While his group wants to put the freeze on Eugene A. Ludwig, Independent Insurance Agents lobbyist Paul Equale didn't mind eating a hot lunch with the comptroller.

According to an observer at the scene, the two shared a corner table at the Willard Room last Thursday, and were joined by Michael Levy, former assistant to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Mr. Equale's group is pushing a measure to choke off the ability of the Comptroller's office to expand the insurance powers of national banks.

Nevertheless, the observer said, Mr. Ludwig and Mr. Equale shot the breeze for nearly two hours, and even seemed to be having a good time.

* * *

President Clinton has tapped regulator-turned-banker Paul M. Homan as special trustee for American Indians.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Homan will oversee the government's $2 billion trust fund for Native Americans.

No stranger to government service, Mr. Homan spent 18 years at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, leaving as senior adviser to Robert L. Clarke in 1991. Taking a break from regulating in 1982, Mr. Homan worked for a series of banks.

His latest stint in the industry was as president and chief executive officer of Riggs National Bank in Washington, D.C.

* * *

Four community activists arrested in March for disrupting a congressional hearing on the Community Reinvestment Act faced the music last month.

A jury in Washington, D.C., acquitted all four on charges of unlawful entry, but convicted Maude Hurd and Elena Hanggi - respectively the president and past president of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - of disrupting Congress, according to group.

The four were part of a group of protesters that broke into chants of "Save CRA" at a hearing before the House Banking subcommittee on financial institutions.

Ms. Hurd and Ms. Hanggi will appear before a judge in September for sentencing, according to Acorn.

* * *

The Federal Housing Finance Board has appointed four new members to the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

Guy V. Molinari was named chairman of the board, while James J. Florio, Paul S. Grogan, and Charles Uribe were named directors.

A former U.S. congressman from New York, Mr. Molinari is currently the borough president of Staten Island. He also served on the New York State Assembly Banks Committee from 1974 to 1980.

Mr. Florio, the former governor of New Jersey, is currently a partner in the law firm of Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander, & Ferdon in Parsippany, N.J.

Mr. Grogan is president of Local Initiatives Support Corp., the nation's largest community development intermediary.

And Mr. Uribe runs a construction contracting company in New York City.

Separately, the finance board last week tapped Charles L. Thiemann, president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, to chair the board of directors of the system's office of finance.

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