Two years ago, Tim Ryan looked like a pretty poor excuse for a thrift regulator. At least that's what Sen. Alan Dixon thought when President Bush nominated the labor lawyer to head the Office of Thrift Supervision in 1990.

Since then, though, the Illinosis Democrat has come to feel differently, and last week he publicly apologized for leading the unsuccessful fight to defeat Mr. Ryan's nomination.

"I expressed the view then that while there was nothing wrong with Tim Ryan the man, he was the wrong man for the job," recalled Sen. Dixon. Mr. Ryan freely acknowledged then that he knew nothing at all about the thrift industry. This incensed Sen. Dixon and others.

"I am anxious to correct the record," Sen. Dixon added. "In my view, Director Tim Ryan has been the man for the job. He has served excellently. I apologize for my vote and want it known that if I could vote today, I would vote to confirm him."

Maybe the Presidents were wildly bullish.

While writing his book about being top banking regulator during the worse financial crisis in U.S. history, L. William Seidman realized that never once did either George Bush or Ronald Reagan ask him to discuss the situation.

"It's amazing when you think about it," says Mr. Seidman, who is still preparing his book.

The Office of Thrift Superivision named Joanne Yancey Hitchcock regional counsel for the agency's West region in San Francisco. Ms. Hitchcock was previously deputy chief counsel for general law with the agency.

The OTS also appointed James Hendriksen to the new post of deputy to William K. Black, the western region's senior deputy chief counsel for enforcement and litigation. Mr. Hendriksen was a senior lawyer in the agency's litigation division.

The National Credit Union Administration has realigned its senior management team by shipping out two staffers from Washington, and bringing two in from outside the Beltway.

Timothy Hornbrook, director of the department of supervision, here, was reassigned to Atlanta as associate regional director.

Gary Vopat, director of risk management in Washington, was shipped out to Austin, Tex., as associate regional director.

In the meantime, Kent Buckham, district regional director in Chicago, was reassigned here as director of supervision.

Frank Thomas, district regional director in Atlanta, was reassigned here as inspector general.

Also reassigned but staying in Washington are: Joan Perry, inspector general, to special assistant to the board; and Ron Lewandowski, treasurer of the Central Liquidity Fund, to president of the fund.

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