The Clinton administration continues its search for someone with banking experience to sit on the Federal Reserve Board.
White House spokesman Mike McCurry taunted reporters Wednesday, asking why none of them have uncovered the names of candidates on the short list to replace former governors Lawrence B. Lindsey and Janet R. Yellen.
Investors Business Daily and the Associated Press reported Thursday that five bankers are under consideration: Century National Bank president Joseph Bracewell; Barnett Banks chief economist Lynn A. Reaser; First Chicago NBD Corp. chief economist James Annable; BankAmerica Corp. chief economist John O. Wilson; and Douglas E. Harris, a former managing director at J.P. Morgan & Co. who also used to be senior deputy comptroller for capital markets at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. All five either refused to comment on the record or did not return phone calls.
Still, administration officials cautioned that the search continues; no final list of candidates is ready for President Clinton's selection.
The House Banking Committee will get bigger this week, adding a member from each party for a total of 56.
Three new Republicans are expected to be named this week to fill the new spot as well as replace two members who have moved on to other committees. The GOP newcomers are: Mark Foley of Florida, Walter Jones Jr. of North Carolina, and Donald Manzullo of Illinois.
The Democrats have not named their new Banking Committee member.
Rep. Jack Metcalf, R-Wash., pledged to resurrect by the end of April legislation allowing banks to pay interest on corporate checking accounts. His bill, the House Banking member said last week, also would allow the Federal Reserve to pay interest on the reserves banks must hold at the central bank.
In late February, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato said he favored letting the Fed pay interest on reserves.
At a conference sponsored by Independent Insurance Agents of America, Rep. John D. Dingell of Michigan weighed in on banks selling insurance.
"I don't know how you can sign up for a policy at a bank when those cheap little pens never write," the House Commerce Committee's ranking Democrat said. "It always amazes me that they feel it necessary to chain those pens to a desk. It's like they're saying, 'Trust us with your money, but we don't trust you with our pens.' "
Alan Greenspan's days as a bachelor are over. The Federal Reserve Board chairman married Andrea Mitchell, a Washington correspondent for NBC News, on April 6. On Tuesday, the couple-a fixture on the Washington social scene for 12 years-attended the state dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
The only banker on the White House invite list was Alan G. McNally, chief executive officer of Harris Bankcorp, who flew in from Chicago with his wife, Ruth. Harris is owned by the Bank of Montreal.
The Independent Bankers Association of America has hired Robin Y. Jackson as a senior lobbyist. A former lawyer for two House committees, Ms. Jackson most recently worked in the government contracts department of McKenna & Cuneo, a Washington law firm .
Barbara Chiapella joins the American Bankers Association's Center for Community Development as a housing lobbyist. Previously, Ms. Chiapella worked at the Resolution Trust Corp. and the General Accounting Office.