Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

From The Field....

"There continues to be an influx of new members with all this Bank Transfer Day brew-ha-ha....."

(Think that would be an absolutely fabulous name for a beer....!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

From The Field...

"Been trying hard to help the new manager get accumulated to his new role...."

(It does kinda start adding up after awhile...)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where's Waldo?....Part 3

Still very, very quiet on the NCUA Board nominee issue.... where are the CU advocates for fairness and transparency?  Where are the advocates of freedom of speech, freedom of the press....?  We seem to have little courage - less shame....

Increasingly it appears, Ms. Decker has been...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Three Magi .....

Merry Christmas !!!!

A Season with Messages of Hope!!!

Unfortunately, given the high risk and great uncertainty surrounding the "irrational expectations" of faith, hope, and human understanding;   NCUA has rated Christmas.... 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho - Ho - Ho ! ....


Good Luck Tonight !!!  Hope you've been nice...


'Course if you've been naughty....then...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prehistoric Fossils?

Q:  Has the Wall Street banking industry so damaged its reputation with the American public that it is headed down the path of the dinosaur?

A:  Yes, the industry is pretty clearly developing into a...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

From the Field...

"A part time MSR is now full time. Co-workers made her first day a memorable one by naming her 'front desk queen' and giving her a crown and a magic wand. Members seemed to be..."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Where's Waldo....Part 2

Q:  What is your position on the recent NCUA Board nomination process which has given both Ms. Carla Decker and the entire credit union movement such an unnecessary "black-eye"?

  •  CUNA ?     
  •  NAFCU ?   
  •  NCUA  ?    
  •  NASCUS ?  
A:  "So far we have decided to...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Where's Waldo...??

Here's a "map" of Washington, D.C. girls and boys.... Can you find the nominee?!!

Why is everyone so-o-o-o quiet?  Why are "we" afraid to ask?  Who/What are "we" afraid of?  Ah-h-h, the "new transparency"!!!

Have we looked.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maintaining Credibility..... "In-" or "Un-" ????

Despite the thorough and positive legal research developed by attorneys with CUNA to the contrary; NCUA is apparently determined to maintain (without any visible additional thought) its previous opinion, that CUs may withdraw from the NCUSIF without fulfilling their pre-existing financial obligations to the Fund for the demise of the corporate network.

For a CU to be permitted by the NCUA to "skip out" on a debt owed to other credit unions as well is simply unjust and unfair. 

NCUA's stance on unfairness and injustice remains.....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Return On Investment .... "ROI"

Talked a little bit about the effect of inflation on savings last week; and how low rates lead to a "losing hand" for savers in this economy.  Low savings rates are one thing, but failed to mention the trend among a few institutions toward actually charging consumers a fee for saving. You actually have to pay a financial institution a fee to keep your money!

Paying a fee, rather than earning an interest rate, leads to what is known as a "negative return on investment"!  In other words, at the end of each year you end up with less and less on deposit! A charge (a reduction in principal) has been applied to your balance - over and above the "inflation loss" you also incurred.  Pretty mean game for the prudent, the frugal, the financially responsible!

As a credit union, you invest member deposits in loans, securities, branches, and other assets to attempt to "do good" and to earn a positive ROI for your savings members.  Ever considered which of your CU investments has produced the worst ROI over the last three years?  Which of your investments produced the worst value proposition?  Which of your investments actually produced the worst negative ROI for your members?

Take a guess...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

From The Field...

"The latest on the two remote ATMs is that installation was to begin on the 28th; however, Reliable Construction Co. does not seem to be so."

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A CU Tony Award For Service....

"Great branch, great staff, great spirit and spunk - GREAT SERVICE!"

"A purrfect.... 

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Double Decker Snafu...

  Somebody should be ashamed.......

A Double "Decker"....     
7,000 credit unions, 90 million Americans rely on the federal insurance provided by the NCUSIF for their peace of mind.  The NCUA and the NCUSIF are governed by a three member Board appointed by the President of the United States. It's a leadership position of high importance -particularly in uncertain financial times. 

...assassination through "double dealing".
We just got embarrassed big time by an act of recklessness that calls the entire credit union movement into question. An NCUA Board nominee was "put in play" right before our eyes and then publicly and purposefully "assassinated". Who is behind this type of ineptitude?  Who is so politically obtuse; so ethically insensitive?  Not too hard to determine that "the powers that be" at NCUA have  created yet another mess, another unforced error of "robust" proportions. Board nominations don't "just happen"!  Nominees are not random selections!  You really don't need to think too hard to know exactly who was responsible for the "set up" and who was responsible for the "take down".  Once again, personal political self-interest trumped the financial safety and soundness interests of 90 million American credit union members.

But maybe "our Leaders" don't think it matters much, since credit unions are such "small potatoes" in the grand scheme of things in D.C. - I mean who really cares about those little cooperatives anyway??

One leader who will care about this type of dangerous political farce, this unnecessary source of "FoxNews" ridicule, this type of "Blagojevich blunder" lives here...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Hillel The Elder

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, then what am I?
If not now, when?"

(Pirkei Avot 1:14)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

From The Field.....

"The housing market continues to be very difficult.  Sales are few and far between.  In some areas, when their homes do not sell; members have started renting outhouses..."

(Yep, I'd say that really is a pretty tough market... )

Friday, December 02, 2011

Back To The Future?

The Failure of Capital Corporate Credit Union
United States General Accounting Office

Statement of Charles A. Bowsher
Comptroller General of the United States
Testimony before Congress
February, 1995


We Have A Plan! - NCUA
"NCUA's supervision of Cap Corp was ineffective on several fronts.  For four years, NCUA essentially tolerated weaknesses in Cap Corp's internal controls; also, examiners who lacked investment expertise evaluated individual securities rather than securities portfolios, overlooking aggregate interest rate risk. .....Cap Corp's failure raises concerns about interest rate risk being taken on by credit unions, especially in CMO investments..."

"GAO is making one recommendation to Congress and eight to NCUA to improve the safety and soundness of credit unions."

"Recommendation to Congress"

"Congress should continue to oversee NCUA's actions to ensure that an effective regulatory framework for corporate credit unions exists, including adequate capital requirements, and consider legislative action if NCUA fails to implement the needed reforms."

".... if NCUA fails to...."

IF ?!  IF ?!  IF ?!

(If you'd like to read the entire gory details, go to

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Haiku For You....

Flight Of Fancy

Flight across several states
Of mind and conscience.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

From The Field...

"After lunch Cheryl and Greg came in the back door red-faced and panting. They said that they had just pushed a car through the parking lot that had stalled at the drive-thru.

What made it so difficult was the 80 year old driver kept putting on the brakes..."

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Real B@*k Transfer Day....

"As I went into the Courthouse last week to record a Deed of Trust for a mortgage closing, I could not believe that it took an hour to complete something that should have taken no more than 5 minutes!  When I walked through the metal detector, the sheriff's deputy was waiting for me with a mortgage application. A Clerk of Court employee was walking in the door as I was finishing up with the deputy and started asking about a car loan.  Once I entered the Register of Deeds office, three employees jumped me and began asking about our checking and savings accounts.  I told them about the switch program, how easy it was to changeover, and they all got fired-up and were ready to leave their b%*k and come to the credit union. 
B@*k Transfer Oink!

I am in the process of talking with the Clerk about using an empty office at the Courthouse next time I go....."

Sunday, November 20, 2011


"The only difference between a groove, a rut and a grave is the depth of the trench."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting A Feel For Work.....

"The manager had an employee resign and he now has a position he is trying to feel.  He is trying to interest one of my long-term tellers.  She will do a good job...."

(Next thing he'll want to do is run for President...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Good Man....

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

NCUA Board member Mike Fryzel provides an interesting defense of the NCUA's "Don't Worry, Be Happy Plan" for the upcoming "free exit" of credit unions from the NCUSIF.  Well worth a read in the November, 2011 edition of "The NCUA Report" (on page 4, "Common Sense Approach Is Always Best").

If you want to see what all the bluff and bluster is about take a look at "NCUA Strategically Defaults".

In this instance, no one should question that Mike Fryzel is most definitely a good man....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

From the Field...

It was the most unusual thing I had ever heard.  All I could think was:  "How bazaar!"

Saturday, November 12, 2011


"Cooperation is doing with a smile what you're going to have to do anyway."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Don't Ask Don't Tell...

We surmised that the Agency looks carefully across the various branches of government as a source of innovative ideas, policies and best practices.  Those new concepts and creative insights are then molded, modified, and transformed internally to conform with the unique vision, mission, culture and mystique of the Agency.

Some of us were convinced that the Agency had obviously in-sourced from the military branch the policy of  "DADT" - (Don't Ask, Don't Tell!).

Of course molded, modified and transformed to conform with the unique vision, mission, culture and mystique of....into "DADC" ***.....

Sunday, November 06, 2011

From The Field...

"She is one tough girl; and, she spent the entire day in the office in labor, because we were so short-handed...."

(Great admirer of dedication, but.... just breathe deeply, now blow, breathe...)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011

Haiku For You....

To Not Stay Away

Only connection
With tomorrow is hoping
That you might decide...

(Bluebird, Leon Russell, 1972)

Monday, October 31, 2011


"For Halloween, we hope to create an eye catching booth...."

( Yuk !!! )

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Haiku For You....

East West

Full moons, miles apart;
Cool nights; a waxing or waning
Phase of the heart?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kahrdinal Sins

Many American consumers continue to suck-wind in trying to understand and manage the "Saturday night special" credit cards which ever so conveniently and relentlessly attempt to entice them into financial ruin.  Some folks claim that statement is nothing more than personal bias, paternalistic, an imposition of subjective values on the right of free choice.  Only folks who have never heard about Andrew Kahr are quite so naive.

If you might not be afraid to learn the truth about credit cards, try watching Mr. Kahr's interview (begining at the 18:40 mark or read the full transcript here) on FRONTLINE’s 2004 program: “Secret History of the Credit Card”.  And, maybe for dessert try the 2009 FRONTLINE program: "The Card Game".(Mr. Kahr makes his appearence 5 minutes in.) Mr. Kahr invented "The Card Game" and explains it to you succinctly without mercy nor remorse. Mr Kahr is as bright and shrewd as it gets and he knows for a fact that you're a sucker.... but he's counting on you thinking you're not.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Success....Say What?

"You'll be successful when you have something to say."

(Well, what do you have to say about that?)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Full Court Press...

"It's never smart to pick a fight with the press, but it's quite alright to pick a fight in the press."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NCUA "Regulatory Modernization".... Pinocchioan???

"President Obama, in issuing Executive Order 13579, ordered independent regulatory agencies to periodically review existing significant regulations for those that may be "outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them"  accordingly.  Regulatory modernization is one step NCUA is taking to comply.
(This Executive Order is calling for more regulation?)
Do take a minute and read it for yourself!
  This Executive Order recognizes that better regulation is not always synonymous with less regulation." 

"Better regulation, which provides for flexibility and empowerment within a framework that manages risk and maximizes safety and soundness, can lead to growth and improved service."               
(How does more flexible regulation improve an inflexible attitude?)

"NCUA is committed to balance."
(Not exactly self-evident of late.)

"You run credit unions, NCUA does not."
(That word hasn't gotten around at NCUA.)

"Our analysis suggests that - under realistic assumptions -..."
(Who in fact needs "to get real"?)

Does what is said match with what is being done?  Or does the NCUA appear a bit Pinnochioan?  Who...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Low Cost Marketing.....

The Casual Room Restaurant

Conveniently located just around the corner from the Shakespeare Theatre, The Casual Room has been called a "monument to fine dining" and a veritable Who's Who of politics, business and fine dining in Washington, D.C.  Enjoy savory steaks, fresh seafood flown in daily and a selection of fine wines.  Six private dining rooms are available for up to 250 people.

Open M-F for lunch, M-Sat. for dinner.

10% off discount on complimentary valet parking with this coupon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From The Field...

"John and Amanda did separate presentations at the Roanoke prison unit on the 16th.  It was Employee Appreciation day...."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Personality Plus...

" If it is better to be good than beautiful; then the examiner, at least personality-wise, is obviously really, really good! "

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Technology CU....

Don't Worry, Be Happy.
Michael J. McKenna and the NCUA Board

We have a plan....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Press On....

"Press on.  

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; there is nothing more common than unsuccessful men [and women] with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. 

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."  
                                                         -  Calvin Coolidge

...great advice for the last Depression, and perhaps for the next...

Never fold; play the hand you're dealt; and play for keeps.  Press on!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

From The Field...

"The offer we had on the foreclosure fell through.  The buyers went by for a final inspection and the next door neighbors were having a fist fight in the front yard....."

(Guess we should try a short(temper) sale....)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Can You Shed A Little Light On This?

In The News:  "Scientists in Switzerland find sub-atomic particle - a "neutrino" - which appears to travel faster than the speed of light...."

Q :  Just out of curiosity:  "What is the speed of dark?"

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Haiku For You....

Rocky Mountain High

Blue sky, sharp mountains;
Raw, naked unscheduled time
- A dangerous game.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bank Run...

 It's probably little more than a sign of a demented sense of humor, but noticed a Bank of America ad on a recent visit to Chicago that led to a brief bout of hysteria.

The ad, in support of the Chicago Marathon, is painted on a building and water tower adjoining the freeway between downtown Chicago and O'Hare Airport.

The ad, featuring the standard, stylized flag logo and patriotic red, white & blue color theme of the "Big Snake Bank" (BOA), showed a group of runners, the date of the Marathon, and a large, boldly worded encouragement to: "Let's RUN Together!" (The word "run" is in all caps and bright red!)

Well, I don't know about you; but if I had been featured, tormented, and downright persecuted by the press as much as BOA has of late.... pushing BOA customers and market investors to the highly, volatile fringe of nervous skittishness .... edgy, edgy, edgy!!!!!!!!

... not sure I'd be encouraging a "RUN" right now!

But if you've always.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Personal Appeal...

There appeared to be something missing in his basic make up - perhaps it was the absence of personality. 

One suspected that despite being an only child, the capital markets specialist had never been his mother's favorite .....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Made In America...

"Last week our branch office air-conditioning system went out.  The chilled water pump had "given it up".  Found out that the water pump - made in America - was installed in 1976 and had worked 7x24 non-stop for 35 years.  Guess we got our money's worth!

Came to find out that the pump was no longer manufactured and that there was no replacement available.  Had the pump motor reworked and refurbished locally, and reinstalled by Monday.  It is working fine.

This little incident gives me hope for some of us "long-timers" - also made in America - who may just break down unexpectedly in the branch any day now..."  ***

*** Note - To resuscitate "long-timers": refurbish with one large coffee - black - and two (also made in America) Krispy Kremes... after hours, administer - very liberally - local lagers.

... the #1 problem in America today?  MIA/MIA!!!

...Made in America is Missing in Action.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Could it be that those who claim: "Money can't buy you happiness"; simply do not know where to shop?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Here's A Little Present For You...

"Make the present good, and the past will take care of itself."
                                                           - Knute Rockne many of us remain disabled by the past,  particularly our own!

"Make the present good...!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

NCUA Strategically Defaults...

The senior management staff of the NCUA, apparently with the full support of the NCUA Board, has decided to "strategically default" on America's credit unions.

NCUA has publicly declared in a letter from its senior legal officer, that it has decided to "walk away" from reason, reality, and from its fiduciary responsibility to 90 million credit union members. 

In the future when the "Whatever Happened To Credit Unions?" history is written, of these chaotic financial times; this public, official declaration of financial obtuseness, legal disdain, and moral impotence will be universally cited as the last straw, the final nail, the stark - irrefutable - confirmation of unfettered malignancy... 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Heart To Heart...

Hope you didn't miss this recent news headline:

"Wall Street Banker Is World's First Artificial Heart Donor"

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reign Of Error...

Office of Inspector General
Material Loss Review of
Members United Corporate FCU
May 4, 2011

Executive Summary:

NCUA Supervision of Members United

"We determined NCUA failed to adequately assess or timely identify key risks related to Members United's investment portfolio related to the concentration of mortgage-backed securities, until it was too late." (page 3)

"We believe stronger and timelier supervisory action regarding Members United's concentration in mortgage-backed securities could have resulted in a reduced loss to the TCCUSF." (page 3)

"Similar to Member United's management, NCUA also placed significant reliance on..." (page 4)

"NCUA confirmed that as of February 28, 2011 the TCCUSF had recorded a loss of $400.1 million for Members United." (page 9)

Well y'know, sometimes stuff just happens, but..

Monday, September 05, 2011

Haiku For You

A Lasting Gift

Love is a free gift
Or not worth having at all.
Can you be that free?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

From the Field...

" With financial counseling, she stated that it was very important to listen carefully to our members to make sure we were holding them up...."

Saturday, September 03, 2011


"Failure:   Giving up what you want most, for what you want at the moment."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Checks and Balances.....

One of the fundamental principles of the governmental democracy created by the U.S. Constitution was that a clear system of "checks and balances" needed to be established.

A system of "checks and balances" to monitor,  control, and deter the "tendency toward tyranny and evil" to which unrestrained power leads.  The Founding Fathers had read their history well; they had also seen it in action first-hand!  They also understood;

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

"Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophesies come true, but can also lie and make their lies come true."

The NCUA Board meets today to approve an additional assessment...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"... But By The Content Of Their Character."

"And if America is to be a great nation this must become true."
                                           - MLK, jr.  (Aug. 28, 1963)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From the Field...

"Brinks' employees locked themselves out of the truck in front of the branch last week.  Eventually with the aid of a coat hanger ..."

(.... really you can't make this stuff up!)

Friday, August 26, 2011


Do hermits have a national trade association?  Do they get together annually for a big national convention? 

If so, how does that work?  You go, but everyone stays in their rooms?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hubert Hoosman....

MLK, Jr. Memorial dedication is this weekend!  Little flashback on why Hubert Hoosman is 'da man when it comes down "to getting things done" in life: 

Feel it’s time for you to hear my side of the story on “the little scuffle” which broke out between Hubert Hoosman and me at the GAC back in February. The “dust up” occurred downstairs around the exhibit area near the Washington Hilton coffee shop. Evidently, several of you who witnessed the brouhaha assumed it was a “racial incident”; and, knowing Hubert Hoosman to be a fine gentleman, readily assumed that I had provoked the whole thing! Well, you’re right, it was my fault; but, just perhaps, you may have reached the right conclusion for entirely the wrong reasons. Let me explain.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"We're Making Change..."

Guess many of you remember the remarkable "Make Change" bank ad spoof from not too long ago....very memorable!  Ran across a couple of similar takeoffs recently at Bank Stuff Marketing.  They were formulating bank ad slogans "for the current environment":

  • "We can set you up!"
  • "The banking company which is heading South!"
  • "Poor credit? WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!"
  • "You're not a loan anymore!"
  • "More talk for less money!"
  • "Keep your eyes on us!"
  • "Hedge your bet with us!'
  • "Everything is fees-able with us!"
  • "We promise we'll never do that again!"
  • "Fully backed, and occasionally owned, by the US government!" 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

From the Field

"Members are really excited about the new mobile baking service..."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Transparent Camels...Part IV

Leter to FISCUS: #  11 - CU - 12
   Ref: Secret Transparency(..but don't tell anybody!)

"Thus NCUA recognizes the need to more effectively communicate and document weaknesses and concerns related to insurance risk..."
Can you see through this?
Now you're talking! Think most CUs very much want better communication and documentation on the gross weaknesses and universal concerns related to the "insurance risk" exposures and losses we all now confront .... but let's be very clear (perhaps even transparent) that the source of the "insurance risk" is NCUA.  "Someone" is suffering from a severe case of "noblesse oblige" if "they" think that "they " are the answer, rather than admitting that "they" are a major part of the problem.  Your deposit insurance investment has a "pretty risky" ROA of late..."pretty nasty" actually!

But let's not just fuss, how about some greater transparency and documentation recommendations.  Would suggest that the names of the lead NCUA executive, examiner-in-charge, and capital market specialists on each exam involving a failed CU be released and follow-up information  provided on  "the track record" of these responsible persons; and, particularly information on whether or not remedial training has been applied and whether or not they are still conducting exams (and releasing CAMELS!).  Can't imagine that anyone wouldn't want to be held accountable for their work... 

Great place to start would be the NCUA executives and experts associated with all the conserved Corporates, Croatian, Beehive, and Vensure.  Again, certainly we all want greater transparency and there shouldn't be any privacy or confidentiality concerns with defunct CUs.

This lines up well with the recent federal registration and tracking requirements implemented for mortgage lenders... and yes these NCUA folks most certainly need to be fingerprinted!  What's good for the goose is good for the....CAMEL!

Guess we can talk about the next step, "Board level" accountability (and training!) later.  Pretty clear where the buck stops in natural person credit unions these days and a lot of bucks are riding on our "insurance risk" as you'll find out after the August 29th NCUA Board meeting...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ear Piercing...

Should you use an ear piercer who promises you this service "while you wait"?  Would you use one who didn't?

What does this have to do with Van Gogh?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Transparent Camels... Part II

NCUA Letter # 11-CU-12: "... NCUA CAMEL ratings remain the property of NCUA and should not be shared with third parties..."

Can you see through this?

Q: Are member-owners of the credit union considered to be "third parties"?

Q: If so, is it "transparent" to keep CAMEL ratings secret from the owners of a cooperative? 

Q: Is it reasonable?

Q: Is it fair?

Q: Is it honest?

Saturday, August 13, 2011


"Don't let it go to your head; it may become dangerously swelled... "

Friday, August 12, 2011

Haiku For You

Love and Death
The doubt is so real.
The fear is one finds nothing
Beyond the facade.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ask Alice....

"Sentence first - verdict afterwards."

 "The Queen turned crimson with fury, and after glaring at Alice for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming, "Off with her head ! Off with -"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Dave Serlo

  How does one capture the essence of a man who dedicated over 40 years of his life to the Credit Union Movement - to you and to me?  We seem to have thrown off so many of our ideas of loyalty; we've discarded so many of our cooperative traditions; we've disconnected ourselves from so many of our places of community.  Who has time for others - in this day and time?

David Serlo did.  David Serlo was that unusual exception, that unique example among us.  David Serlo remained loyal, firm, solid, committed.  David Serlo always held fast.  Held fast to a life with a highly focused singularity of purpose - of service to his family, to his Church, to his community, to PSCU, to the entire Credit Union Movement - to you and to me.

David Serlo, over 40 years, held all the trusted leadership positions; received all the honors; helped fashion most of the important rules and regulations; and anchored many major credit union endeavors.  David Serlo argued, fought, and cajoled faithfully and firmly on behalf of the philosophy and purpose of credit unions.  He tutored, mentored, and inspired most of our current credit union leaders.  David Serlo coaxed, convinced, and then converted innumerable people into supporting and promoting the credit union cause.  David Serlo was "the real thing" in credit unions - a leader by example.  A loyal servant, a true believer in every fibre of his body, every inch of his heart and soul.

What a remarkably wonderful person; what an elegant, patient, charming man.  What a thoughtful, intelligent, and inspirational guiding light.  I'm not alone in this assessment; all who knew and worked with David Serlo held him in the highest esteem, with unquestioned respect.

David Serlo not only helped show us the "true path' for credit unions; David Serlo helped design and build most of those paths!  You know the PSCU story, that history, that record of principled leadership as well as I do - loyal, firm, solid, committed.

The Credit Union Movement needs to honor - and more importantly never forget - those who quietly, diligently, and humbly provide the example, who set the standard.  Perhaps we need a David Serlo Award -  an Award for purpose, an Award for service, an Award for those who hold fast.

Haiku For You

In Your Face

Far too personal;
She asks him not to question 
All there is to know.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Clubbing Baby Seals.... Part II

"Even brutes do not devour their young; nor savages make war upon their own families..."
                                 - Thomas Paine from Common Sense


* If you'd like some idea of the source of this problem, try unscrambling the last two sets of letters.  Multiple answers are acceptable....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

From the Field...

"We've work hard to get the word out and the information has been widely decimated within the branches..."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Paine in the .....

"Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one."
                               - Thomas Paine

Monday, July 25, 2011

E"con" Model Madness and other Misdemeanors....

"Things are quantitative; people are qualitative."

           ... you count;
                         ... we care!
                                                              ( ... model that sucker! )

Sunday, July 24, 2011

From the Field...

"The new teller system is so simple to use that even a VP can now help out..."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011


Q:  What is the definition of the word "robust", which is so often used in economic analyses?

A: Thanks for asking!  It means "written by an idiot".

(You're welcome.)

Haiku For You


Safe behind a wall
You build for self-protection.
Walling in? or out?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Burger Queen...

... More creative marketing from Alexandria:

"Have it our way at Burger Queen"!

... you don't even need to place an order;
we know what's best for you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

To Be A Successful Credit Union ....

We are always changing, but we never change what is important.

We always change, we never change!

Haiku For You

Calculated Risk

I have chosen wine
Which implies substantial risk;
 But so does madness.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

From the Field...

' We had an employee undergo mild heart surgery this month.  Three stints..'

Friday, July 08, 2011

Haiku For You


You really don't care,
 But caring is all I am.
Where does that leave us?

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Challenge Of A National CU Brand... Part II

No two snowflakes are identical!

Snowflakes, much like Credit Unions, are fantastically varied in form and purpose.... 

If you attempt to bring CUs together under a consolidated, unified brand, here's the combined look you create... 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Question Of Fairness...

Several credit unions are reviewing or have announced intentions to convert to bank charters.  Those CUs which leave the NCUSIF are apparently not currently required to pay their share of the "$15 billion bill" for the Corporates.

The more CUs who choose to leave, the higher "the bill" for those who remain!  At some point, this opportunity to "get out of jail free" may become a dangerous game of "musical chairs" with Boards and CEOs who "do the honorable thing" being bankrupted by their amoral peers.

Does NCUA have the authority to require an NCUSIF "exit fee" on departing CUs? 

If so,  the exit fee should be announced to help CUs plan, who are contemplating a conversion. If not, when will NCUA propose regulation or legislation to correct this issue of injustice and fairness? 

If NCUA is truly intent on helping CUs manage "risks",  they should have no higher priority. 

If NCUA can't "manage" this very, real threat; be prepared for a new look on Duke Street in the near future...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Question Of Interest....

Does NCUA have the legal authority to pay interest on the proposed pre-payment assessments?

If they can pay interest, why aren't they?


"Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Examiner's Bull....

"As an examiner, her tact and "people skills" had about the same impact on the Board, as a bull liberating a china shop."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Einstein On The "Principles" of American Finance ....

"Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem, in my opinion, to characterize our era." *

- Albert Einstein

*Translation:  In American finance,  we have moved from a system of "Caveat emptor!" ("Buyer beware!") to a system of "Caveat *x#*|*!" ("Buyer be *x#*|*!") ...... "CASH" seems to be the only "value system" which now guides professional financial behavior.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

From the Field...

" She had promised a new direction, but is still on the wrong course."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Haiku For You

What You Miss

When you understand
I accept you as you are
Then you will see me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Corporate Resolution ... The Final Analysis.

The NCUA, over the last two decades, centrally (out of Alexandria) managed, monitored, regulated, and examined the national system of Corporate credit unions.  The NCUA had a special, separate department - the Office of Corporate Credit Unions - within the Agency, which employed its "best and brightest", its most highly skilled examiners - "capital market specialists".  Those capital market specialists were hired for their acclaimed expertise in ALM modeling, economic forecasting, interest rate risk analysis, securitization and derivatives, and for their well-seasoned, strategic vision and insight.

The NCUA, through the Office of Corporate Credit Unions and these capital market specialists, examined the Corporates on an annual basis and even housed its capital markets experts within several, specific Corporates.  Those experts continually rated the Corporate System highly - safe and sound.

We all believed those firm assurances from the NCUA ....  they were in there, on the ground, in the trenches with experts, specialists .... and the experts' opinions were highly favorable, supportive.

In retrospect, this expert advice was very expensive (last count about $15 billion); and the Alexandrian, central management model was, in the final analysis, ....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From the Field...

"So far the year is moving forward with lots of new ideas. The branch is well on its way to unimaginative things happening..."

Friday, June 10, 2011

CFPB ....

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

               ... Who loses when the consumer wins?

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Good For One Free.....

"Alright, which one of you sent the Kevorkian gift certificate??!" 

Haiku For You

Shell Game
Unexpected gifts
Say more than words ever can.
Give your shell away!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Doubting Thomas....

Thomas Paine
(Jan. 27, 1737 - June 8, 1809)

"Reason obeys itself;
and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

IRR-ked To Say The Least....

Comment Letters to NCUA on the recently proposed, expanded Interest Rate Risk (IRR) regulation have now been posted on the NCUA website.

NCUA encouraged you to write Comment Letters; I would encourage you to read them!

Here's how: 1) Go to; 2) Click on "Resources and Publications"; 3) Go to "Legal ... Regulation, Legal Opinions, and Laws"; 5) Then, "Proposed Regulations"; look for "Interest Rate Risk" and click on "Comments".

You'll have almost 50 Comment letters to choose from - stay informed, happy reading!

If by chance you do not have time to read through the whole list; I have attached below, a very brief overview of the opinions expressed on the most likely impact of providing NCUA with additional IRR authority....