Seidman to Leave (Right on Time)

WASHINGTON - L. William Seidman says he's stepping down from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. - and this time he means it.

Ending more than a year of uncertainty, Mr. Seidman told President Bush on Tuesday that his last day as FDIC chairman will be Oct. 16, when his six-year term ends.

President Expected to Nominate Taylor

William Taylor, the Federal Reserve's director of bank supervision, will apparently succeed the 70-year-old regulator. The White House is expected to announce Mr. Taylor's nomination this week, an administration source said Tuesday.

Mr. Seidman first talked of resigning in April 1990, when he told President Bush he might leave in two months. At a press conference in May, the president anointed Mr. Taylor the heir apparent.

But the strong-willed Mr. Seidman held on to his post when administration officials started complaining that he was too critical of Treasury Department proposals. Mr. Seidman has since been coy about when he would leave.

With his announcement Tuesday, Mr. Seidman also resigned as chairman of the Resolution Trust Corp., effective in October.

Mr. Taylor, 52, has logged almost 30 years with the Federal Reserve, working his way up from an examiner in in the Fed's Chicago office to director of bank supervision at the central bank's headquarters here.

BCCI Questions

There has been speculation in recent weeks that the White House might delay nominating Mr. Taylor until his role in the unraveling Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal is defined.

Colleagues and bankers regard Mr. Taylor as a tough regulator with high integrity.

"I think Taylor is a first-rate guy and I think he'll be a fine chairman," Mr. Seidman said. "He'll have to develop some new loyalties, but I think he will do that."

Burgeoning Problems

The challenges awaiting Mr. Taylor are plentiful. Legislation to refuel the cash-starved FDIC and RTC must be pushed through Congress, and both agencies face monumental problems. The FDIC, trying to work through the real estate crisis, expects bank failures to total 400 this year and next. Meanwhile, the RTC must try to manage and sell nearly $200 billion in assets.

The next FDIC chairman, according to the thrift bailout law, serves until Feb. 28, 1993. Lawmakers wanted the 1992 presidential election winner to be able to appoint his own FDIC chairman.

Following Mr. Seidman's resignation Tuesday, accolades poured.

|Will Be Sorely Missed'

"This is a great loss to the government of an individual who has given very distinguished service over many years," said Donald W. Riegle Jr., D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Treasury Secretary James Brady said Mr. Seidman "will be sorely missed."

A Book to Emerge

Mr. Seidman said he has no firm plans for the future, but a book detailing his government experience is in the offing.

"I'm thinking seriously about writing a book," he said Tuesday in an interview.

"It would cover my time in the FDIC and the RTC: What I was doing, what it looked like to me, who was a friend, who was an enemy."

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