A New Broom At The Treasury?

Call him the un-Altman. Low-key and apolitical, former San Francisco banker Frank Newman has been tapped to replace Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, who resigned on Aug. 17--a casualty of Whitewater. For the past 18 months, Newman, 52, has been toiling away in his nonflashy job as Treasury Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, dealing with public-debt management and banking policy.

Unlike Friend-of-Bill Altman, Newman has no personal ties to President Clinton and no evident ambition to succeed Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen. His main task: helping manage the department, something Altman rarely did. Newman's elevation could mean headaches for the financial services industry. He wants to extend the community-investment requirements on banks to insurance companies and mutual funds. Small banks also fear he may push to ease restrictions on nationwide banking.

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