Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan seems to be opening up to the media more and more since his marriage to NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell last year.
Last week Mr. Greenspan met with House Republican leaders in Speaker Newt Gingrich's office to discuss the financial reform bill. To tout the Fed chairman's support for the legislation set to go to the floor Tuesday, Rep. Gingrich invited a host of reporters and television cameras for a brief news conference.
Mr. Greenspan almost never responds to shouted questions from reporters, but he answered a couple-and sprinkled in some humor.
When asked if he was recommending any changes to the bill, Mr. Greenspan replied: "My view of compromise is, if you get one, applaud and sit down."
Nevertheless, House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach said serious talks occurred behind closed doors. "Greenspan made a very powerful case for bank modernization," Rep. Leach said after the meeting.
Charles E. Rice will receive the Financial Institutions Insurance Association's first annual Raiken-Sender Award on April 6 during the group's convention in Charleston, S.C.
As chairman and chief executive of Barnett Banks Inc., Mr. Rice plowed new ground for banks in insurance. Barnett was the focus of a 1996 Supreme Court case that confirmed banks may sell insurance from small towns. (NationsBank Corp. has since acquired Barnett.)
The award is named in honor of the late Allen L. Raiken and Stanton P. Sender, partners in the law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius who represented the trade group.
Rep. Michael G. Oxley, chairman of the House Commerce subcommittee on finance, told the Independent Insurance Agents of America on Thursday that he was "frustrated" by the banking industry's opposition to the financial reform bill. He accused bankers of playing "a game of obfuscation" because regulators and the courts have awarded them powers that would not be granted to the insurance and securities industry without legislation.