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....