Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato, R-N.Y., hasn't forgotten his long battle to deny Ricki Tigert Helfer the chairmanship of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

At a dinner last week sponsored by Salomon Brothers Inc., he chided the thrift executives for their strong support last year of Ms. Helfer, whose nomination he held up for 10 months.

Her recent decision to drop commercial bank deposit insurance premiums while keeping thrift premiums high was "a pretty superficial finding," the senator said.

"Garbage in, garbage out," he said of Ms. Helfer, implying thrifts got what they deserved for supporting her over his objections.

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Robert E. Litan is moving this month from the Justice Department to the Office of Management and Budget.

Mr. Litan is now deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division. Before that, he was the Brookings Institution's expert on banking issues and a chief proponent of the "narrow bank" concept.

He'll take the place of Christopher Edley, program associate director for general government and finance. Mr. Edley is returning to Harvard University.

Former Rep. Alan Wheat, a Missouri Democrat who lost his race for the Senate, becomes the agency's deputy director.

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Duane Duncan, chief of staff for Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., wasn't kidding when he said his boss' financial industry reform bill mirrored one introduced by Senate Banking Committee Chairman D'Amato.

A copy of the Baker bill, which was introduced this month, was simply Sen. D'Amato's bill with the words "Mr. D'Amato of New York" and "Senate" crossed out and replaced with "Mr. Baker of Louisiana" and "House."

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Steve Johnson is expected to start Tuesday as legislative counsel for the House Banking subcommittee on financial institutions. He previously was counsel at ISD/Shaw Inc., a Washington consulting firm that tracks bank regulation and legislation.

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Carol Van Cleef leaves Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to become a partner at Katten, Muchin & Davis, heading the firm's banking practice.

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