The American Bankers Association is marking its dozenth decade with a hefty birthday card. It's a five-color glossy magazine, 176 pages long, titled "Celebrating 120 Years: Looking Toward the Millennium."
Between its blue and metallic gold covers are splashy advertisements and best wishes from a fleet of heavyweights, including Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene A. Ludwig, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Ricki Helfer.
The forward is by President Clinton, who praised the group for "promoting the development of American communities and the financial stability of millions of families."
Though printing 27,000 softcover and 200 leather-bound hardcover versions was "a very expensive proposition," so many ads were sold that the ABA actually ended up making $16,000, said Edward F. Smith, director of member communications.
Most of the magazines will be sent to the chief executive officers of member banks. The rest will be given away at ABA conferences throughout the year.
And the leatherbound versions? They'll go to ABA officers and board members as well as the libraries of the regulatory agencies, Mr. Smith said. Agency heads can't receive copies because they are too expensive for government officials to legally accept as gifts.
Paul L. Sachtleben will be the FDIC's acting chief financial officer when William A. Longbrake leaves the agency Oct. 7 to return to Washington Mutual Inc.
Named head of the FDIC's division of finance in January, Mr. Sachtleben also will continue in that position.
Dennis F. Geer, the agency's chief operating officer, picked up some of Mr. Longbrake's other duties. Three more divisions will report to Mr. Geer: insurance, depositor and asset services, and resolutions. In all, Mr. Geer will oversee eight divisions, including research, compliance and consumer affairs, the offices of executive secretary, and equal employment opportunity.
As acting CFO, Mr. Sachtleben will supervise the division of finance and the office of internal control management. He joined the FDIC in 1969 as an examiner, rising to deputy regional director of supervision in the Dallas office. He left the agency in 1987 to work as a banking consultant. In 1990, he went to work for the Resolution Trust Corp. as its chief financial officer and director of the office of corporate finance. The following year, he rejoined the FDIC as deputy director of its new division of resolutions. He became director of the division of compliance and consumer affairs in 1994.
Talk about constituent service. Rep. Peter G. Torkildsen, R-Mass., convened a hearing of the House Small Business government programs subcommittee last week to hear the story of Rhetta B. Sweeney of Hamilton, Mass.
The FDIC is foreclosing on Ms. Sweeney's home because she did not repay a $1.6 million loan made in 1987 by the failed Comfed Savings Bank, Lowell, Mass. Ms. Sweeney claimed she doesn't have to repay it because Comfed officials lied to her and called in the loan before a real estate project could start earning money.
John F. Bovenzi, the FDIC's director of depositor and asset services, said Ms. Sweeney and her husband have declined three settlement offers. "To fulfill its legal obligations to the American taxpayers ... the FDIC must obtain possession of property that it legally owns," he said.
"My hope is that the FDIC will work out something fair and reasonable," Rep. Torkildsen said.
Thad Woodard, president of the Community Bankers Association of North Carolina, has come up with a novel way to raise money to maintain the national park system: tax credit unions.
In a letter to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Mr. Woodard said that taxing credit unions with assets of more than $10 million would raise nearly $1 billion annually.
"To apply a tax structure to this currently nontaxpaying sector of our nation's financial system would seem appropriate, timely, and in the spirit of credit unions' advocacy of community and national pride," Mr. Woodard said.
The American Enterprise Institute plans to give Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan its 1996 Francis Boyer award, given for "exceptional practical or scholarly contributions to improved government policy and social welfare." Past recipients include President Gerald Ford and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Mr. Greenspan will collect the award at a Dec. 5 dinner.