Ricki Tigert scored some big points at her swearing in Tuesday. The new Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman vowed to restore the agency's independence.

The FDIC has been without a permanent chief for two years.

People were whispering that as Ms. Tigert spoke those words, she stared at Comptroller of the Currency Eugene A. Ludwig -- the de facto FDIC chief for the last 18months.

After affirming the agency's autonomy, Ms. Tigert reportedly started clapping.

"She applauded herself," one eyewitness said. Soon, everyone in the room joined in the applause.

Richard M. Greenwood, who is president and chief executive officer of Fidelity Federal Bank, Glendale, Calif., is the new chairman of the Association of Financial Services Holding Companies.

Meanwhile, the Securities Industry Association nominated John L. Steffens, executive vice president of Merrill Lynch & Co., as its 1995 chairman.

Marilyn Peters and Clyde Wheeler were sworn in this month as new board members at the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp., or Farmer Mac. Both were nominated by President Clinton to sit on the 15-member board.

Farmer Mac administers the agricultural and rural housing secondary market.

The federal government is trying to avoid having to make cents.

The House late last month designated the week of Oct. 16 as "National Penny Charity Week."

According to Rep. John Edward Porter, R-Ill., the United States Mint will spend $1.64 million to produce 13.3 billion pennies to counter the effect of "penny hoarding."

The measure, which passed both chambers of Congress, would "urge Americans to empty their jars, dresser drawers, and piggy banks, and to give their pennies to their favorite charities," Rep. Porter said.

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