Washington People

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Campus View

The debate over whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. should be allowed to own an industrial loan company has moved from the halls of Congress to a Big Ten college campus.

"Liberals have targeted Wal-Mart for annihilation," John Stiglich argued last week in a column in the University of Michigan's student newspaper, The Michigan Daily.

"In light of the growing fears over what the retail giant's entry would do to the health of the American banking industry," the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. "is likely to cave under the pressure applied by the anti-Wal-Mart crowd and deny the company's application," Mr. Stiglich wrote.

He took aim at House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who is pushing for legislation that would ban commercial companies from owning ILCs.

"Frank's legislation details how unfairly Wal-Mart is treated by the left," Mr. Stiglich wrote. "First, if the presence of retail firms in the banking business really threatens the overall health of the industry, why allow previously established retail ILCs to continue operating? Second, Target does not employ union labor, yet its ILC charter was dealt with in a fair manner and subsequently approved. What gives?"

Five readers posted comments on the paper's Web site, and all five disagreed with Mr. Stiglich, including one who wrote, "Mr. Stiglich clearly enjoyed a heaping bowl of stupid for breakfast before writing this screed."

Next Stop: Iowa

David Bonior is leaving the bank boardroom for a spot on the campaign trail.

On Feb. 5 the former congressman will give up his seat on the board of Community Central Bank Corp. in Mount Clemens, Mich., to run John Edwards' presidential campaign.

Leaders at the $418 million-asset Community Central hope Mr. Bonior does not forget about banking as he works to send Mr. Edwards to the White House.

"We certainly wish him well in his present endeavor, and we expect that he will continue to be a strong promoter of Community Central Bank," David A. Widlak, its president and chief executive, said in a press release.

Back on the Staff

The office of Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, the Senate Banking Committee's No. 2 Democrat, announced last week that Steve Jarding would become his deputy chief of staff next month. …