Alan Greenspan is getting hitched. The Fed chairman proposed to NBC-TV correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Christmas Day after dating for 12 years. "We have a huge amount in common," Mr. Greenspan told The Washington Post. "It's really a great match." They are planning a spring wedding. Still, not all the news was good last week for the Fed chairman. The Post declared Mr. Greenspan "out" on its annual list of who's in and who's out. "Irrational exuberance" - the phrase Mr. Greenspan used to describe the stock market's inexplicable growth - is "in."
Bankers waited two anxious years for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to finalize its controversial "op-sub" rule. While the regulation opening the door to wider powers took effect last week, no applications were filed.
"The industry is mulling over what their interests are, and we think that is an excellent way to proceed," OCC Chief Counsel Julie L. Williams said. "They should be very thorough in their analysis."
If the Lippo Bank issue has legs, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. hopes to usher it somewhere else.
Lippo Bank is a Los Angeles-based institution affiliated with Lippo Group, the Indonesian financial conglomerate embroiled in the controversy over Democratic fund-raising from foreign sources. The FDIC disciplined Lippo Bank twice in the 1990s. Questions have been raised about whether political pressure affected the FDIC's handling of the case.
At the request of the chairmen of House and Senate Banking subcommittees, FDIC officials have combed their phone records in search of any contacts with John Huang, former head of Lippo's U.S. operations and the Democratic Party rainmaker at the center of the fund-raising controversy.
Agency officials made three telephone calls to Mr. Huang in the last few years, according to letters recently sent to Capitol Hill by FDIC Vice Chairman Andrew C. Hove. (Mr. Hove is overseeing the FDIC's response to the matter because Chairman Ricki Helfer, whose purported ties to the White House have been the subject of controversy before, recused herself.)
Ken Quincy, a section chief in the division of compliance and consumer affairs, made two calls to Mr. Huang in May 1995 that lasted 2.2 and 0.9 minutes, according to Mr. Hove's letters.
Mr. Quincy denies ever having made contact with Mr. Huang. Ditto for Gregg Golden, a senior counsel who - according to Mr. Hove's letters - placed a 1.1-minute call to Mr. Huang last July.