is credited with modernizing the bureau and eliminating red tape to make the Michigan bank charter more attractive. Among his accomplishments: lowering exam fees, eliminating branch applications for well-capitalized banks, and helping state thrifts gain the same powers as federal savings banks.

"Pat's focused leadership has resulted in a more efficiently run organization and has created more opportunities for financial institutions in Michigan," said Gov. John Engler.

In an interview, Mr. McQueen called the bank commissioner's job "personally rewarding," but "not so good financially." He is considering a number of options in the banking industry, including lobbying, consulting, trade association work, or an executive position at a financial institution-though Michigan law prohibits him from working at a state- chartered bank for at least six months.

"The first thing I'm going to do is buy a car," he said. "Then I'm going to play a lot of golf, then I'm going to look for a job."

Meanwhile in other state news, Arizona Superintendent of Banks Richard C. Houseworth is the new chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. He took over for John P. Burke, Connecticut's banking commissioner, this month at the group's annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va.

Thomas Curry, Massachusetts' commissioner, was voted chairman-elect. Elizabeth McCaul, the acting superintendent of banks in New York, was elected vice chairman, and Idaho Director of Finance Gavin Gee was voted secretary-treasurer.

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Sen. Phil Gramm and Rep. Edward J. Markey are usually on opposites sides of things-and last Monday was no different.

The Senate Banking Committee chairman rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, and the House Commerce Committee Democrat rang the closing bell.

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The privacy debate has given Rep. Markey a daily forum to hone the comical analogies that accompany his assaults on the financial services industry.

Speaking to the Electronic Financial Services Council last week, he invoked the image of a teenage computer hacker.

Consumers don't want "some purple-haired, 19-year-old across the street" breaking into a bank's computer system to read their personal records. But, he argued, the industry practice of sharing customer information with affiliates is not much different.

"What they are saying is that if this 19-year-old turns 21 and gets hired by one of your financial institutions, and he's working inside of the bank or the brokerage firm, then he can go through all of your records," the Massachusetts Democrat said. "He can find out everything there is to know about you. There's no protection."

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President Clinton on Thursday nominated William J. Rainer as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Mr. Rainer co-founded Greenwich Capital Markets Inc., a government securities dealer in Greenwich, Conn.

Early this month Franz S. Leichter was nominated to a seat on the Federal Housing Finance Board. Mr. Leichter is a New York State senator.

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Julie L. Williams, chief counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said last week that she chuckles over the fact that many insurance industry executives are pressing for an optional federal regulator styled after her agency.

"It's more than a little ironic to see some segments in the insurance industry-after beating the OCC around the head and shoulders for the last couple of years on bank insurance issues-beginning to consider the attractions of a federal regulator," she said. "We are not angling to be that regulator."

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Peter de Jager has made a mint scaring bankers and other businesspeople about the year-2000 computer problem in recent years.

In April 1998, the Ontario-based consultant and former computer programmer said a Y2K-inspired recession is "unavoidable." He praised regulators for "beginning to take a big, thick stick to the heads" of bankers, and he said any two banks trying to merge their systems in the final 20 months before 2000 were "certifiably insane."

But now that most financial institutions seem to have the problem pretty much licked, he has shed his doomsday message and opted instead to publish a Y2K comic book, The Bug Stops Here.

"In the past I was labeled a 'doom sayer,'" he writes in a foreword. "Now that we are working on fixing the problem, I'd like to earn a different title, that of 'gloom slayer.'"

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