An Alabama thrift executive recently experienced his own personal moment of Olympic glory.

Billy Don Anderson, president and chief executive of the $120-million- asset Valley Federal Savings Bank, Sheffield, was one of 10,000 people chosen to help carry the Olympic flame to Atlanta for the start of the 1996 Summer Games.

On June 28, Mr. Anderson, who also sits on the board of America's Community Bankers, carried the torch for about a half-mile before cheering crowds in Huntsville, Ala. The thrift president prepared for the run by jogging on a treadmill at the local gym while holding a dumbbell.

"I was so pumped that the run was a total blur," Mr. Anderson said. "It was a fleeting moment, but I'll remember the screaming people, the unified patriotic spirit in the air, for the rest of my life."

To commemorate the moment, Mr. Anderson purchased the torch he carried for $275.

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The banking industry may have a shot at getting an ally on the national ballot in November.

Press reports last week said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a former House Banking Committee member, is at the top of Republican presidential candidate Robert J. Dole's list of potential running mates.

While in the House, Gov. Ridge made his mark by introducing the Bank Enterprise Act, which was enacted in 1991. The law provides for a reduction in insurance assessments for institutions that make loans in low-income communities.

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Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Ricki Helfer and her team of economists may be able to forecast a range of possible outcomes for the ailing thrift insurance fund, but she's no fortune teller.

Ms. Helfer emphasized this distinction during a speech Friday before the Community Bankers Association of Kansas.

"I do not have the gift of prophecy - what some people in rural Tennessee where I grew up called 'The Sight,'" Ms. Helfer said. "Nor can I tell the future from cards, tea leaves, or a divining rod."

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The Farm Credit Administration has tapped Roland E. Smith as its chief examiner and Thomas G. McKenzie as director of the newly formed Office of Policy Development and Risk Control. Mr. Smith and Mr. McKenzie are 17-year veterans of the farm agency.

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