Despite rampant rumors, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin said Under Secretary John D. Hawke Jr. is not about to get a recess appointment as comptroller of the currency.

"The administration hasn't made any decisions yet on recess appointments," Mr. Rubin told reporters Thursday. However, he said the administration would like to fill the job as soon as possible.

"We have a very good acting head of the OCC, Julie L. Williams, but it is important to have in there a regularly appointed person."

A reluctant Rep.-elect Charles Gonzalez will probably follow in his father's footsteps by seeking a seat on the House Banking Committee.

Mr. Gonzalez captured the San Antonio congressional seat that longtime Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez had held since 1961. But the 53-year-old Democrat came to freshman orientation last week with the intent of joining the Education or Transportation committees.

"You try to be your own man," Mr. Gonzalez said. "Dad really did raise us to be quite independent."

But he said the warm reception he received from current Chairman Jim Leach and Rep. John D. LaFalce, the committee' ranking Democrat, may change his mind. So might the political reality that influential Texas lawmakers already serve on Education and Transportation, making Banking Mr. Gonzalez's best shot for a significant committee seat. Committee assignments will be determined next month.


Football players and wrestlers are taking over government everywhere you turn.

Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., a former House Banking Committee member and University of Oklahoma quarterback, was named Republican Conference chairman last week and quipped to reporters: "I'm going to Disneyland and celebrate."

Meanwhile, House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach was introduced as "Congressman Jim 'The Body' Leach" before a speech last week. The comparison Minnesota's governor-elect, former wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura, was a bow to Rep. Leach's membership in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. "This was the year of the wrestler," responded Rep. Leach, whose victorious reelection campaign team included Olympic gold medal wrestler Dan Gable.

After thrashing the banking industry in Congress this year, the Credit Union National Association skyrocketed to 8th from 70th on Fortune's annual ranking of the most influential lobbying groups.

The American Bankers Association was shoved down eight notches, to 20th.

Other financial industry groups appearing on "The Power 25" include the Independent Insurance Agents of America at 12th, up from 27th last year, and the American Council of Life Insurance at 23d, up from 44th.

"CUNA trounced its archrival, the American Bankers Association, which for good reason slipped in the rankings," Fortune noted. The biweekly magazine quoted ABA chief lobbyist Edward L. Yingling limply admitting: "There was nothing you could do."

Federal Reserve Board watchers may have experienced a bit of deja vu last week when Governor Edward M. Gramlich addressed the 46th Annual Economic Outlook Conference at the University of Michigan. The speech was a verbatim copy of a Feb. 27 address he gave to the Eastern Economic Association in New York.

The banking industry's chief legal nemesis in the insurance sales wars will leave the battlefield Jan. 1 to join Fannie Mae as senior vice president and deputy general counsel.

Ann M. Kappler, a partner in the Washington office of the Jenner & Block law firm, will be responsible for litigation, regulatory, and employment law. Ms. Kappler represented several insurance industry trade groups that fought to uphold state laws barring bank insurance sales. Those laws ultimately were struck down by the Supreme Court in the Barnett Banks decision. "There are many more insurance battles to wage, but there are others around to fight them," Ms. Kappler said.

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