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Henry Gonzalez ASK HENRY GONZALEZ THE TIME and he'll tell you how to make a watch.
"What seems a simple question, to me is more complicated," admits Gonzalez, who excels at making short stories long. "Unless I give background to explain why I'm saying what I'm saying, I don't think I'm being fair to myself. I don't think I'm giving a complete answer, which the question demands. Now somebody else might say, 'Well, you could have said it without all of this history.' But that's his judgment."
That's Gonzalez in a nutshell: verbose, defiant, and complicated. Not surprisingly, these characteristics have led some of his colleagues and many members of the press to portray him as a flake.
A lot of people--in particular, the nation's bankers--held their breath on election night last November when it became apparent that the incumbent chairman of the House Banking Committee, Fernand St Germain of Rhode Island, was losing. They knew that Gonzalez was in line to succeed him, and they didn't know what to expect when he did.
"He scares me," admits the chairman of a major Washington bank.
But some members of the banking committee who have worked …