The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. may finally be getting a fifth member, who would bring its board to full strength for the first time since 1992.

Joe Neely, Mississippi's banking commissioner, is the front-runner, though no nomination has been announced by the White House. Mr. Neely's name first surfaced in December, but his selection now would make sense. There are two bills pending in Congress that would expand the board to six seats by adding a state regulator.

Nominating Mr. Neely would get some state regulatory experience on the FDIC board without making it bigger.

His nomination has the powerful backing of fellow Mississippian Sen. Trent Lott, the Senate's No. 2 Republican. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole reportedly has written President Clinton in support of Mr. Neely as well, however Sen. Dole's press office refused to release a copy of the letter.

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Peter Wallison makes his debut as a member of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee on May 22, taking the seat vacated by Jerry Hawke, who joined the Treasury Department last month.

The committee, a group of academics, lawyers, and a banker, meets quarterly to analyze recent actions of the financial regulatory agencies.

"They are a bunch of very smart people who follow this business very closely," Mr. Wallison said. "I have always admired their market orientation."

Mr. Wallison, a partner at the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm here, was the Treasury Department's general counsel during President Reagan's first term.

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If Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy 2d had had his way during when the House Banking Committee worked on the Glass-Steagall bill last week, bankers might have found themselves subject to corporal punishment.

The Massachusetts Democrat proposed a measure that would have required banks to tell mutual fund customers that they were buying an uninsured product.

When House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach, R-Iowa, asked what kind of penalty would be imposed if a bank did not make the disclosure, Rep. Kennedy recommended a sound whipping.

"If you want to join with me and give 40 lashes, I'd be happy to entertain it," Rep. Kennedy said.

Rep. Leach said he would support the amendment if the disclosure was required only at the first sale of a mutual fund to a particular customer, so that it is "not repeated hundreds of times."

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When the House Banking Committee reconvened last Thursday to let 13 members absent during Tuesday's session cast a vote on the Glass-Steagall bill, Rep. Barney Frank used the opportunity to voice his opinion about some of the new rules in the House - particularly the ban on proxy voting.

"This just illustrates some of the new reforms we have," said the Massachusetts Democrat. "If we had proxies, we would not be in this situation. This is a fake meeting."

The missing 13 lawmakers were voting on the House floor when the committee originally approved the bill.

As an object lesson to the seven Republican freshman committee members who didn't get to vote the first time around, Rep. Frank did not cast a vote on Thursday.

"You don't die from not being recorded," he said.

After the second vote to repeal Glass-Steagall brought the tally from 29-8 to 38-6, Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., wondered if he could take advantage of chairman Jim Leach's promise to include both votes in the legislative report on the bill.

"Will the committee change my last vote so I can vote on both sides of the issue?" Rep. Watt quipped. He voted in favor of the bill both times.

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