Packing Their Bags

Keep an eye on the revolving door at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

With Donald E. Powell, the Texas community banker nominated by President Bush for chairman, scheduled for his confirmation hearing Tuesday and current Chairman Donna Tanoue expected to leave July 11, the agency has announced a couple of other departures.

Jadine Nielsen, deputy to the chairman, and her confidential assistant, Ryan Conroy - both Clinton appointees - said last week that they will soon depart.

Two other political appointees, William F. Kroener 3d, the agency's general counsel, and Valerie Owens, executive secretary to the chairman, have announced no plans to move on. It is unclear whether Mr. Powell would want to keep them or seek replacements.

Meanwhile, the FDIC has been busy staffing its division of supervision.

Acting director of supervision Michael J. Zamorski announced last week that Benjamin E. Vaughn would be named his special assistant. Mr. Zamorski said that Keith Ligon will be the manager of training and exam support in the division's securities, capital markets, and trust branch, and Michael B. Bernardo has been selected as chief of the information systems section in the Washington office.

Mr. Vaughn has worked at the agency for 13 years, most recently as a case manager for the supervision division of the New York office. Mr. Ligon has been chief of the securities policy branch since 1997, and Mr. Bernardo has been a review examiner in the risk management section in Washington.

Speak Up, Please

Apparently, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., does not like it when he feels regulators dodge his questions.

During the Senate Banking Committee's oversight hearing last week, Sen. Dodd tried to enlist the support of a panel of bank and thrift regulators for his amendment to the bankruptcy bill that would require people under 21 to get financial counseling before receiving a credit card.

Each regulator made vague acknowledgements of the problem but offered Sen. Dodd none of the specific recommendations he was seeking. After listening for several minutes, he erupted loudly, saying, "I've heard nothing from regulators on what to do on this thing. If I can't get your view on this, whose view do I get?"

O'Neill Sells Stock

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill met Friday's deadline set by the Government Ethics Office to sell all of his stock and options in Alcoa, the aluminum-industry giant he ran for 13 years before joining the Cabinet.

The proceeds, reportedly more than $100 million, are to be invested in diversified investment funds.

Mr. O'Neill stirred controversy and worries of conflict of interest early this year by initially deciding to keep his Alcoa shares.

No Holds Barred?

Ever wondered what a fight between senators would look like?

That was the idea sarcastically floated by conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg. In a recent column for National Review, Mr. Goldberg said he was tired of the normal questions asked by journalists about the recent switch of Senate power.

"Not enough people ask interesting questions," he wrote. "Instead of, [Minority Leader] 'Trent Lott, do you want more Republicans to defect?' I'd like to see a few more people ask, 'Trent, tell me the truth, what is going on with your hair?' Or, 'C'mon, honestly, if he could get away with it, do you think Phil Gramm would beat the tar out of Jim Jeffords for being an ungrateful little crapweasel?'"

A Pretty Face on Hill

Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., of the House Financial Services Committee was recently named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World."

The 30-year-old lawmaker was labeled a "fresh face" as this was his first time on the list. In the text accompanying a photo of him, his former fiancee complimented him for his "piercing, pretty green eyes."

New Fannie Exec

Fannie Mae has hired Todd A. Lee as the director of community development in its northeastern regional office.

Mr. Lee was most recently a vice president at Bank of America Corp. in Maryland, where he managed a $300 million portfolio of loans extended to key real estate borrowers.

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