Saturday, May 30, 2015

NCUA's Economic Forecasting: Missing The Scope...

...except for sun worshippers !

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future."

- Nils Bohr
Nobel laureate in physics

Friday, May 29, 2015

The "New" CUNA...



"To be or not to be, that is the question..."
"... Aye there is the rube!"

from "Hamlet's Soliloquy"
Wm. Shakespeare

CUNA's "New Plan"... High and Dry?

If you haven't gotten the official word yet, CUNA
Mutual has evidently cast its official "nyet" vote on CUNA and the leagues to the tune of around $18 million in reduced annual support for "The System".  That can only mean higher trade association costs for the declining number of remaining credit unions - an increasingly costly game of fiscal "musical chairs"!  

Apparently CUNA Mutual is not "overly impressed" with the "value proposition" offered  by the current, "no choices plan" CUNA - with the promise of more cuts to come if CUNA and the Leagues "don't air their laundry" and "clean up their act".

So, add one more party to a growing list of folks who have drawn the line and are threatening to.... 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

CUNA Redux...

 "Transformative Change":

 "The credit union movement has set a bold goal of moving beyond relevance to become indispensable to members and society.  To do this means taking a candid and holistic view of how credit unions do business, what must change, and why change is necessary."
"To aim for indispensability is an audacious ambition..."
                             - from the  CUNA Environmental Scan

                                             2012- 2013

"Indispensability"?? "Audacious ambition" ??  Y'know ...

Going Through The Motions....

"Never confuse motion with action."

- Benjamin Franklin

For example...?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CUNA's "New Plan".... A Little Bit Squirrelly?

Y'all nuts???
Now, listen up !   From my vast experience; rather than "playing political zig-zag " in traffic, it is far wiser to go ahead and make a firm decision to...

Begging The Question.... ??


Looking Over The

1) What does the rapidly shrinking number of credit unions imply for the future of the credit union movement?

2) What does the increasing consolidation of leagues at the state level imply for the future of the credit union movement?

3) What does the apparent political impotence of credit unions at the federal level imply for the future of the credit union movement?

4)  What does our inability to define a shared, common purpose imply for the future of the credit union movement? 

In the "New Plan", did anyone mention deck chairs...?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

When All Is Said And Done...

"Banks Pay $5.6 Billion To Settle U.S. Probe" [May 21, 2015]

"Five global banks agreed to pay more than $5 billion in combined penalties and plead guilty to criminal charges to resolve a long-running U.S. investigation into whether traders colluded to move foreign-currency rates for their own financial benefit."

"The settlements largely close the book on the latest industry-wide investigation, one of a steady stream of probes into mortgage misdeeds, manipulative trading behavior and tax evasion.  The biggest global banks have paid more than $60 billion in penalties over the past two years to resolve allegations of wrong doing."

"The size and scope of the resolutions reflect authorities' attempts to crackdown on what they called "breathtaking" misconduct, with some of the largest fines levied to date by the Justice Department for antitrust violations."

"These unprecedented figures appropriately reflect the conspiracy's breathtaking flagrancy, its systemic reach and its significant impact," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said."

So, what did Frank Keating the President/CEO of the American Bankers' Association (ABA) have to say about his colleagues' "breathtaking flagrancy" and guilty pleas to criminal activity? 'Bout all I could find was Frank Keating saying this: 

"Its Time For Credit Unions To Stop Abusing The Tax Code." (in Roll Call)

Guess that makes one thing pretty obvious, when all is said and done...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tweet To Twit.....

Is Halloween:
Twit or Tweet?

Q:  What is the best way to improve your I.Q. ?

A: Read something which..

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From The Field...

"The member was so impressed with our Estate Planning program, that she called up her ex-husband and told him she hoped he would need it, too."

Friday, May 22, 2015

In The Shadows...

  [May 7, 2015] "Fed Chief Wary..."

The article highlights Fed Chairman Janet Yellin's perspectives on the level of "risky lending" and "reach for yield" among regulated banking institutions.  Ms. Yellin summarizes her analysis with this observation: "My assessment... would be that the risks to financial stability are moderated, not elevated." That certainly sounds a very positive, hopeful note for the future! [And certainly contradicts NCUA's "current economic wisdom".]

Ms. Yellin did however surface a previously undisclosed threat to America's financial stability with this reported remark: "The financial crisis clearly revealed that even outside the regulated banking sector, [even greater risks exist] in ..."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NCUSIF: The Real Problem..."Victorian Era Kids" !

The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) is a deposit insurance pool cooperatively owned by 100 CU million members, who belong to federally-insured credit unions in the U.S. of A.

The fiduciary management of the NCUSIF has been entrusted by Congress to the NCUA.  

How does the NCUA view this trusted relationship between the deposit insurance fund and its 100 million, individual CU member-owners...? 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NCUA: NCUSIF Investment Wizards...

So, literally at the same time Chair Matz was spreading the frenzied gospel of "end-of-world" interest rate risk (IRR) to the good folks of North Dakota (see here), back at home her NCUSIF investment gnomes were at play in the bowels of Duke Street, Alexandria.  

And, what a robust time those little wizards were having - with your insurance fund!!

Here are the new investments in the first quarter of 2015 which Ms. Matz' capital markets robusterians made on behalf of your credit union and America's 100 million individual credit union members...

Monday, May 18, 2015

A "Shocking" Look At The NCUSIF ...

Budget-wise: It's always a
"good year" at the NCUA!
Talked a little bit last week about the flagrant (and soaring!), little skimming racket being run over at the the NCUSIF.  

As noted, the NCUA is abusing the overhead transfer rate (OTR) to fund its "Goodyear", good-timin' operating budget.  By draining the cooperative share insurance fund's (NCUSIF) earnings, NCUA eliminates any need for fiscal, budgetary responsibility and transparency in its operations. With the skimming having risen from 25% of budget to 71.8% of budget, NCUA has acquired an addiction, an unslakeable thirst for fiscal sleight-of-hand - funded by the NCUSIF.

The conflicts of interest for the NCUA, in the dual role of federal regulator and federal insurer, are numerous. The Nation's last experience with how dual regulator/insurer conflicts of interest "get played out" was when the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Fund (FSLIC) had to be bailed-out, at great cost, by the American taxpayers in the 1990's. Deja vu all over again?

But, let's take a quick look at another of NCUA's "dual roles" in managing the NCUSIF on behalf of the NCUSIF's owners - America's Credit Unions and their 100 million individual members....

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Visionary Leadership...

"He has the look…."

"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible."

-Jonathan Swift

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Low Down On Marketing....

"No Comment(s)!"
Appear to be building quite a loyal fan base among CU marketeers!  

Who could ask for more?

[Yes siree! Let's go ahead and stir that pot one more round!] 

You might want to check out the recent article/post by James Robert Lay over at www.cuinsight. com. Appears that some of Mr. Lay's commenters are not taking their "anger management" medicine as prescribed! Many of those "little messageers" are, shall we say, "Shades of Gray"....  fit to be tied!!!

The blogpost which really stoked their ire was

With "game on" and the vultures circling, thought it best to call for some expert, professional opinions on marketing...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Robust Seasonal Economics: What? A Gas.....?

Global warming: Hot "stuff"?
In a recent article from CNN Money, it was noted that:

 "Some economists blame the warm winter weather for the sudden slowdown in spring job growth."

In other words, unemployment is caused by global warming!?

Correlated to unemployment??
Interesting!  Had always thought that the human reluctance to return to work, as the weather grew warmer, was called:

 "Spring fever!" 

But... certainly glad to know that some obtuse tribe of gnomadic, robusterian economic quants have analytically debunked that "old wives tale", and replaced it with far more substantial, theoretical fluff!

But of course, these same robusterians have also published the following economic research observation:  

"It wasn't me !"
"Global warming has been conclusively proven to be largely caused by massive cow flatulence."

Really! Well, let's see? Just where does that leave us logically?  H-m-m ...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Best Teller "Line" Ever....

Im-mobile b-oinking !!

"My bank has only two tellers, unless it's incredibly busy.
  Then it has one."

- Rita Rudner

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NCUA: IRRationally Risky or Simply IRResponsible With Your NCUSIF Funds...?

Several folks said they would like to see the NCUSIF update presented to the NCUA Board at its last meeting. Here's the link.

As an update on NCUA's investment strategy, you may find it interesting to note page 7 of the report. NCUA now has 45% of the $11+ billion fund [your money, your insurance fund deposit by the way] invested in securities with a term > 5 years.  

[Hasn't Ms. Matz and your examiner been screaming and threatening CUs to "stay short (or die!)" for the last few years????]

Here's a look at the history of the Fund:

        Qtr.               % > 5yrs       Avg. Portfolio Term
12/31/11           11.24%            3.08 yrs.

12/31/12           21.07%            3.34 yrs.

12/31/13           31.82%            3.76 yrs.

03/31/14           33.42%            3.84 yrs.

06/30/14           36.47%            3.96 yrs.

09/30/14           39.00%            4.11 yrs.

12/31/14           41.43%            4.25 yrs.

03/31/15           44.36%            4.42 yrs.

So what's the final analysis of the NCUA capital markets specialists' robust, "we're sharper than Wall St.", and all of y'all too investment strategy?

Well, there is some good news and there is some bad news... 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers' Day...

And, can be glamorous
in their "spare time"!

" Good Moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens, and happy kids."

(... and Thank You for that!)

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Are You A Cowardly Lion...?

... no lyin' !!

The principal difference between a manager and a leader? 


Friday, May 08, 2015

How "Stuff" Like RBC 1 & 2 Happens....

T-dee, T-dumb !
" Back in the early days of the Iraq debacle, I learned that the military has a term for how highly dubious ideas become not just accepted, but viewed as certainties. 

"Incestuous amplification" happens when a closed group of people repeat the same things to each other and when accepting the group's preconceptions, becomes a necessary ticket to being in the in-group." 
                                     - Paul Krugman 

Dubious ideas created by a closed group, behind closed doors, operating with unaccountable closed minds create 
[rhymes with lunacy!]

 incestuously amplified...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Leaders Of The Pac... ?

Well, looks like it's "TAX SEASON" again for 
credit unions ...

For CU's: It's been all
down Hill of late !

In the midst of multiplying economic "doomsday" forecasts; uncharted fiscal deficit levels; take-no-prisoners, show-no-mercy political infighting; and a "just because", with-or-without reason, regulatory environment...

It's clear we're all in for one "heck" of a national brawl !!  Winner take all, tough luck to the losers.

It's most reassuring for credit unions in this bite-or-be-bitten, down-and-dirty dogfight to know our "DC-stakeholders" have got our back and are ready for the fight although ....

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

ABA Commenting About Duke Street..?

How NCUA examiners determine
"Best Practices" ??

"No  one wants to learn compliance the hard way - that is, no one wants to have their examiner tell them what they were supposed to have done."

"We all want to know the rules and criteria for an exam,
before it takes place, not after."       
                           - Mr. Kell Kelly, Chairman
                         American Bankers' Association

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Spud-dering A-head...

Human intelligence
- Winging it?

Guess everyone has heard the saying that "the more you run over a dead cat the flatter it gets" (listen, listen it's just a form of speech, an idiom - you do not have to go out and verify it - OK!!).  Ever wonder who comes up with thoughts like that?

Bizarre thinking has always held a strange fascination for me. "Unusual" ideas and thoughts, lodged out there somewhere between the absurd and the profound, are really quite abundant; you encounter them almost every day.   

'Course there just may be an evolutionary explanation underlying our penchant for peculiar thinking....

Read recently that it has been confirmed that the common potato [spelled with an "e" if you're a Dan Quayle Republican] has more genes than a human being! That means the common potato has more genetic options than all of us (and more personality than a few of us.)

So, it's pretty clear to me that if Darwin was correct, we are all slowly evolving into spuds! Potatoes evidently are the "higher, "robust" order" to which we all now aspire!  

Explains a lot of things when you think about it, doesn't it!  Also gives a whole new range and depth of meaning to phrases such as "couch potato" and "I can't take my eyes off of you". 

Guess with that future in mind, would like to take a moment to salute the "robust" senior leadership at NCUA, who whipped-up the deep-fried farce, the 2+ year mish-mash  affectionately known among credit unions as RBC (russet-based capital). You're definitely...

Monday, May 04, 2015

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Rants And Raves...


The Mitchell News-Journal
... worth the price of a subscription!
*  If you are a racist, God does not like you.  He loves you, but He does not like you.

*  Life's karma got a way of coming back on you.

*  People do not honor their ancestors that have passed on by attending decorations at cemeteries. We are lucky to get 12 people.

*  Some folks will do anything for attention.  They want attention bad. They're always throwing a stink.

But the #1 rant of the week...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Modern Day Banking....

Full faith and b-oink...