Monday, May 19, 2014

"A Real Eye Opener…."

Mr. Metsger, Welcome to D.C. !!
Mr. Rick Metsger has arrived in Alexandria and has already begun to make his mark. As NCUA's newest Board member, many had high hopes for Mr. Metsger as "a fresh face", with actual first-hand, board leadership experience at a highly-regarded, Oregon credit union.  Well, the honeymoon, as they say, didn't last long.

Heather Anderson, the increasingly "Menckenesque" editor at CUTimes, reported on one of Mr. Metsger's initial appearances before a credit union audience - a NACUSO conference in Orlando.  "Nobody laughed at his jokes.  Nobody even cracked a smile.  And most importantly, nobody bought what he was selling." A follow-up panel of NCUA senior staffers was evidently equally effective and convincing….

Now back to reality...
The principal issue of distaste is, of course, the proposed NCUA risk-based capital (RBC) rule. Mr. Metsger, a bit too defensively perhaps, has tried to stage a comeback with "an NCUA staff study" (OMG!) on the better performance of credit unions with higher RBC ratios.  According to our new "fresh face", "The results were a real eye opener"; the "statistics belie the common misconception that the proposed RBC rule will restrain credit unions growth and limit their ability to serve members."  Mr. Metsger summed it all up in a tidy little package with:  "The NCUA knows the rule is not perfect."

"Not perfect", somehow does not quite, adequately describe the mess that's been delivered with the new RBC rule. The proposed RBC rule - which has already generated a record setting 600+ comment letters - is a Swiss-cheese, puff pastry of a regulation - fluffy, flaky and full-of-holes.  Yet Mr. Metsger relies on the same set of "NCUA staff experts" to provide him with "statistics" to confirm  their own "mis-findings".  (How about publishing that "staff study", Mr. Metsger, so the rest of us can take a look and give you a little input, too?)

A fresh face or deer-in-headlights?
Heather Anderson in her "RBC Pitch Falls Flat" article (4/18/2014) said she hoped NCUA, Mr. Metsger, and the staff had something more to offer in future RBC discussions than the "deer-in-the-headlights expressions" she witnessed in Orlando.  Amen, sister!  It is that important!

Not that unusual for a "fresh face" to "fall flat"on it in the opening rounds; but, Mr. Metsger,...

...100 million American credit union members are counting on a whole lot more than 
"robusterian" stats and 
a "blank stare" on RBC.


Anonymous said...

Serving on a highly-regarded Oregon credit union board or any credit union board for that matter does not automatically translate into an understanding of the organization and purpose of credit unions.

Any amount of Reserves in excess of what is necessary to provide reasonable cushion against potential losses is a thief from the membership.

A proper non-robusterian study of the SECU would belie Metsger's belying of his robusterian study growth and services. There are lies and NCUA "staff studies"! Clearly the staff at NCUA found the results that Maleficent wanted. When Metsger made his presentation was there a sound of two things hitting the floor?

SECU is a well capitalized credit union. Their growth and the level of service to members should be studied by Metsger. RBC will only cost members of SECU and provide little additional protection. It will raise costs and restrict services presently safely enjoyed.

I suspect that NCUA has a small number of irresponsible credit union boards that are allowing management take on unnecessary risk. Instead of NCUA meeting and dealing individual cases head on, they choose to address their lack of ability to meet and deal with a global regulation with adverse effects on credit unions that are not a problem.

A better way to protect against unnecessary risk taking is to hold boards accountable for their irresponsible decisions! Boards are presently allowed to make all manner of inappropriate decisions concerning risk and never are held accountable. Of course Mr. Metsger being a former credit union board member has experience in making poor decisions that are never accounted for!

Jim Blaine said...

Familiar with that CU but this is not about one CU.

RBC is about the repudiation of the entire CU philosophy, about the disemboweling of the proven alternative for safety, soundness, prudence, democratic control, local responsibility for the American consumer …

… all done without much of a wimpier from the trades, the CU employees and volunteers, nor from the CU membership… astounding at how like sheep we are willing to be led to the slaughter. Perhaps the CU concept never was real and was never really important… too much idealism I guess. After all it's just another job...

And yes, NCUA and its current "leadership" will certainly have their legacy...

Anonymous said...

Facts are stubborn sometimes! Yes, it is not about one credit union, but there is no better example of the credit union philosophy at work than SECU.

It would be impossible to argue that there is any other reason for the success of SECU, than strict adherence to the values that made them the overwhelming success they are and a wonderful benefit to their members.

Metsger should study this!