About 550 employees at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Hartford, Conn., office received an early Christmas gift from Sen. Christopher Dodd: their jobs.
The FDIC had planned to close the Hartford office next year as part of a plan to consolidate its asset liquidation activities into the Dallas office.
But the third-term Connecticut Democrat was adamant about keeping the Hartford office open. In early 1997, Sen. Dodd and two other Connecticut stalwarts-Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Rep. Barbara B. Kennelly -asked the FDIC's inspector general to investigate why Dallas, and not Hartford, was selected to host the agency's liquidation efforts.
When the inspector general's office reported that the FDIC's methodology for selecting Dallas was reasonable, the Connecticut lawmakers retreated a bit. But in February, Sen. Dodd met with then-Chairman-elect Donna A. Tanoue and asked her to consider keeping the Hartford office open until the potential impact on banks of the year-2000 computer problem was better understood.
Sen. Dodd's spokesman said Ms. Tanoue eventually agreed. The FDIC has postponed its decision on the Hartford office's closing date until March 31, when the second round of year-2000-related bank exams are to be completed.
Congress has adjourned for the year, but lawmakers are still talking about cracking down on hedge funds by keeping closer tabs on their bank and securities firm lenders.
Last week Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., praised comments by William McDonough, New York Federal Reserve Bank president, supporting controls on investments in hedge funds.
"I was pleased to hear that Mr. McDonough agrees that even if we can't directly tell the hedge funds what to do, we can ensure that securities firms and federally insured banks are making loans and equity investments in responsible ways," said the high-ranking House Banking Committee member.
Speaking in Sydney, Australia, Mr. McDonough said hedge funds could be indirectly regulated through "closer control of their counterparties."