Monday, August 31, 2015

CUT To The Chase...

Let that
sink in a bit...

Guess we're going to have to 
get off of politics and talk about 
trade associations again.

As you'll recall, NAFCU made a bold
States' Rights Activist !
announcement earlier in the summer, inviting state-chartered credit unions into membership. A direct letter of solicitation from NAFCU's Grand Poobah Dan Berger has been launched to the non-feds!

CUNA is circling...
CUNA, not to be out done, has been feverishly contemplating its structure and belly-button for over a year now; but, "CUNA's Navel Committee" is now poised to hand down its "momentous pronouncement" in mid-September. Predictably, no one is expecting anything testicular from CUNA, let alone the much needed "National Credit Union Emancipation Proclamation". 

But, the good news is that all credit unions will
have a different set of choices to make later this year when it comes time to write "The Big Dues Check" for political representation for 2016. 

This year is an important year for all credit unions to ask "politely" for both trade associations to tell each of us exactly what the "value proposition" is for credit unions to spend our members money to "hire" them to do....???? 

Credit unions are going to be writing checks for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to a trade association to do... what?  Say again?? What??? State it clearly, explicitly!

Just to add to your matrix of potential decisions, been working on creating a third alternative to the trade association decision. It's a new CU trade association called CUT - Credit Union Trailblazers!  As the ABA and Keith Leggett like to say CUT will be for "a new breed " of credit unions! 

Haven't really gotten that far with the development but do have some slogans and potential marketing themes to build around such as:

  •  ... a CUT above.
  •  ... fish or CUT bait.
  •  ... CUT to the chase.
  •  ... CUT the mustard.
  •  ... CUT your losses.
  •  ... CUT down to size
  • ...  CUT or run.
  • ...  CUT to the bone. 
... anyway you get the potential in CUT !!

As with all really great trade associations, focused on what's most important first; so, have created a new, potential logo and have identified a potential, famous spokesperson for CUT. 

Take a look; whaddayathink.......

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Advertising Genius....????

Another "Brilliant Idea" In Credit Union Marketeering?
[See link]

Or Just A Piece Of ...
"Excess Baggage"?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Most Important Changes...

Mahatma Gandhi

"Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world, as in being able to remake ourselves."

[Time for a refresh?]

Friday, August 28, 2015

There Is No 13th Floor.... Don't Worry Be Happy ....

Political Astrology...
Does the omission of a 13th floor in the construction of high-rise buildings and hotels give you great comfort? Many folks, of course, remain highly superstitious and the absence of that 13th floor button on the elevator evidently brings some reassurance and peace of mind. 

If you are able to make yourself believe that "13th floors" do not exist, you definitely have a great future in modern day Washington politics!

The "There is no 13th floor " way of thinking is very much alive and well in the national discussion over mortgage reform. Before moving on, let's take one last look at the 
Top Five "There is no 13th floor"  beliefs that are driving the political mortgage debate:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hey! Go Fly a Kite!

Ever been told to “Go fly a kite!”?

Next time it happens, take ‘em up on it! You’ll be glad you did! No, not one of those regular, old dime-store kite and string concoctions. This kind of kite flying is called hang gliding. Your chance to soar! Just you and your HMO coverage against the wind! 

And, remarkably, in addition to the thrill hang gliding provides; you will also gain one of the truest insights on leadership ever imaginable......

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sharp B-oinking Practices...

Cut throat b-oinkers...?

"What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?"

- Bertolt Brecht 
"The Three Penny Opera"

[Do you know the famous song from that show?]

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why Credit Unions Matter...

Mahatma Gandhi

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

[Has it never occurred to you what credit unions are trying to do?]

Monday, August 24, 2015

Running Mates...?

"Leaders lead. They don't divide; they don't create a climate that is poisonous."
- Jeb Bush

Running Mates...?

"I'm not a professional politician, I'm a problem solver."
- Carly Florino

Running Mates...?

"The fact is, my friends, most Americans don't want more government.
They want less government."
- Mike Huckabee

We can work to change
that bad attitude!

- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"Is there any wonder why we are in such big trouble?  Any question why the people don't trust their government anymore, and demand a change?"
- Chris Christie

I can be your "Wonder"Woman!
- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot.
Just don't reload your gun."
- Lindsey Graham

I have shown my aim is higher!
- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"I think people across America want a leader who's actually going to listen to them."
- Scott Walker

My listening sessions are already
nationally famous!

- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"Just because you have opposition doesn't make you a great leader."
- Marco Rubio

I'm living proof this is true!
- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"My feeling is, well, if it's my money,
I have the right to judge."
- Rick Santorum

That's exactly how I feel
about the NCUSIF!

- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"I think every program needs to stand
 the sunshine of righteous scrutiny."
- Rick Perry

I do not* agree!
- Debbie Matz

* redacted by OGC

Running Mates....?

"Every debate in Washington
 is about how much to increase spending
 - a little or a lot."

- Rand Paul

Right! Why waste time?
Just jack it up!
- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"I'm not serving in office
because I need 99 new friends
in the Senate."

- Ted Cruz

I know how to create enemies
in the House!
- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Running Mates...?

"I would prefer to just continue to speak about truth and to speak about what makes sense."
- Ben Carson

 I can speak for the other half!
- Debbie Matz

Running Mates...?

"I feel like a lot of people listen to what I have to say."
- Donald Trump

Same here!
- Debbie Matz

[Stay tuned for hourly updates!]

Saturday, August 22, 2015

States' Rights...

Question:  Would it surprise you to hear, that the States' Rights Movement was opening a Washington, DC national office?


[Nope, me neither.]

Friday, August 21, 2015

True Success...

Another brick in the wall....

"A successful man is the one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others have thrown at him." 

 - David Brinkley

At the NCUA, who would you say is throwing bricks and who would you say is building a firm foundation? Is it....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

On Leadership: Mike Fryzel

Thought I might repost (from 3/5/2014) this one on
Mike Fryzel given Mr. Mark McWatters' recent CUTimes (8/18/2015) opinion piece (see here).

[Mr. McWatters is different; he favors the truth.]

Mr. Mike Fryzel

It may come as quite a surprise to some of you, but I received a personal note last week from NCUA Board member Mike Fryzel. The note said: 

Dear Jim,

    I think you are a very fine person, despite what others say about you.

                                          Mike Fryzel

"Just for safe keeping."
Actually, this card was the second personal note that I had received from Mr. Fryzel. The first one, a couple of years back, came with a roll of duct tape and a note which encouraged me to "put it to good use".  On that occasion , I returned the roll of duct tape to Mr. Fryzel and encouraged him to "store it some place inappropriate".

The first time I met Mike Fryzel was in the Fall of 2008. He had just been appointed to the Chair of the NCUA Board by President Bush. He walked on to the national stage and directly into the middle of a dangerous, financial catastrophe of uncertain proportions - with even the most optimistic estimate being "extremely bad"!  Mike Fryzel inherited an absolute mess from his predecessors at NCUA, triggering a domino collapse of the Corporate system which bankrupted the NCUSIF.

You will always discover the true character and integrity of a person in times of great stress and uncertainty. Credit unions were more than fortunate to have a seasoned, thoughtful leader take the NCUA helm in the midst of this crisis.  There was no sure course nor direction, no proven path to provide guidance. Fryzel had to listen, learn, reflect, and decide - and then have the courage to act.  "Under fire" not all decisions will be right - and not all were - but the credit union movement did, under Mike Fryzel's leadership, survive to fight another day.

For those of you who don't know it, Mr. Fryzel - lawyer, Illinois regulator, experienced businessman - hails from Chicago, "America's Second City".  As to his leadership role at NCUA….

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Robust Swaggers.... Irrational Expectations.

Off their rocker..
"It should be clear that among the causes of the recent financial crisis was an unjustified faith in rational expectations, market efficiencies, and the techniques of modern finance. 

That faith was stoked in part by the huge financial rewards that enabled the extremes of borrowing, the economic imbalances, and the pretenses and assurances of the credit rating agencies to persist too long."

"All the seeming mathematical precision that was brought to investment, all the complicated new products, including the explosion of derivatives, that were intended to diffuse and minimize risk, did not work as had been claimed.  Instead...." 

( know the rest of the story.)

- Paul Volcker
[former Federal Reserve Chair]
"Financial Reform: Unfinished Business"
The NY Review of Books

Guess who has now belatedly discovered and adopted, with a vengeance,  these so visibly and painfully discredited practices...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Generation Gap....

 Baby Boomer's View of the World...

Far Out !

Millennial's View of the World...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

A-h-h, The Strategic Plan....

Planning on how to get from A-Z...
Certain lots of credit union folks, about now, are dead in the midst of outlining their strategic planning document for 2016. 

Many credit union leaders still believe that no one will know what to do, nor know how to act, come the first of January, if a new strategic plan is not firmly in place!

Of course, it's very reassuring to know that a strategic plan has been adopted and that management knows exactly what's going to happen next.  Really good CEO's can plan 5 years in advance, the very best CEO's concoct 10 year plans, although "the best" are rarely around that long.

Simple thinking...!
Who would have ever imagined that running a credit union could be so simple ? What were we thinking?

Equally, it's always amazing how reliant credit union employees are on their strategic plan. Experienced managers and Boards pull out their strategic plan first thing each morning to get guidance for the day, the week, and the rest of the year. The most diligent employees will recheck their strategic plan several times during the day for reassurance, much like a Muslim being called to prayer.

NCUA, as a "robust", independent federal
agency, is also a big proponent of strategic plans; in fact, they often use strategic planning as a substitute for thinking.  

But, just in case you haven't quite finished up that latest plan as yet, here's a suggestion for an eye catching title for you.  Call next year's plan...

"The 2016 Credit Union Sitting Bull Plan" 

"The Sitting Bull" label may, for some, evoke several layers of meaning, but there is no doubt that the famous, Native American chief was a superb strategic planner back in '76 at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Same can't be said about Sitting Bull's opponent in that contest, which as you will recall is still known as...