Oh, the frustration Ricki Helfer and Jonathan Fiechter must feel.

Press coverage of recent congressional hearings on the Savings Association Insurance Fund starred Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan - even though the government's rescue plan was mostly developed by Ms. Helfer, who heads the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Mr. Fiechter, who runs the Office of Thrift Supervision.

The Wall Street Journal led its story on Senate Banking's July 31 hearing with Mr. Greenspan's warning that quick action is needed to shore up the thrift fund. The Washington Post followed suit Aug. 3, reporting that Mr. Greenspan advocates a merger of bank and thrift charters.

An Aug. 4 editorial in the Post again cited Mr. Greenspan in an argument for fixing the fund's financial problems this year.

Next thing you know, Ms. Helfer and Mr. Fiechter will be quoted on which way interest rates are going.


A key staff member in Rep. Floyd H. Flake's office has left the Hill for higher things.

Edwin Reed left his post as the New York Democrat's executive staff director to become chief financial officer at Rep. Flake's church.

Mr. Reed starts his new job today at the Allen African American Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica, N.Y., where Rep. Flake is a minister.


Rep. Richard Baker has chosen Sept. 27 and 28 as hearing dates to examine the Federal Home Loan Bank System, and the presidents of the district banks will be grilled.

An aide to the Louisiana Republican said that a number of the presidents will be questioned about how efficiently they are operating their banks.

"There are a number of business management issues that need to be looked at," the staff member said.

Rep. Baker canceled a July 13 vote on his system modernization bill when the bank presidents objected to various changes in the bill, including one that would retain the cap on commercial bank membership in the system.

Rep. Baker said the presidents expressed "stringent opposition to reform." However, the Home Loan bank presidents said they simply needed time to examine the 80-odd pages added to the bill two days before the vote.

Other witnesses at the upcoming hearings will include various members of the system. Another witness may also be Bruce A. Morrison, the chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, which oversees it.


Paul J. Drolet has been tapped as the Housing Finance Board's new general counsel.

Mr. Drolet comes to the board from Capitol Hill, where he had been counsel to the Democrats on House Judiciary's immigration and claims subcommittee. The agency's prior general counsel, Beth L. Climo, is now special assistant to the chairman.

Also joining the finance board as a special assistant to Mr. Morrison is Karen H. Crosby. She held the same job at Legal Services Corp. here in Washington.


Everyone was talking last week about Rep. Bill McCollum revising his legislation to shore up the thrift fund by tackling the sticky tax and powers issues involved with merging the two industries' charters.

But the Florida Republican is holding off, because so many members of House Banking seem interested in enacting a wide-ranging rescue.

At a hearing last week, Democrats as well as Republicans on House Banking backed the idea of a charter merger.

"There is a lot of discussion going on right now, and we are encouraged that we can do this on a bipartisan basis," said a senior staff member in Rep. McCollum's office.

"It seems like everyone on the committee is committed to that issue," he added. "We figured that throwing in another bill doesn't forward that."

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