Washington People: Heavyweights Rumored for Key Treasury Job; Oxley on Links; Privacy Hawk Won't Push

American Banker, February 5, 2001 | Go to article overview

Washington People: Heavyweights Rumored for Key Treasury Job; Oxley on Links; Privacy Hawk Won't Push


All President Bush's top cabinet choices have been confirmed, so the Washington gossip factory is shifting its production efforts to speculation on second-tier appointments.

Of particular interest to the financial services industry is who will be tapped as the Treasury Department's under secretary for domestic finance.

Among those reportedly being considered are Peter Fisher, executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Frederick Khedouri, senior managing director at the investment firm of Bear, Stearns & Co.; Neil D. Levin, the superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department; Randal K. Quarles, co-head of the financial institutions group at the law firm of Davis Polk & Ward; and T. Timothy Ryan, a managing director at J.P Morgan Chase & Co. and a former director of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Other names that have been mentioned include Joseph Seidel, director and senior legislative and regulatory affairs counsel at Credit Suisse First Boston's Washington office, and John Dugan, a partner at the law firm of Covington & Burling.

Some insiders are placing their bets on Mr. Fisher, who also serves as manager of the system open market account for the Federal Reserve Board. Some critics are alarmed that such an appointment would give the Fed undue influence at Treasury.

"This signals a Fed takeover of Treasury with (Treasury Secretary) Paul O'Neill being a close friend of (Fed Chairman) Alan Greenspan, and Mr. Greenspan now having succeeded in plugging in a key Fed official into the higher reaches of Treasury," a Washington consultant said.

Who can blame new House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley, an avid golfer, for deciding to compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament this past weekend?

After all, his alternative was two days of talking Republican policy and strategy at the caucus' annual retreat in historic Williamsburg, Va.

The tourney featured a full roster of golf greats, including Tiger Woods, David Duval, and Mark O'Meara, plus such celebrities as conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov, easy-listening crooner Michael Bolton, and hard rocker Alice Cooper.

The GOP retreat offered only the likes of President Bush, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.

Though a Washington Post article on Friday ribbed the Ohio Republican for taking a jaunt out West instead of attending the retreat to learn more about his new committee, the tournament did offer Rep. Oxley a chance to talk financial services policy. Other participants included former Wells Fargo & Co. chief executive officer Paul Hazen, former Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, former MasterCard CEO H. Eugene Lockhart, and investment guru Charles Schwab.

Alabama Republican Sen. …

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