Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Ricki Helfer, Cathy E. Minehan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Rep. Maxine Waters were among 11 women honored last Tuesday for fostering economic opportunity for women and minorities.

"There's a lot of juice at this table," the Rev. Charles E. Stith said, introducing the award recipients. The Organization for a New Equality, founded by the Rev. Stith in 1985, hosted the event.

"There is much to be done here," Ms. Minehan said in accepting her award. "There are far too few women bankers."

The other recipients were: Agnes J. Bundy, senior vice president at Fleet Financial Group; Emma C. Chappel, chairwoman of United Bank of Philadelphia; Joan L. Gulley, president of PNC Bank of New England; Susan Howard, vice president at Bank of America; Marie Mann, senior vice president at Crestar Bank; Sandra McLaughlin, senior vice president at Mellon Bank Corp.; Kathleen Ross, executive vice president at Union Bank of California; and Debbie A. Smith, executive director of the National Bankers Association.

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Rush Limbaugh urged his radio listeners to flood House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach with phone calls after he opposed Speaker Newt Gingrich's reelection. But apparently the Iowa Republican doesn't bear a grudge.

In fact, when Cedar Rapids radio station WMT asked Rep. Leach to tape a promo for Mr. Limbaugh's program, he readily agreed.

"I'm Congressman Jim Leach," he said in the ad. "Alas, Rush Limbaugh doesn't always agree with me, but he always has reasons for his views, and he makes you think. So whether he's talking about spotted owls or spotted congressmen, 600 WMT is the place to listen, weekdays 1 to 4."

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The Office of Thrift Supervision has appointed Kevin L. Petrasic acting director for congressional affairs. Before his promotion, Mr. Petrasic had been legislative counsel. He replaces John von Seggern, who was promoted to executive director of external affairs in July.

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Alan Greenspan was the subject of some good-natured ribbing at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last week.

"I might say, Dr. Greenspan, I understand that you have recently invested in diamonds," Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., said of the Federal Reserve Board chairman's recent engagement to NBC news reporter Andrea Mitchell.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said he was proud that Mr. Greenspan, "known as a master of indirection and obfuscation," was able "to come to a clear-cut and comprehensible question.

"We wish you the very best."

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Kentucky Insurance Commissioner George Nichols 3d replaced J. Lee Douglass as chairman of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' 28-member special committee on banks and insurance. Mr. Douglass stepped down as Arkansas insurance commissioner in mid-January.

Mr. Nichols said he generally favors the competition created by banks but worries that banks would find insurance profits disappointing.

Some consumers, he said, could be hurt by institutions looking to make "a quick buck."

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