With just six months left in his five-year term as Comptroller of the Currency, people are starting to wonder what Eugene A. Ludwig will do.
The current betting: Mr. Ludwig will leave the agency when his term expires April 4 and OCC Chief Counsel Julie L. Williams will run the agency until a new comptroller is confirmed.
Though applauded by banks, Mr. Ludwig's tenure has been marred by incessant criticism from Congress. To date, Mr. Ludwig is not talking about the future. He could return to his prior job as a partner at Covington & Burling law firm here.
President Clinton may have broken the logjam stalling confirmation of nominees for the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of Thrift Supervision.
The President nominated Senate Banking Committee staffer Laura Unger to the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, more than two years after her name first surfaced.
The White House reportedly took so long on Ms. Unger's nomination to vex her mentor, Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato.
Congressional staffers said Sen. D'Amato was furious over the foot- dragging and refused to schedule hearings on other financial regulators, including Roger W. Ferguson and Edward Gramlich as Fed governors and Ellen S. Seidman as OTS director.
Walter C. Patterson, a former banker and Arkansas welfare chief, has been elected chairman of the EBT Industry Council.
The group represents companies involved in the delivery of electronic government benefits through debit cards. Its parent is the Electronic Funds Transfer Association.
Mr. Patterson was most recently president of TransFirst, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Systems that specializes in EBT.
He served as director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services from 1987 to 1989 and held several marketing positions with Worthen Bank, Little Rock.
After the dust settles on its controversial derivatives proposal, the Financial Accounting Standards Board will tackle an even trickier project: how to report the fair market value of all financial instruments.
In an interview last week, FASB board member Anthony T. Cope said the accounting panel will issue a plan within two years. Even the seemingly simple task of deciding how banks must report the fair market value of deposits could be complex, he said.
One would assume that a bank's liability is simply the amount of a deposit, Mr. Cope said.
However, because deposits can be bought and sold for a premium, they could potentially be worth more than their face value. "It will be one of many interesting philosophical questions to answer."