The Senate Banking Committee hearing room was tense as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin sat down to discuss whether new financial powers should be given to bank operating subsidiaries or holding company units.

Mr. Greenspan at times took a professorial tone as he explained nitty- gritty banking issues to Mr. Rubin. When the Fed chairman defined the so- called 23a firewalls that govern transactions among holding company affiliates, Mr. Rubin snapped, "I know that."

When Mr. Rubin proved it, Mr. Greenspan said, "You get an A." Quickly realizing he had misunderstood the Treasury secretary's earlier comment, Mr. Greenspan apologized for correcting him. "I get a B or less," the Fed chief joked.

Rep. John Boehner said he had no idea what he was getting into when he offered to shepherd financial reform legislation through the House. "If someone had told me 20 months ago what I had asked for, I think I would have shot myself rather than take this job," the Ohio Republican told the Exchequer Club.

Gloating over the bill's May 13 passage, Rep. Boehner predicted it would be enacted this year. If not, he pledged to try again. "So for those of you hoping to get rid of me, don't count on it."

David G. Hammaker was named deputy comptroller for compliance operations last week. He will oversee implementation of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's consumer compliance and Community Reinvestment Act policies.

The newly created post will provide "a direct link between policymakers and CRA/compliance examiners in the field," said acting Comptroller Julie L. Williams.

Mr. Hammaker has been Mellon Bank's chief resident examiner since 1995. He joined the agency in 1975.

Lou Marcoccio, year-2000 research director for Gartner Group, is in such demand that callers to his office are given a seven-digit reference number.

The Westboro, Mass.-based consultant said his call volume increased at least 20-fold this year, to 1,000 calls a week, many from bankers.

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