Stealing the banking regulators' thunder, the National Credit Union Administration will be the first of seven federal agencies to unveil final rules implementing Gramm-Leach-Bliley's financial privacy protections.
The NCUA board has scheduled a May 8 vote on the privacy rules. The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are expected to vote May 10; there's no official word yet on when the other agencies will act.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky plans to use Bank One's Chicago headquarters on Tuesday as the backdrop to unveil her "Financial Consumers' Bill of Rights Act." The Illinois Democrat says her bill "attacks outrageous bank fees, bans ATM surcharges, guarantees financial privacy, and protects consumers against identity fraud."
Speaking in Moscow last week, House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach explained his interest in the Bank of New York money-laundering case: "This matter raises fundamental issues, including the extent to which access to the Western financial system has contributed to the impoverishment of the Russian people.
"Processing transactions involving the proceeds of crime, corruption, and law evasion invoke the specter of large-scale disregard for civil governance," Rep. Leach continued. "The possibility of infiltration of the American financial system by corrupt enterprises abroad is not a threat that Congress can ignore."
The Iowa Republican, in a speech before the Financial Academy, pulled no punches.
"It appears that Russia's future is in the balance," Rep. Leach said. "The question of whether Communism will simply give way to corruptionism is the fundamental challenge that must be addressed."
Comparing Russia to America's wild West, Rep. Leach said, "the principal differentiation is that in Russia today, the outlaws may be running rather than robbing the banks, and the sheriffs may be controlling rather than reporting to the politicians."
The Federal Reserve has promoted John Yorke to the newly created post of resource coordinator for the supervision of large, complex banking organizations.
Mr. Yorke, a 29-year veteran of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, will coordinate the allocation of examiners from all 12 reserve banks to the nation's largest institutions. Though he will remain in Kansas City, Mr. Yorke will report to Richard Spillenkothen, the Fed's director of banking supervision.
Mr. Yorke had been the Kansas City Fed's top supervisor. His successor is Maryann Hunter, who was in charge of the K.C. Fed's consumer affairs and examinations departments.
Having decided that life is too short to let regulatory compliance dominate it, JoAnn S. Barefoot has left KPMG Barefoot Marrinan.
The compliance guru has helped hundreds of banks to comply with everything from the Community Reinvestment Act to Truth in Lending and has focused recently on privacy issues. But she is leaving that behind to write a mystery novel, learn to fly, hone her fly-fishing technique, and spend more time with her children.
Declaring Ms. Barefoot a "Renaissance woman," her partner Tim Marrinan said, "She is one of the deep thinkers in this whole area."
Ms. Barefoot left KPMG on April 15 but will do occasional projects for the firm.
"I am going to do some consulting," she said Friday. "I'll stay in the loop. If all my dreams come true, I'll get to keep the fun parts of my work and not have all the burdens of traveling all the time."
Ms. Barefoot said she started writing the book a year ago, "and now I'm obsessed with finishing it." Turning 50 last year played a role in her decision, she said.
After 12 years here at the Senate Banking Committee and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in 1982 Ms. Barefoot set up shop as a consultant in Columbus, Ohio. (Her husband is Mike van Buskirk, executive vice president of the Ohio Bankers Association.) After 13 years, KPMG bought into her practice, and she worked with the big accounting and consulting firm for four years.