After avoiding the print media since his confirmation in April. Comptroller of the Currrency Eugene A. Ludwig came out with a bang last week, granting interviews to American Bankers and The Wall Street Journal. His outpouring was so voluminous, we didn't have enough room for all of his remarks in the original article.
Here are some added morsels:
Mr. Ludwig backs consolidation of the regulatory agencies because it would dramatically simplify supervision.
"One can certainly understand that four federal bank regulators is, on its face, peculiar," he said.
"It's essentially indefensible, but in terms of when, where, how [the agencies would be merged] I can't say anything on it."
The Clinton administration has been accused of effecting the de facto merger of the Comptroller's office, a Treasury Department organization, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., an independent agency, because President Clinton's failure to fill two vacancies on the insurer's five-member board gives Treasury's two members a clear majority.
Mr. Ludwig, of course, is one Treasury's representative, Jonathan Fiechter, the acting chairman of the Office of Thrift Supervision, is the other (and decidely less powerful, considering his temporary status) member.
"The idea that I want to control the FDIC, it's sort of crazy," Mr. Ludwig told us. "I'm certain those seats will be filled."
But like many others here, Mr. Ludwig said he has stopped trying to guess when the President will fill the two vacancies on the FDIC board.
Even if Congress approves Clinton's community development lending plan this year, the program will probably have to wait another year for money.
House and Senate appropriators did not make provision for the program in the spending bills for the year beginning Oct. 1, and one key lawmaker took to the Senate floor last week to explain why funding was cut.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the program, said budget constraints "forced us to cut funds for a number of the administration's investment proposals."
"We know how important community banks are," she added.
"We will have to wait until it is both authorized and appropriated next year."
The National Assisted Housing Management Association has named Georgianna M. White as government affairs coordinator. She had been with the office of Rep. Bill K. Brewster, D-Okla.
The Association of Financial Services Holding Companies hired a new lobbyist. Geoffrey P. Gray.
Mr. Gray had been with the Washington-based law firm of Miller and Chevalier.
Dominic A. Tarantino, a partner at Price Waterhouse & Co. in New York, became chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants last week.
In his inaugural address in New Orleans, Mr. Tarantino told the trade group's members that he plans to work to strengthen the nations's financial reporting system.
Robert L. Israeloff, chairman of Israeloff, Trattner & Co., of Valley Stream, N.Y., was elected vice chairman.
Joe Albritton, chairman of Riggs National Bank, was the only banker to make Washingtonian magazine's list of the 100 most powerful people in the nation's capital.