For someone trying to keep a low profile, Texas community banker Don Powell is getting a lot of ink. This time it is in The Upbeat Reporter, a Christian magazine that pulled out all the stops for a cover story on the presumptive nominee for Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman.
The cover headline "Amarillo's Don Powell: You Know Where He Stands" and photo of Mr. Powell with President George W. Bush and his father, the former Commander in Chief, underscore the First National Bank of Amarillo owner's strong political connections.
The Upbeat Reporter, which is published out of Amarillo, also managed the Herculean task of scoring an interview with Mr. Powell, who has yet to return phone calls to other media outlets. But while the publication mentions Mr. Powell's likely FDIC nomination, it elicits no comment from him on the subject.
Readers do learn his birthday (May 2, 1941), favorite meal (red beans, cornbread, corn with some chopped beef), and best memory (proposing to his wife, Twanna Powell).
The article also mentions Mr. Powell's numerous community service awards, Don Powell Days held in Amarillo and nearby Canyon in 1997, and his being named one of the High Plains' top 100 history-makers last year by the Amarillo Globe-News.
Another nugget: Mr. Powell did not set out to be a banker.
"I picked economics because I thought I wanted to get into the business world and that would be a great thing to major in," he told the magazine.
Perhaps American Bankers Association general counsel Mike Crotty has a secret career writing potboilers. In a contest by the Washington Post's In the Loop column to write the first sentences of a novel ostensibly by former President Clinton, Mr. Crotty took top prize."It was a dark and stormy administration. Suddenly a pardon rang out," Mr. Crotty wrote.
President Bush announced last week that he planned to nominate Notre Dame Law School professor Jimmy Gurule to be under secretary of the Treasury for enforcement. Like many of President Bush's nominees, Mr. Gurule worked for the elder Bush's administration. He was an assistant attorney general from 1990 to 1992.
Senate Banking Committee members are in the midst of a hiring frenzy.Chairman Phil Gramm, R-Tex., recently hired Tom Loo as the panel's senior economist, Daris Meeks as a counsel, and Sarah Dumont as a professional staff member.
Sen. Tim Johnson, the top Democrat on the financial institutions subcommittee, today is bringing on board Harvard-educated lawyer Naomi Camper to handle committee issues. Ms. Camper comes to Sen. Johnson's office from the Investment Company Institute, where she was an assistant counsel.
Margaret Simmons, an attorney, is joining the staff today of newly elected Democrat Sen. Tom Carper to handle banking issues. Ms. Simmons used to be the associate director at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
And Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., on Friday lost his banking aide Terry Campbell to the NASDAQ stock market's Washington lobbying shop. A replacement for Mr. Campbell has not been announced.
The new administration's Treasury Department is tapping into congressional expertise. Former Senate Banking Committee counsel Dina Ellis, who has been working in the temporary position of senior adviser to the under secretary for domestic finance, is expected to be appointed to a permanent position at the agency, sources say. The same is true for former House Banking Committee counsel-turned Treasury consultant Joe Engelhard, who is expected to be named to a political position in the agency's international division.Amy Smith, the banking aide for Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., a member of the House Financial Services Committee, is headed to Treasury as deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs for banking and finance.
Capitol Hill sources also have been talking up Senate Banking aide Geoff Gray for a Treasury appointment, possibly even assistant secretary for domestic finance. However, sources close to the agency said that position is more likely to go to a lawyer.
Harold W. Pote, an executive vice president with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., has been elected to the Consumer Bankers Association board of directors.