The Clinton administration's nomination machine continues to cough and sputter along.
Carol J. Parry, executive vice president for community reinvestment at Chase Manhattan Bank, is just several weeks away from being nominated to the Federal Reserve Board, a White House source said. Her background check is virtually complete.
Arizona Superintendent of Banks and Conference of State Bank Supervisors chairman Richard C. Houseworth is being considered for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board seat vacated last October by Joseph H. Neely 2d, sources said. Mr. Houseworth's candidacy received a boost this year when three senators, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, recommended his appointment to the five-member board.
No decision has been made on a successor to Norman E. D'Amours, whose stormy, six-year term as chairman of the National Credit Union Administration ends next month. But that has not stopped Credit Union Times readers from chanting "Go, Norm, go!" When the weekly recently asked its Web site visitors whether Mr. D'Amours should step down voluntarily from the three-member board, 91% of the 190 who answered said "yes." Fellow Democrat and board member Yolanda Townsend Wheat is reportedly hoping to succeed him.
"This is a phony poll," Mr. D'Amours said. "Some in the industry don't understand that a regulator must be independent of the industry."
Even ever-optimistic House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach holds little hope for a merger of the deposit insurance funds anytime soon.
After Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Donna A. Tanoue urged lawmakers last week to combine the bank and thrift funds, Rep. Leach issued this statement:
"The views of the respected head of an agency are always relevant, but neither financial services modernization bill contains the approach which Ms. Tanoue is advocating. And I would suspect that the prospects of merging the funds-absent the closing of the unitary thrift loophole and the resolution of other outstanding issues-would not be great."
Ms. Tanoue made her pitch for combining the funds at last week's Exchequer Club luncheon. Before her speech, the group elected its next chancellor: Beth Climo, group director of financial industry affairs at the American Bankers Association. She takes over from Financial Services Roundtable executive director Richard M. Whiting. America's Community Bankers lobbyist Steve Verdier moved up to vice chancellor.
Lobbyists usually like to keep a low profile, but Bank One Corp.'s Annie Hall cannot stay out of the newspapers lately.
The Chicago Tribune profiled Ms. Hall in early June, calling her "one of the most powerful bank lobbyists in Washington" and extolled her influence on financial reform and privacy.
"When the banking industry knocks on the doors of Capitol Hill trying to get reform legislation passed," the article began, "one of its foremost representatives is not the stereotypically bland banker in a pinstriped suit and wing-tip shoes. Instead, members of Congress and their staffers often are faced with the fast-talking, impeccably dressed Annie Hall."
The story has been picked up by papers in Columbus, Detroit, Lexington, and Louisville.
Ken Robinson, president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said he will retire March 31, after heading the association for 16 years.
"The year 2000 seems like a particularly auspicious time to bring on new leadership," Mr. Robinson said in a statement. "NAFCU is at its peak strength, in excellent financial condition, and is respected by the entire credit union community."
President Clinton reiterated his support last week for Bill Lann Lee as assistant attorney general for civil rights.
"I resubmitted Mr. Lee's nomination to the Senate more than four months ago, yet the Senate Judiciary Committee has not considered his nomination," according to the President's statement.
"He deserves to be considered based on his record and abilities, not blocked because some senators disagree with the" civil rights laws.
Mr. Lee is doing the job on an acting basis. He was first nominated to the post in mid-1997.