Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Calif., is the latest admirer of Rep. John LaFalce's late-night radio voice.

At a March 24 hearing on ways to bridge the gap in bank and thrift deposit insurance premiums, the New York Democrat used his time to recount the history of the savings and loan crisis.

"It doesn't matter what you say," Rep. Bono said. "It has such a beautiful flow to it - I didn't care after a while."

Rep. Bono continued by saying that the thrift industry should quit playing the victim.

"I've won and I've lost, and when I've won I've been responsible, and when I've lost I've been responsible," he said. "You should be responsible for this never happening again."

House Banking's financial institutions subcommittee Chairman Marge Roukema was duly impressed by both Rep. Bono and Rep. LaFalce.

"Now you can see how we benefit from the value of new blood, as well as institutional memory," Rep. Roukema said.

***

Matthew Roberts, director of the Comptroller of the Currency's consumer and community law division, discovered that the Community Reinvestment Act rules he is rewriting are nowhere near as complicated as the government's rules covering the size of employees' offices.

Mr. Roberts wanted to enlarge his working space by knocking down a wall between his office and an adjoining room. But that would have given him too much space under the rules. So workers gutted the enjoining office and then built a new wall giving Mr. Roberts just half the extra space.

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Andrew Sandler, the banking industry's top fair-lending lawyer, just become a partner at the powerful Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Mr. Sandler represents Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank and Barnett Banks Inc. in their disputes with the Justice Department. "He deserved it," said William Sweet, a partner at the firm. "It was well earned. He's been a real leader in our fair-lending practice."

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ISD/Shaw Inc. has hired Michael Markson as its counsel.

Before joining ISD/Shaw, Mr. Markson worked as an associate with the law firm of Pompan, Ruffner & Werfel in Alexandria, Va. He also has worked on policy for both the Cato Institute and the Joint Economic Committee.

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Sometimes bankers can really stand out in a crowd. That was certainly the case at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition's annual conference here last week. During a speech by Federal Reserve Board Governor Lawrence B. Lindsey, almost all the bankers huddled at one table.

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