Not all gold medal winners are Olympic athletes. Jonathan L. Fiechter, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, received the Treasury Medal last week, the second-highest award given by the department.
Described as a "rare and special honor," the gold medal was awarded Aug. 8 in recognition of Mr. Fiechter's "singular accomplishments and leadership" during 24 years with the department. The award could double as a send-off gift: Mr. Fiechter is leaving the OTS Sept. 4 for a job at the World Bank.
Mr. Fiechter was surprised by the award; he thought he was attending a farewell party with agency staffers. On hand to celebrate were Mr. Fiechter's parents, who traveled from Philadelphia for the event, his wife, Julie, and daughter, Elizabeth.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers presented the medal along with a citation describing Mr. Fiechter's "extraordinary success in advancing a strong, risk-focused supervisory oversight program, one that is firm, fair, and responsive to changes in the industry."
Mr. Fiechter joined the Treasury in 1972 as a financial economist. He moved to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for nine years, rising to deputy comptroller for economic analysis, and took the reins at the OTS in 1992.
The American Bankers Association and four big financial institutions are footing the bill for a golf tournament today for Republicans attending their party's national convention in San Diego.
Sponsored by the Republican National Campaign Committee, the tourney at the Rancho Bernardo links is expected to draw as many as 144 golfers.
Helping the ABA pay the event's $30,000 tab are Bankers Trust New York Corp., J.P. Morgan & Co., NationsBank Corp., and Household International Inc.
Republicans can choose from two other corporate-sponsored golf tournaments today. Despite the competition, ABA lobbyist Peter Blocklin said the event gives the industry a good opportunity to "show the flag" before loyal Republicans.
Corporations and other private groups are underwriting roughly $12 million worth of events for the convention, which runs through Aug. 15.
The race for one of the open Kansas U.S. Senate seats is shaping up as a tough choice for bankers there.
After defeating Sen. Sheila Frahm in the Republican primary last week, Rep. Sam Brownback faces Democrat Jill Docking, a Wichita stockbroker and sister-in-law to Bill Docking, president of the Kansas Bankers Association in 1990 and still active in the group's leadership.
Mr. Docking is president of Union State Bank, a $50 million-asset institution in Arkansas City, Kan., and treasurer of Ms. Docking's campaign.
Both candidates "are considered friends of bankers," Mr. Docking conceded Friday. "It's always tough when you have two good friends running against each other," added Harold Stones, KBA executive vice president.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was overrun with munchkins last week.
More than 65 employees, including Steven Cross, the deputy comptroller; Bert Otto, acting deputy comptroller for compliance management; and Ellen Broadman, director of securities and corporate practices in the legal division, brought their sons to the Washington headquarters for the agency's first "Bring your sons to work day."
The program, for boys 9 to 18 years old, included an explanation of a bank examiner's job, a pep talk by Comptroller Eugene Ludwig, and a tour of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Mr. Ludwig's son was too young to participate.
Mr. Ludwig has been a bit of a stranger around the OCC this summer.
The national bank regulator escaped with his family for a three-week sojourn in France for most of July. Part two of his summer vacation is scheduled to begin next week. Mr. Ludwig is heading for one of his favorite haunts - Martha's Vineyard - and is not due back before Labor Day.
But Mr. Ludwig's vacations aren't all play. He brings his laptop. While in France, OCC employees were getting daily E-mails from the boss.
General Accounting Office chief Charles A. Bowsher last week was named the Outstanding CPA in Government for 1996 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Mr. Bowsher, who has been the U.S. comptroller general for nearly 15 years, was recognized for his role in strengthening financial management of the federal government.