Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Alice M. Rivlin's resignation last week doubled the work load for the notoriously slow White House nominations machine, which now has two slots to fill on the seven-member board.
Susan M. Phillips quit the Fed board a year ago to become dean of George Washington University's business school. But the White House is still at least a month away from nominating Carol J. Parry to succeed her, an administration official said.
The government needs several more weeks to finish its background check on Ms. Parry, who is executive vice president in charge of community reinvestment at Chase Manhattan Bank.
Ms. Rivlin gave the White House a heads-up two weeks ago about her pending resignation, but preliminary discussions there have not produced a candidate to succeed her.
Sources speculate that Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William J. McDonough is in the running. But his or any other candidate's enthusiasm for the vice chairmanship would depend on whether Chairman Alan Greenspan is appointed to a fourth four-year term next year-and how much of it he might plan to serve.
Ms. Rivlin began her term as vice chairman in June 1996. Under her stewardship, the Fed produced a report on the central bank's role in the payment systems, which paved the way for more collaboration with the private sector. She also was the board's administrative chief.
Getting onto the board was no picnic. Appointed contemporaneously with Fed Governor Laurence H. Meyer, whose nomination sailed through the Senate 98-0, Ms. Rivlin was approved 57-41, the thinnest margin for a Fed nominee in 30 years.
Her nomination disappointed groups such as the American Bankers Association, which had hoped for a banker. No current Fed governor has significant banking experience.
The 68-year-old Ms. Rivlin will split her time between the Brookings Institution and the District of Columbia Financial Assistance Authority, which she heads. Her resignation is effective July 16.
In other Fed news, the board has tapped Richard C. Stevens to direct its division of information technology. Mr. Stevens joined the Fed in 1973 and rose through the information technology division before becoming deputy director in July 1988.
If an issue is hot, Rep. Marge Roukema is almost certain to schedule a hearing on it.
Rep. Roukema, R-N.J., chairwoman of House Banking's financial institutions subcommittee, had scheduled a June 16 hearing on issues related to the Community Reinvestment Act, a very hot potato.
But not as hot as loan-loss reserves. The issue erupted once again two weeks ago after the Securities and Exchange Commission, to the chagrin of Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke Jr., endorsed a controversial article by accounting regulators.
Rep. Roukema wasted little time in erasing "CRA" from her June 16 hearing agenda and penciling in "loan-loss reserves."
James A. Wilcox, a professor of finance and economic policy at the University of California-Berkeley's business school, has been appointed chief economist at the OCC. ... The Financial Services Council has promoted lobbyist Brian C. Conklin to acting president while it seeks a permanent successor for the departing Samuel J. Baptista.