America's Credit Unions rarely unite on even the most critical of national and social issues. It's just a fact of life that Credit Unions differ in many, many important ways.
Yes, we are cooperatives, but we sure have trouble "getting our mess" together most of the time!
Except when it comes to "good works" - philanthropy! We're good-natured, big-hearted, really like to reach out and dig deep for those who "can't help themselves". Like last year when each of us wrote a BigCheck toourfavorite "non-profit"....
Fred Becker is one of the most intelligent, savvy, and experienced leaders in the Credit Union movement. Fred's been the leader over at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) in Washington, DC for over a decade - clearly shrewd, a survivor!
Fred recently wrote the NCUA (read his letter here.) to complain about the high risk that state-chartered CU investment authority posed to the National Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). While Mr. Becker certainly has the right to point out problems that don't appear to exist; it might be helpful for a few indisputable facts to be included with the letter, to help give balance as to where the actual problem and risks just might lie.
Forexample: The greatest investment losses ( last guess $15billion!) ever incurred by credit unions were at:
Western Corporate Federal CU
US Central Federal CU
Southwest Federal CU
Members United Federal CU
Constitution Federal CU
..... and this is the second time around on the corporates; the previous most expensive blow-up and major financial loss was with Capital Corporate Federal CU.
Anotherexample: Fourteen of the top fifteen critically undercapitalized CUs currently reported by NCUA are Federal credit unions.
Lastexample: The only failed natural person credit union that the NCUA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) listed in its last (Sept 2010) semi-annual report as under review forcausingalossgreaterthan$25million to the NCUSIF was St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union.
Not real sure why the States should be looking to NCUA for wisdom and guidance on prudential investment authority right now.....
Most of us long term admirers of Fred Becker have always hoped that with all that talent; with all that experience; with all that rigorous, disciplined military training; that Fred would eventually rise well above the level of "Divisioncommander"...... still waiting!
"This month we were able to give presentations in both prisons in our county. This was something we've had on the calendar for quite some time, as these prisons have a significant portion of our membership..."
Last time you bought a Big Slurpy and a moon-pie at the C-store, included in the $5.00 purchase price was the merchant's cost for settling the financial transaction - called "interchange". Senator Durbin in his now infamous amendment to the Dodd-Frank Bill sought to protect consumers from these "abusive" interchange fees. Good goal, unfortunate results...
What Senator Durbin has actually done is assure that every American consumer will now pay twice as much for interchange as before - a multi-billion dollar penalty on consumers in the worst of economic times!
How so? Well, Senator Durbin most definitely did lower the amount of income financial institutions will earn from interchange; but he forgot to mandate that the costs incurred by financial institutions, in providing interchange settlement services, would also be lowered. Congressional accounting often works out this way!
Hope nobody doubts that financial institutions have already started looking for ways "to make up" that lost income by increasing fees and charges for other services. Consumers will end up paying - one way or the other - for the costs of the financial services we use. Haven't heard anyone - for or against interchange - dispute that economic fact.
And, what about the price of that Big Slurpy and moon-pie on your next visit to the C-store? It will cost less - right? Wanna bet....
So, now you and I will pay those abusive interchange fees twice - once at the merchant and once again at the financial institution.
Thanks, Senator! But I'm not real sure how much more of this consumer protection I can afford.....
Alexandria, Virginia - The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced the appointment today of new leadership for the Agency which regulates or insures most of the Credit Unions in the United States. The selection was the culmination of an extensive nationwide search of the seventh floor of the NCUA's headquarters building. All senior level executives were interviewed and considered.
A spokesman for the Agency commented: "We weren't at all surprised to find the most qualified candidate for our top leadership position right here in the Agency given our outstanding record of achievement over the last few years. Why look outside when we have so many insiders? I mean ' if it ain't broke, why fix it? ', if you know what I mean."
Named to the top spot in the Agency was....
But don't panic, don't panic!!!! It could have been worse.....