Call Treasury Under Secretary John D. Hawke Jr. a realist.
While lawmakers discuss how to tweak financial reform legislation to gain more votes, Mr. Hawke noted any change designed to appease opponents risks alienating supporters.
In a speech Thursday night sponsored by the University of North Carolina's School of Law, Mr. Hawke predicted Congress will take a pass on financial reform the way it did on interstate banking.
"It may be that the marketplace must evolve further before we can achieve the kind of consensus that Congress needs to act comfortably," Mr. Hawke said.
The Senate on Friday unanimously approved the reappointment of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. to another five-year term. His current term was set to expire June 5.
Two top rule writers have joined the parade of staffers leaving the beleaguered National Credit Union Administration.
With staff attorneys Lisa Henderson and Martin "Sparky" Conrey moving on to other government agencies, NCUA General Counsel Robert M. Fenner is left with 15 lawyers, only four of whom are slated to write regulations if the credit union bill pending in Congress passes as expected.
Ms. Henderson moved to the Securities and Exchange Commission's market regulation division, while Mr. Conrey joined the Small Business Administration's general counsel's office.
Steven J. Pfister was named senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, which represents 2,000 U.S. retailers as well as state trade associations.
"Bankruptcy reform is one of our highest priorities," Mr. Pfister said. "With more than a million filings a year, the system is broken and we've got to do something to fix it."
With the group 12 years, Mr. Pfister, 40, served five years as Republican floor assistant in the House.
Just what does FOMC stand for?
Fed Governor Laurence H. Meyer told students at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., last week that his concern over public awareness of the Federal Open Market Committee hit a new high during a recent luncheon meeting with senior Treasury Department officials.
One turned to Mr. Meyer and asked if he knew what FOMC stood for. Mr. Meyer said he did, but was curious what the top Treasury official thought it meant. The official, whom Mr. Meyer mercifully did not identify, responded: "Fruit of the Month Club."