Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Buffalo Springfield....

"Something's happening here.  What it is ain't ..."

N.C. State-charters... receive "guidance"....
     " ... time we stopped children, what's that sound?"

"Everybody look what's going down...."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

NCUA Board Meeting...

The Earth is still flat in Alexandria!

We are not really impressed with the opinions of the GAO, our external CPAs, our Inspector General, the National Association of State Chartered Credit Unions (NASCUS), the Attorney General's Office of the State of N.C., the U.S. Constitution, nor those "know nothing" credit unions which, after all, are run by non-professional volunteers.... who actually believe they're in charge?!?

One would think you believe the World has changed. Well, We haven't changed and our record proves it...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reign of Error...

Can You See Through This?
In the lawsuits NCUA has filed against Corporate boards and managers, there is an active use by the Agency of  "20/20 rear-view mirror" foresight.  As the NCUA's own Office of the Inspector General (OIG is NCUA's "internal auditor") reports in the Members United post-mortem (OIG-11-01, 5/4/2011), the Agency's assessment of the Corporate "was similar to Member's United management..."

Some interesting NCUA CAMEL ratings of Members United ( from page 27 of the OIG report):
                                     CAMEL                    CAMEL            CAMEL
Date           Composite Rating    Board Oversight     Liquidity Risk

12/12/05              2                                 2                     1  (!)
12/07/06              2                                 2                     1  (!!)
12/06/07              2                                 1                     1  (!!!) 

...ultimately what raised the solvency concern for both Members United and the NCUSIF was a lack of liquidity  ... it is quite apparent that NCUA didn't see in its rear-view mirror what lay just ahead.  As late as 2008, NCUA rated both Member United's board and liquidity as "Superior".

NCUA could choose fair disclosure and full transparency by releasing the CAMEL ratings of the other four federally-chartered defunct, conserved Corporates (failed at a cost to you of $15 + billion!)  so we all can evaluate NCUA's effectiveness as a regulator  - or is this release of a CAMEL code by the OIG another violation of its "own law" by NCUA?

One might, given all this, expect at least a small "mea culpa" from Big Blue, but.....

Don't hold your breath!  Because....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

From The Field...

"I believe the new  system has made our collections process much more efficient.  We can easily see which accounts need to be worked first and are able, therefore, to address the delinquency mush quicker..."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Transparent Camels...Validating The NCUA.

Can you see through this?
To help assure the "basis" for and reasonableness of NCUA CAMEL ratings, wouldn't it be helpful (and transparent) for NCUA to publish the CAMEL ratings of the following credit unions for the period 1999 - 2009:
  • US Central Federal CU
  • Wescorp Federal CU
  • Southwest Federal CU
  • Members United Federal CU
  • Constitution Federal CU
... after all these federally-chartered CUs (with absolutely no state regulatory "recklessness" involved!) no longer exist; and, disclosing the ratings history on these credit unions will help all of us validate the effectiveness of NCUA in its ratings analyses.

Publish these CAMELS and let's all take an unbiased and unfiltered look at how well our secret system works.  After all, it can't add much damage to the already acknowledged $15 billion+ financial cost to the NCUSIF; and, it just might help revive and reburnish our reputation in important places like Congress, State Legislatures, and the hearts of many, many credit union members, volunteers, and staff.

A little sunlight and fresh air might also help us determine what is needed, going forward, to assure there is no reoccurrence....
Or are credit unions considered "third parties" and therefore these ratings must be kept secret?  (H-m-m, if so that means all those multiple billion dollar assessment checks you're sending to Alexandria must be....you guessed it..."third party checks"!!!) 

When rating these federally-chartered credit unions did NCUA purposefully choose not to disclose to us the looming catastrophic financial situation?  Or did NCUA simply....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Senator Joe McCarthy on Transparent Camels...

"The NCUA recognizes the need to more effectively communicate and document weaknesses and concerns..."
"... along with sufficient information suggesting the basis for the assignment of the individual component and composite ratings."

Can you see through this?

 The Senator Joe McCarthy Era Expands At NCUA

Senator Joe McCarthy set the standard, during Congressional hearings in the 1950's,  for the "wild twisting of facts", "false accusations", and "hostile innuendo".  Trashing reputations with an "inability to substantiate" the statements, when called upon to do so, became his specialty.  "McCarthyism" joined the American vocabulary as a new synonym for "witch hunt".  His tactics were described as "demagogic" and "reckless" with a "freewheeling style" featuring "browbeating" and "disturbing excess". 

The Senator always claimed to have "a list" of "sympathizers", which of course he couldn't share, who were doing all sorts of dangerous things, which of course he also couldn't share.  Senator Joe got to determine whether or not his "suggestions" had any "basis" in fact and whether or not the "information" supporting those accusations was "sufficient". (Any of this starting to sound familiar?  See a pattern?  Any alarm bells starting to go off?)

In real life, quite often it takes a long time (and a lot of hard work) for the truth to catch up with a lie; especially when we all do try to be respectful of and defer to "authority".  But the truth will out - eventually; and in 1954 Senator McCarthy was repudiated and censured by the Senate.  Still, many lives were wrongly ruined and many reputations unjustly besmirched - by demagogic browbeating and recklessness.

Edward R. Murrow, a legendary journalist of that era, wrote this about Senator McCarthy and McCarthyism:  "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.  We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.  We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason."

McCarthyism is... "a part of our past that we can neither afford to forget nor permit to reoccur."

This new CAMEL "secret-transparency" is a sham; the system of judgment (where the Agency appoints itself as prosecutor, judge, jury, and court of appeal) is by definition a "Star Chamber" court - arbitrary and unfair in method, "Inquisition-like" by design and attitude.

Ah! Secret-Transparency!!  Old Senator Joe would be proud, would feel right at home!

But, a "Star Chamber" court is probably the wrong comparison in a critique of "animal justice" - i.e. this arrogant CAMEL.  This  reckless "system of justice" set-up (in the truest sense of that verb) by Letter #11-CU-12 is actually more like a court of...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Regional Director Herb Yolles Explains...

Regional Director Herb Yolles, in a January 12, 2012 letter to North Carolina state-chartered credit unions, stated that a separate insurance review would be conducted by NCUA on each CU. Here's how Mr. Yolles explained his action:

"Late last year, the North Carolina Credit Union Division (NCCUD) authorized a state-chartered credit union to publicly release its state-issued** CAMEL code, which the credit union subsequently released in several public venues."

"I am writing to you to explain why NCUA will be conducting independent insurance reviews in all  North Carolina federally insured state-chartered credit unions.  Let me state emphatically at the outset that the need for NCUA to conduct independent insurance reviews in North Carolina is not driven by anything you did or failed to do, nor any overall concern with the safety and soundness of North Carolina credit unions."

Mr. Yolles, on behalf of the over two and one-half million North Carolina members of state-chartered credit unions who didn't do or fail to do anything, we would like to say....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

From the Field...

" We had a surprise waiting for us when we got to work.We had so much water in the back storage room you could go swimming!  We had to pull up our pants to walk though..."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mad About Redistricting? 'Ya Shoulda' Known! Con-Census 2010....

A Retrospective:

As I sat there listening to the Countess, my mind kept wandering into dangerous territory. After all, it’s highly unwise to lose focus when $400 billion and the balance of power in our American Democracy are up for grabs!  The Countess was earnest; this was really serious stuff – the 2010 U.S. Census!

The Countess, our Regional Census Director, was asking for our help in getting the word out. Every ten years since 1790, the U.S. has counted heads. Census results determine the apportionment of House seats in Congress and how billions of federal program dollars are allocated. The 2010 forms will hit the mail next March; Americans are required by law to reply. For 2010, the Census form poses only ten questions; should be a breeze! With so much at stake, we, of course, signed up to help out all we could. Thought you might like some helpful hints and guidance, too.

Of the ten questions, three (numbers 1, 2, and 10) are math problems. Even if you’re not an Asian-American; don’t panic! You can get through this! The first question asks: “How many people live in your household?” The second question asks: “Are you sure?” Question number ten asks: “How do we know you can count?” Clearly, there is some concern about the overall level of American arithmetic skills; at least with “people counting” there are no fractions! Just take your time! Use your fingers and toes if necessary; nobody is watching (see questions 4 and 5).

Question #3 is about home-ownership. The first three choices – own, rent, have mortgage – are very clear. The fourth choice: “occupied without payment of rent”; I assume should be checked by all South California-Americans dealing with foreclosure. With this economy, not sure how folks living in their car should respond; perhaps just list year, make, and model.

Questions 4 and 5 are gimmies: What is your telephone number; what is your name? If you need help with these two, the Census probably doesn’t really want to hear from you.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cool Hand Duke ....

"What we got here is a failure to communicate."**

(.... among several other failures...).....

Monday, January 09, 2012

GAO NCUA Report 2012...."CYA" Response!!!

 Unfortunately, the Agency response to the GAO NCUA 2012 report didn't provide much "cover"....

(Please hold your "applause"...)

There are many signs around D.C. that the GAO Report has caught the adverse attention of friends and critics alike.  The Agency is starting to attract quite a following in high places....

Sunday, January 08, 2012


"A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies."

- Oscar Wilde

Saturday, January 07, 2012

From the Field...

" As reported earlier,  a bank sent a letter to the gas station chain CEO insisting we stop installing ATMs at stores which had an existing, interior bank cash dispenser.  All of this has now been cleared up, with no vault being placed on us...."

Friday, January 06, 2012

GAO NCUA Report 2012 ....

NCUA makes its mark in an election year....

"NCUA applauds GAO Report..." (CU Times - 1/4/2012)
Wash, Rinse, SPIN...!! 

Inside the Beltway views on the GAO findings were consistent with both parties voicing rare unanimity....

Monday, January 02, 2012

Correction: Sorry! My Moose-take...

Several readers were highly indignant about the unfortunate "mischaracterization" of the elk in the 12/20/2011: "Uncoventional Opportunity" post.  I sincerely apologize to all (except to the "you know who you are" person who called PETA about it!).

For the Record:

This is a bugle!

This is an elk!

                                 ...and this is a moose...                            

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year: 2012....

  "Live well, 
                        laugh often, 
                      love much!"

                                    HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!