P.M. BRIEFING : Bush Reportedly Wants FDIC’s Chairman Seidman to Resign

From Times Wire Services

President Bush wants Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman L. William Seidman to resign, the Washington Post reported today, quoting unnamed Administration sources.

Bush, in a meeting with the top S&L; bailout official two weeks ago, reportedly suggested that now would be a good time for the 69-year old Seidman to leave, the newspaper said. He had been appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1985, and his term expires in 1991.

Seidman, in a telephone interview from Michigan, declined to comment on the story today and said he had promised not to divulge what he discussed with the President. However, he noted that in the past he has said he planned to leave his post after getting the bailout agency off to a good start.

A month ago, he announced ambitious plans to sell or close 140 S&Ls; by the end of June and, he said today, “that would be a good start.”


An industry source, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said White House officials confirmed that they will not stand in Seidman’s way if he leaves.

The chairman of the FDIC serves independently and cannot be fired by the President. But the Post, quoting “two Administration sources familiar with the meeting,” said Bush wants to name his own chairman.

“It’s no secret we would not be upset if he leaves. It’s not like we’re trying to talk him into staying,” the newspaper quoted a source present at the meeting as saying.