Facebook Twitter



The Justice Department has no information that Neil Bush broke any criminal law as a director of a failed savings and loan, but it would pursue the case if such an allegation were made, the attorney general says.

Attorney General Dick Thornburgh spoke Sunday as Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo., vowed to continue seeking an independent counsel to investigate the Denver-based Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan Association.Neil Bush, one of President Bush's four sons, was a director of the institution, which failed at a loss of $1 billion.

Thornburgh disagreed with Schroeder on the need for an independent counsel.

"I don't think it would be fair to anyone, any citizen of the United States to appoint an independent counsel or special prosecutor where there are no allegations of criminal misconduct," he said on ABC's "This Week With David Brinkley."

Meanwhile, FDIC Chairman William Seidman said the insurance fund for deposits in banks and savings and loans is under "considerable stress," but it's unlikely it will collapse the way the savings and loan system did.

"The banks will not be like the S&Ls," Seidman said on CBS's "Face the Nation." But he said, "I think we have to be very careful the way we handle deposit insurance, and we have to be very careful that we maintain the stability of the system."

Also, the Office of Thrift Supervision is planning to change the way it releases financial data to the public, and some analysts accuse the agency of using "spin control" to cut down on the bad news.

The agency plans to report only on solvent, privately owned savings institutions. Information on failed but still-operating thrifts controlled by the government will be reported later by a separate agency, the Resolution Trust Corp.

The S&L fiasco has spawned bitter partisan wrangling over who caused the crisis and how it is going to be fixed. Republicans charge Democrats in Congress led the legislative efforts that resulted in abuses; Democrats say the Republican administrations failed to supervise the system.