It's been two years since Mary Rose Oakar helped shape banking policy from her seat in the House of Representatives, but her name lives on.

As a member of the House Banking Committee in 1989, Ms. Oakar crafted an amendment that permitted banks to convert the charters of acquired thrifts, giving rise to a class of institutions known as "Oakar banks."

The onetime Ohio Democrat, who now runs her own consulting firm in Washington, said she hadn't realized how famous her creations had made her until she bumped into Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and reintroduced herself.

"I don't know if you remember me, but I used to be on the House Banking Committee," Ms. Oakar said she told him. "And he said, 'Of course, the Oakar banks.' "

The Oakar banks are now a subject of controversy. Thrifts want their premium dollars used to help pay off bonds issues in 1987 to recapitalize the industry's insurance fund. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recently rejected that view.

Ms. Oakar, who lost her seat in the 1992 elections, now consults on international banking issues. She also serves on two presidential commissions, the Commission on Aging and Builders for Peace, which works on developing trade opportunities in the Middle East.

Jim Barth may be taking a 20-year trip back in time.

The Auburn University finance professor is in line to head the Congressional Budget Office.

Mr. Barth worked at the CBO in 1975, the year it was founded. He returned as a visitor for a year in 1984. Bankers know Mr. Barth, 51, better as the chief economist for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and its successor agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision.

With two other authors - Bob Litan and Dan Brumbaugh - Mr. Barth caused quite a stir in 1990 with a study predicting the insolvency of the Bank Insurance Fund. He joined Auburn as the Lowder Eminent Scholar in Finance in November 1989.

The American Bankers Association is nearing a decision on who will lead its new securities affiliate, and three of the candidates are familiar faces around town.

Among the finalists are former Rep. Larry LaRocco, D-Idaho; Peter Kinzler, former staff director for the House Banking subcommittee on financial institutions; and Thomas J. Rideout, a former president of the ABA.

The securities unit, which carries the working name "ABA Securities Association," will coordinate the trade group's efforts on such issues as Glass-Steagall repeal and derivatives legislation.

Sarah Miller, who works on securities issues now, will be the new unit's general counsel.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan sat impassively before the Senate Banking Committee on Jan. 31 as two political heavyweights slugged it out before him.

Mr. Greenspan, who was supposed to testify about the peso rescue bill, watched Sen. Alphonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D- Conn., exchange verbal blows. The melee began when Sen. Dodd, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, accused the Republicans of sinking the rescue bill. Sen. D'Amato, chairman of the committee, repeatedly interrupted, charging that Sen. Dodd had turned the matter into a political event. As the two yelled, Mr. Greenspan rested his chin on his left hand and watched.

Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun, D-Ill., learned firsthand the power the Republican Banking Committee chairman wields. During a hearing Jan. 31, Ms. Braun recommended that the committee adjourn to hear President Clinton's speech on the peso bailout issue. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, without missing a beat, said "Thank you," and then called on the next senator, completely ignoring Ms. Braun's request.

Duane Duncan, chief of staff for Rep. Richard Baker, R- La., will be joining the Federal National Mortgage Association. He will be working as director for congressional relations under William R. Maloni, Fannie Mae's senior vice president of policy and public affairs.

Mr. Duncan is also deputy staff director and counsel for the House Banking subcommittee on capital markets, which is chaired by Rep. Baker. He said he expects to make the switch "sometime in the middle of February."

The House Banking Committee is taking out a loan from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Stan Ivie, senior congressional liaison of the division of depositor and asset services at the FDIC, will be spending the next seven months working under Jack Sharman, assistant staff director on the oversight subcommittee.

Through the Legis Fellow program of the Office of Personnel Management, Mr. Ivie will be spending his days riffling through mountains of documents in preparation for Whitewater hearings this summer.

Harry C. Thomas has been named chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, while Enrique Flores was tapped to chair the Dallas Home Loan Bank.

Mr. Flores, who has worked as a community interest director on the Dallas Board, is executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Mr. Thomas, also a community interest director, has served four years on the Seattle board. He is a member of Neighborhood House, a nonprofit organization that serves residents of the city's public housing developments.

Judith Knight, previously the American Bankers Association's housing and real estate senior representative, has been named the group's new director of the Center for Community Development.

Ms. Knight is responsible for community development projects at the ABA and for providing information to bankers and the public.

The center, which was founded 2#1/2 years ago, has been moved from the bank products division to its government relations area. "It will be more policy focused and help contribute to ABA's fair-lending policy development," Ms. Knight said.

She reports to Floyd Stoner, director of federal legislative operations at the ABA.

The center's main projects have been an information data base on Community Reinvestment Act programs that banks have initiated, and a joint endeavor with the South Shore Bank in Chicago to train community development leaders.

The position has been vacant since Ronald Weldon Tigner left in September to become deputy director of community development at the Comptroller's office.

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