Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Regulatory Assurance...

This stinks !!
Well, we're getting ready to have quite a mortgage mess on our hands come January, 2014.

Q:  What's the problem?

A:  Qualified mortgages (QMs) and non-qualified mortgages (NQMs).

Blame it on Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Elizabeth Warren, Countrywide, Standard&Poors, Fannie/Freddie, or "all of the above" - whatever - but, the recently approved QM/NQM rules are truly a "game-changer" in the world of mortgage lending.

A bit over-simplified but in theory, if a lender makes a QM, a strictly "by the book" mortgage, then the lender will be presumed to have made a prudent loan and will not be subject to suit if the borrower defaults.  Conversely, if the lender makes a NQM and the borrower defaults, then the lender is potentially liable to severe penalties, fines, and possible regulatory sanctions for making an "imprudent" loan!

What would you do given those two choices? 
Safe harbor or confront the threat of "financial ambulance chasing" litigators? 

It would appear that lots of lenders view this as a classic "Hobson's Choice" and will choose to only make QMs come January, 2014.

That's bad news for the average American working man and woman; that's too bad for many minorities, the divorced single parent, and lots of young folks....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

From The Field...

Forging straight ahead ??

"We continue to forge ahead slowly."

(Yep, know the feeling...!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

From The Field...

"I plan to keep working until I become inexpendable..."
(That may take quite a spell...)

Friday, October 25, 2013

First Frost - The Road Not Taken...

"What do you think about...?
We increasingly appear to be living in a Country where opinion poll politics has replaced leadership; and, where policy is the result of legislative default, rather than the product of reasoned discussion and civil debate.

Our opinion poll, political "shepherds" are flocking to the people for direction.

Guess that makes sense, although...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rants and Raves...

Mitchell County, N.C.

*  "You know why the President and Congress don't sign up for Obamacare?  Because they know it doesn't work - same as them."

*  "I call my own phone number and get a message saying I'm busy and that for $2 the phone company will call me back and tell me when I have hung up - so that I can call myself again.  I love the phone company."

*  "I was glad to see Columbus Day; federal workers needed a day off."

*  "Shelley Bishop won the iron skillet throwing contest last week at the County fair. Her husband William had no comment when asked how she developed such great skill."

*  "The SPCA's Annual Fur Ball was held on October 11."

And, the one to really ponder this week...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

God Has It Backwards: "Dog First" !

Ruffin' It.

"Heaven goes by favor.  If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."

- Mark Twain

(This one's for Chuck Bruen.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Healthcare Reform...

Cut That Out !!

"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

- P. J. O'Rourke

Monday, October 21, 2013

Leveling The Playing Field...

Bankers Back In The Classroom
(Financial Times10/17/2013)
by Andrew Hill

The Culture of B-oink-ing ??

"As Banks Try To Change Their Culture Following The Financial Crisis, How Do They Retrain Their Staff?"

"Ask people outside financial services what bankers have been doing for the last few years and you will probably receive an unprintable response."

"In the wake of the financial crisis and a series of scandals and reputational blows all employees of Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Barclays' Bank are being taken through programs aimed at reinforcing codes, values, behavior, and a strong, positive corporate culture."

"Given the recent record of the banks, such programs invite skepticism.  The fact such retraining is necessary is in itself an indictment of the banks' past 
performance in this area."

Did someone say "indictment"? Perhaps a "state-sponsored training program" might be even more beneficial...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

From The Field...

Management - The devil is in the details:

A breath of fresh air...

"... also I believe we need to take a look at personal lending policy limits.  And lastly, I would change the air freshener in the bathroom back to the original cinnamon scent." 

Friday, October 18, 2013

From The Field ....


"Press 1 for ..."

"The  automated lady on your voice response system was not very helpful and wasn't really even trying to listen to me...."

(But in fairness, at least she never tried to argue with you...)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Everything's OK Now...

"Cruz-in' for a brusin'..."

"We have met our sacred Congressional duty to democracy and to the people of America with this historic agreement..."

We can all agree with that when...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Edging Toward Thursday....

Sign for the times...?

As we await  our fate, a note from the past:

"The exceptionally violent break in the market on Thursday was regarded, in high banking circles, as corrective of a technical condition, not a reflection of unfavorable business developments.  Conditions are fundamentally sound!"

                                    - A.P. Giannini,
 President, Bank of America
              Saturday, October 26, 1929

( The day after Black Friday, Mr. Giannini slightly underestimated the coming storm... )

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rants and Raves...

Fall in Mitchell County !

From The Mitchell News-Journal:

*  One of the drawbacks of reunions is that old flames keep getting older.

*  It is so ironic that these numbskulls who shut down the government are folks we voted to represent us. They need to be put in time out !

*  People need to figure out that the First Amendment doesn't guarantee you free speech in the press.  Free speech doesn't sell newspapers.

*  I finally realized why I don't sleep so good at night.  When I doze off, I really begin to miss myself a lot.

And, this week's classic...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Have you herd the one about..."

"Listen, I want you boys to quit telling jokes to my cow."

"Because every time she laughs...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Getting A Leg Up...


If  former KGB chief Vladimir Putin can advise President Barack Obama on the nature of democracy in the NYTimes...

Then perhaps it is entirely logical for Congressmen to seek out Dr. Keith Leggett of the American Bankers Association for advice on issues of consumer financial fairness and credit union "level playing fields"...

Then again, Keith just might be trying to get ... 

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Pssst ... Ya Gone Too Fer !"

A major power outage or:

About this little matter of gridlock in the halls of Congress, folks 'round here are pretty much unanimous in saying:  " Boys and girls y'all need to slow-up a bit, you've gone too fer !"

And we all know what you get when you take a low brow political drama "too fer"...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

From The Field...

Is that,  ".coop"?

"Harry, see attached string of e-mails and information in reference to the proposed buying service.  Just FYI, assumed you wanted to be kept in the coop."

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Protecting Our Borders...

Many of you may have noted the recent merger between the North Carolina Credit Union League and its peer in South Carolina.  This was an extraordinary feat of diplomacy and grace.

While North Carolinians have historically been somewhat envious of our aristocratic neighbors to the north in Virginia, no such deference has ever been given to our neighbors to the south. South Carolina has generally been viewed as...

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

From The Field...

Letter from the local community newspaper:


"Congratulations !"
 "Your Credit Union has been named 
the "Best Bank" in our community for 2013 !"

(Don't know quite how to express our profound thanks 
for that recognition!)

Sunday, October 06, 2013

From The Field...

Fat Cat !
"We held Member Appreciation day in August complete with pizza, chips, drinks, cake, and Fat Cat!  

It's funny how Fat Cat brings out the frolicking nature in even the oldest members.  One of our elder members "got jiggy" with Fat Cat on the sidewalk..."

("Got jiggy" - with Fat Cat ????)

Saturday, October 05, 2013

From The Field...

"This month we held our annual member appreciation day - luau themed!  Two Advisory Board members helped set up, were on hand  the entire time to participate, and even stayed to clean up. "

Roger that !!
"This year though, AB member Roger did not bring his machete to cut the cake;  for that we were thankful ..."

Friday, October 04, 2013

TBTF ....."Unsafe At Any Speed"

No crash test dummy!

Saying that there is no difference between a credit union and a bank ...... is like claiming that Ralph Nader and General Motors are both in the car business.

Don't think so...

(... and it sure wasn't our "gas tank" that exploded and "killed" the economy!)...

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New Wall Street Masters of the Universe: The TEO Investment Banker....

"Cash and Carry!"

Wall Street has enjoyed an unprecedented level, of wildly successful banditry and looting in recent years.  The competition, however, has not been just for money and power.  Prestigious positions with commanding titles have also become a fiercely sought after power-perk.

The Father of Wall St. Boinking:
Charles Ponzi
In fact, many Wall Street financiers have already traded in the quaint, old-fashioned, ethics-bound title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the new, more modern, freewheeling designation of "TEO"...

A Sellout Crowd....

Mergers and acquisitions:
Buying a "pig"-in-a-poke"?

One fundamental difference between a not-for-profit credit union and a for-profit, investor-owned bank is as a cooperative...

We Can't Be Bought !

So, it's your choice.... credit union or bank?