"We have reached a critical point. We can see clearly the gulf to which our present path is leading.We must expect, if we continue on this path, the progressive breakdown of the existing structure of contract and instruments of indebtedness, accompanied by the utter discredit of orthodox leadership in finance and government, with what ultimate outcome we cannot predict." - John Maynard Keynes March, 1933
"Tomorrow during my lunch hour, I am going to the community college to visit the Family Life class that comes to visit the CU each month. You may have seen them in the lobby today. They are mentally challenged students who attend the community college's special classes to learn how to function in society.
A broader vision, a broader purpose..
Their current project is making cards for cancer patients using recycled greeting cards, which I have been collecting for them. They invited me to visit with them tomorrow because they are so highly impressed with how they are treated here at the CU. Their instructor, who is a member, has spoken of how vitally important the interactions that they experience here are to their lives.
So, I may be a few minutes late returning from lunch."
(Think being a few minutes late would be just fine - even "vitally important", don't you?)
The following Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was filed with NCUA yesterday:
NCUA Consistency Conference
"Would you please provide the total budgeted cost by NCUA for the "Examiner Training Conference" held in Orlando, Florida during April, 2012? I assume that the estimate provided will include all: 1) conference planning, preparation, facilities, speakers, and management costs; 2) lodging costs; 3) food, beverage, and entertainment costs; 4) per diem costs; 5) travel costs; and 6) all related miscellaneous materials, gifts, allowances, and related discount offerings. It would be very helpful if you would specifically detail each expenditure category by budgetary line item. Would you also please provide a copy of the Conference agenda, schedule of events, and itinerary instructions to participants? Thank you."
.....will share NCUA's response with you!
* Requesting information from a government agency like NCUA is one of your basic rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act. Filing a request is a simple process see (www.ncua.gov) and just search for FOIA. Responses are generally promised within 20 days. It's your government, it's your money; it's your right to know!
NCUA senior officials - who asked to remain anonymous citing FOIA protection - claimed today that "consistency" was not in fact the goal of the Disney World Examiners' Conference at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa in Orlando , Florida.
The Palace & Spa...
"No, no we deny the assertion that consistency is the objective of this conference at The Palace. Consistency has never been a goal of NCUA under the current leadership and consistency will not be our goal in the future. Besides if NCUA were to announce that we were moving toward consistency in exams; some folks would say that would indicate we were inconsistent in past exams." "Let me assure you that....
The examiner-in-charge was knowledgeable and possessed a strong set of skills. She appeared to be thorough and precise in her work. Little of "importance" escaped her notice. If you were ever in need of a leader to enforce the "Ten Commandments", she would definitely be at the very top of your list. She represented the Agency extremely well.
But, if you were in need of a leader to help take you into the future, to help you predict what the 11th Commandment - the next "big thing" - just might be; she would have had absolutely....
Many of us have spent the last year hoping that this day would not come too soon. Watching Phil's struggles at Hospice over the last week, made many of us pray that this day would not be delayed. There is a time and a season for all things.....
Phil Greer was a faithful shepherd to his family.
Phil Greer loved his sisters Pam and Frances, and tolerated pretty well their spouses, Dave and Mike. Phil adored his daughters, Aynsley and Mary Chandler - both gifted with beauty, intelligence and caring hearts. They gave him great comfort. And, their husbands, Cade and Scott - who stole his daughters' hearts from him! - must be exceptional men; since Phil, as a father-in-law, always spoke of both with great respect.
We all knew that "Big Daddy" worshipped his grandchildren. Mary Weldon, Greer, and Martha owned his heart. And, we all knew that one of the top reasons Phil waged this difficult struggle so firmly, over the last year, was to assure he had the chance of seeing the birth of Harris and Louisa - and Phil was delighted with both! It was more than delight; it was a great joy in his life. A pair of Cavalier King Charles spaniels - Molly and Tapper - were also first-tier family members and licked Phil's face at Hospice to cool the fever and force his smile in a very dark hour....
"There were many personal items left in the home. On the floor, in one of the back bedrooms, was an Alcoholics Anonymous book. Next to that was a Bible with the handwritten words, "Faith without works is dead." There was also a copy of what looked like each of their left hands displaying their wedding bands....
Real lives,real people...
Although the fact was never far from my mind, this was a harsh reminder that we are dealing with people. Not just a house or a mortgage.... with real people... " (Amen!)
Bloomberg/BusinessWeek ( 3/26 issue ) has an interesting profile of one of the recently appointed Federal Reserve Governors, Daniel Tarullo. A former law professor, Tarullo "turned the tables on the staff" when he sat down for their standard, initial briefings and discussions.
"Tarullo told them they had made mistakes in supervision, and he wouldn't defend their past actions. Later, Tarullo told Alabama's Richard Shelby, the leading Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, that he endorsed Shelby's view that regulators had fallen down on the job, and said it was time to "reshape" regulation."
Reshaping regulation has meant subjecting America's largest banks to rigorous "stress tests" ( rhymes with CAMEL..)and publishing the results to increase public transparency. Tarullo has even empowered the examiner force by changing the focus "from traffic cops issuing tickets for non-compliance" toward evaluating and understanding risk. "The changes represent a true revolution in regulation and Tarullo is the Fed point person on this."
Strong, thoughtful regulatory leadership who recognize the necessity to reshape and reform a system which failed the American people....
In a surprise move over the weekend, the President put forth the name of long-time credit union advocate Wendell "Bucky" Sebastian for nomination to the NCUA Board. Sebastian's nomination comes on the heels of the recent withdrawal by Carla Decker from the nomination process.
Sebastian is the current head of the National Credit Union Foundation and has previously served as CEO of GTE Federal Credit Union in Tampa and as the chief legal counsel for the NCUA in the early 1980's under Ed Callahan.
In announcing the nomination, the President noted that Sebastian's youthfulness had prevented current consideration for a Supreme Court slot; but that Sebastian would bring a conservative, measured, low-key consultative approach to the make-up of the three member Board. "Bucky Sebastian will help restore balance in an "unbalanced" Agency and as one of my fellow Chicagoans he certainly knows how - and where - "to grab" the Agency to get their attention."
Ms. Deborah Matz, current Chair of the NCUA Board commented: "Well, I did say last week that I would support whomever the President nominated, but...."
Long-term supporters of Mr. Sebastian, however, commented that they did not believe that he would survive the nomination process. "It's not his intellect, skill-set, politics, or experience - Bucky Sebastian is most imminently qualified. The problem comes with the fact that the nomination process will take several months, during which the nominee must remain silent.
Anyone who knows Bucky Sebastian knows that a "vow of silence" just ain't in his make-up...... I'd give him about a week.... at most!"