Elected officials often have a hard time getting their message across, but House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach found it even trickier recently.

Unable to attend the Conference of State Bank Supervisors' annual meeting in San Antonio, the Iowa Republican telephoned in from his Davenport home to address bankers and state regulators over a speaker system.

But the legislator, apparently calling from a cordless phone, was moving around too much, causing significant static that drowned out his voice in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, according to CSBS officials.

"Let me apologize for the static," he said after being told of the problem. "That's probably more from the thinking."

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After 32 years of supervising national banks, Robert J. Herrmann will retire Wednesday.

Mr. Herrmann joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 1962 and rose to senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision policy in 1986 under former Comptroller Robert L. Clarke. In 1990, Mr. Herrmann returned to his native Chicago as deputy comptroller for the central district.

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Rep. Doug Bereuter, a member of the House Banking Committee, is considering whether to jump ship for a Senate race.

According to a report in the Omaha World-Herald, the Nebraska Republican said he was convinced that a bid for the Republican Senate nomination is "politically doable." Rep. Bereuter said he had not yet decided whether to seek the nomination.

The Senate seat that Rep. Bereuter may run for is being vacated by Democratic three-termer J. James Exon.

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The Office of Thrift Supervision has lost another key lawyer.

Michael Vallely, a senior attorney in the business transactions division, moves to Thacher Proffitt & Wood this month, joining his former OTS boss, V. Gerard "Jerry" Comizio, in the New York firm's Washington office.

The eight-year OTS veteran is to work in the firm's financial services division.

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