Thursday, June 30, 2016

On Thin Ice...

Having an economic
... Chart Attack !!!
Have the chance to work and interact with several credit unions on a detailed, intimate financial basis.  

Get involved quite often due to some concern which has arisen over a decline in financial status or the governance structure of the credit union.  Lots of "problems" out there these days! Not much of a surprise that "The Great Recession" has wreaked havoc on credit unions - large and small alike.

The "problems" are generally pretty similar:

  1. Heightened loan losses and delinquency due to the economy.
  2. Low returns on investments due to the zero interest rate environment created by the Fed.
  3. Moderate loan demand due to uncertainty by members about their future.
  4. Higher operating expenses due to added costs of "doing business" - services, compliance, technology, infrastructure, staff, and "regulatory burden".
Often the credit union is losing money in the current economic environment which is of course a cause for concern.  

Smaller credit unions, those with less than $50 million in assets, have been particularly hard hit.  

Many of these credit unions are being "forced" into unnecessary mergers by overly intimidating regulators - who are misdiagnosing the severity of the financial illness - and often prescribing precisely the wrong medicine, in a fatal dosage, to an unfortunately trusting and obedient patient.

Let's take a quick look at an example credit union...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Bullish Theory Of Asset Liability Management...

ALM or Jackson Pollock?
Pet rocks and asset/liability management (ALM) have a great deal in common. Both make much out of not a lot, are of limited interest even when over-hyped, and retain broad import only for the narrow of mind.

The regulatory community has given little thought (some would say no thought at all) to the human "madness" for economic fads and fashionable thinking.  A serious study of this human phenomenon might be an important exercise for some modern day Darwin with little else to do.  A scholar studying our quantitative "herd hysteria" might possibly propound a new "Origin of the Specious" or formulate a new "Theory of the Survival of the Fetish".

What does make us so ready to regurgitate rubbish on which we lack a cogent grasp?  Why, like moths before a flame, are we so fascinated with the facile seduction of cookbook, cookie-cutter, quantitative solutions with recipes which so consistently prove to be half-baked 

Half-baked, half "aid"!
(…. and quite often "robustly" so!). Why is our trust in common sense and actual experience so filipendulous? 

(You just don't know how hard it is to work a word like that into a narrative!)...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cruise Line....

My personal favorite for best ever pick-up line was from a pleasant lady who slid in next to me at the deck rail of a departing cruise ship and asked:  

"Where ya' going?"

Wasn't real sure how to answer that question, since most folks on a cruise ship are usually headed in the same general direction.... 

....but did introduce her to my wife who, having overheard the question, was eager to give her "directions"....

Monday, June 27, 2016

A "Level Playing Field"......

"All we want to do is level the playing field...."

The interesting thing about "level playing fields" is that you sure hear a lot of people preaching and complaining about them; but, much like the Loch Ness monster, it's hard to find anyone who has ever really seen one!

Dirt Sculpture !!
Fact is most Southerners, being newly "off the farm" - and only half a paycheck from returning - know full well there ain't no such thing as a level field.  

If you plowed and planted a field level, a "hard rain" would "set up" on the field and drown the crop. Planted fields are shaped and tapered, valleyed and hilled. There's a sculptured artistry and fine craftsmanship in a farm field which has been thoughtfully and properly John Deere'd. 

Even big city soccer Moms - down on their knees at the edge of the field, cussing like a sailor at the Ref while cheering their 4-year olds on - have noticed that the playing pitch has been mounded so that it will drain.  It's not level!

Most folks you'll find calling for a level playing field are usually just finagling for a favor, seeking an advantage, or working hard to promote their own selfish, self-interest.  Most are out in left field... especially the "b-worders" who  keep whining about a level playing field between b*@ks and credit unions. 

Well, personally I give up - time to "move on".  I'm ready to concede to their level playing field request!  Here's the deal.....

Saturday, June 25, 2016

From The Field...

Possible "unauthorized transaction":

"That charge on our card is not correct!  My husband couldn't have been at that gas station; he was supposed to be out of town that day..."

Friday, June 24, 2016

From The Field...

" Internal Audit paid the branch a visit this month.  I informed them we didn't have time to be audited, because it was tax season...."

From the Field...


The First Evaluation:

" I've only been with the CU for 6 months and really enjoy working here.  I don't have any complaints, but give me a little more time....."

Great weekend ahead??!!
Go for it ...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why You Should Centralize The Marketing Function....

"Creating a buzz..."
"To bee or not to bee..."

"For member appreciation day, the branch dressed up as bumble bees, topped off with our bee antennas.  

The staff insisted I do something different to indicate my status as "Queen Bee". 

So I borrowed my daughter's pageant crown and wore it all day. To "bee" honest, I felt like a complete idiot..."

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Lending Proposal......

"One concern with the proposed rate reductions and lending policy changes is that members with existing loans will all refinance to the new lover rates...."

Sunday, June 19, 2016


"I do have one property that may be hard to sell.  

The neighborhood is awful.  Just about every time I go, the law is there.  

In addition, the neighbor directly beside us has six or seven pit bulls tied up on the property line.  It's not a very family friendly environment..."

(Nope, reckon not...)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Marx My Words...

Why are you looking at me
like that!

"If a man looks and talks like an idiot,
 - then don't be fooled -
 he really is an idiot."

- Groucho Marx
(From the movie: Duck Soup)

And, just in case you need the official matching 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rants And Raves...

Fox(y) News
 Mitchell News-Journal

*  "Ms. Billie Ledbetter of Hiddenite turned 100 last month!  When asked to what she attributed her long life? She said: "Eating right and trying to stay away from doctors."

*  "Easiest way to find out if someone is not from around here is to ask them where they went to "VBS"* growing up."  *(Vacation Bible School) 

* "Prison is not supposed to be a comfy, cozy place.   If you want to make them comfortable, ask them to move in with you."

* "Some people don't know the difference between moonshine and prescription pills."

*  "We are so appreciative of all the crazy people going to Raleigh to oppose the recent legislation."

And this week's #1 classic...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

North Carolina Traditions....

Still important in North Carolina...
North Carolina has a rich history of civil disobedience, which, in and of itself, is quite an intriguing phrase; because much of our disobedience of late has been anything but civil!

One way that North Carolina celebrates those most important of happenings in our history - including "uprisings" against unbridled authority - is by deploying roadside historical markers.  

Qualifying for historical marker status in North Carolina is not an easy task; it is a highly selective process. Recommendations are closely vetted; only the key, significant milestones in North Carolina history pass muster.       

Let me show you one of our most interesting North Carolina historical markers...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hike The Hill-arious...

The National Credit Union
Lampoon Movement? 

"Above all else in setting next year's Congressional, legislative goals, we should seek parody with the banks."

Well yes, guess...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hair Brained....

Over the top?
Best I can determine, having a "slightly balding" hair style is not a valuable "life-asset".  Never have been able to determine any great "upside" to this genetic deformity.

Someone told me the other day that he was finally experiencing some "new growth" on his "barren-beyond-belief", bald head after decades of depilitation.* 

* [that's a "robust" word for the male-pattern "defurring"
process, which results in lots of clogged-up shower drains across America.] 

Tried to appear positive in replying to him with a: "Well, you must be very excited about that!"

He said:  "No, not really, because unfortunately all the new hair is growing...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Striking Out...

Unanswered Prayers...

"Remember not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."

- Dalai Lama

In The Minority....

"Great Soul..."

"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth."

- Mahatma Gandhi

... and a credit union "audience does exist" who will expect and demand that you tell the truth ! 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Two-Edged Sword...

Alfred E. Robust!

"Humor is a rubber sword; it allows you to make a point without drawing blood."
- Mary Hirsch

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tubal Litigation....

Tooth or Consequences?
Ever noticed that in every family there are two distinct views, two separate camps on the major issue concerning proper dental hygiene?

No, it's not about the brand, or the flavor, nor the texture of the toothpaste. And, no it's not about who flosses and who doesn't; nor whether you should brush in the morning, or before you go to sleep at night. Nope, the number one question is 
Brace yourself...
not about fluoride, nor whiteners, nor braces and cosmetic surgery.  

But rest assured that the controversy over this principal issue can lead to some "first thing in the morning" fights, frugality vs. wastefulness slurs, occasional spousal "dis-ingenuity", and some devious, surreptitious, only in-the-dark trashcan "diving".  Guessed it yet?

The number one issue in dental hygiene in most American homes is...

Self-Important People......

Don't take
yourself too...!
"Serious-minded people have few ideas.
  People with ideas are never serious."
- Paul Valery (poet, essayist) 

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans...

[the "Rants and Raves" post of 6/7/2016]


Old timey ruckus music from the mountains of North Georgia/N.C.
[This is Dan Berger's family stompin' grounds,
didn't know that did 'ya!]

On A World Of Religious Conflict....

Man made...
In God's image?

Last time I checked, God was neither an Episcopalian, a Methodist, a Quaker, a Muslim, a Presbyterian, a Catholic, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Lutheran, a Sikh, a Mormon, nor a Baptist....


     ... or did I miss the announcement?  

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Leaving Eden...

Paradise Lost...

The City of Eden is in Rockingham County, North Carolina - up toward the Virginia border to the west.   It was once a prosperous textile, tobacco and manufacturing whirlwind - now long gone.

But life goes on... and a new N.C. export...


"You don't know how to play
too good..."

1)"You can't find me until you look everywhere else!"

2) "I'm not in here!"

3) "I don't know how to count to ten!"

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Rants And Raves...

Callin' North Carolina home!

* "Join us for the Memorial Day Round-up Rodeo at the livestock arena. Bulls will be rode, riders will be throwed! Come as you are, 'cause cowboys never bathe, they just dust off."

* "Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans will be featured in a free concert at 7 p.m. at the John Penland Folk School. The concert will be held in the festival barn, weather permitting. Hay bale seating is available on a first come basis."

* "Makeover Set for Downtown Trashcans - The Merchants Association is going to give the trash bins around town a facelift. The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to let the merchants paint the lids black. The idea has been in the works for some time and has gone through several reviews."

* "Kelli Minton is the new Leisure Activity Speciaiist for the County, she..."

* "The problems we face today in this Country are there because the folks who work for a living are outnumbered by the folks who vote for a living."

And, this week's first-in-class...

Monday, June 06, 2016

That Second Glass Of Wine...

Strange Daze !!

Kinda' strayed from the beaten path the other night and got to thinking [can be a dangerous habit]....

Have you ever wondered:

*  Is it possible to get a second helping of airline food?  Has anybody ever asked?

*  Who is Michael Jackson's father-in-law?

*  Why is the Pope so concerned about birth control?  Is celibacy hereditary?

*  Is a Bernie Sanders fundraiser a "fringe benefit"?

*  Why does our State plant wildflowers along our highways? What is a "cultivated wildflower"?  Is this why Rand Paul needs to be President?

*  Speaking of highways, what exactly is a "Family Truckstop"? And what does a family do there other than ... well you know.

*  Why shouldn't I check Native American on all government forms?  Why shouldn't you?

*  Why aren't there any classes on the "Principles of Predatory Lending"?

*  Where do they take "the stuff" they pump out of my septic tank?  Why am I afraid to ask?    
.... Sorry, was just wondering...

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Holy Cow ! The Naked Truth...

Well, let's do one more of those "interesting" local newspaper stories. Last time, you'll recall it was the "cross-dressing" bank robber; this time it's another "dress code violation"...


"County Sheriff Mickey Smith's fleet of new, high performance, V-6 Dodge Chargers got a test run on April 25, when a naked woman stole a pickup truck and led sheriff's officers on a chase from East Buffalo to Sweetwater at speeds "in excess of 125 mph"."

Sheriff's deputies received a call about "a naked woman walking around on Ollie's Creek" in East Buffalo. While officers were in route to the scene, the suspect stole a 2016 red, high-mod, super-turbo Ford Raptor valued at $45,000 from a young man named Gurley Anderson, who said he "had just stopped to see if he could help out".

As officers approached East Buffalo Circle, they observed the suspect in the shiny, new truck - "still naked as a jaybird" - run a stop sign and continue south down Sweetwater Road in an erratic manner, crossing the center line, and running other folks off the road. A roadblock was set up at Grace Baptist Church, but the suspect pulled a U-turn through the parking lot and headed back north by the middle school.  The Sheriff said he was sure glad that the kids were inside given the chase and "y'know the way she was dressed and all".

Now what?  Better m-o-o-ve it...
At the narrow curve on Sweetwater, the suspect caromed off the road, jumped an irrigation ditch,  side-swiped a grazing cow, before coming to a halt in Albert Johnson's soybean field.

"The truck was surrounded in the field, but the 23-year old suspect jumped from the truck and began fighting with the officers.  She was eventually subdued."

'Yer reckon!?!

"The Sheriff said that "she was possibly high on drugs." 

"But he said the good news was...."

In Response To A Reader Critique...

So, "pamper" me!
... or is that "depends"?
[... can't remember!]

Alright, alright so I'm willing
 to admit that I am... 

... "immaturing with age"!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Wonder-full …?

Better to wonder about who you are, 
than to worry about... 
... who you're not.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Thursday, June 02, 2016

An Appropriate Memorial ?.....

What does Siri say
about this?

It's pretty clear that the "driver-less car" will not be a new invention...

Why? Because it's awfully easy to get "zoned out" when commuting day-after-day along well-familiar, oft-traversed roadways.  Too many of us are already "zombie drivers" on automatic pilot every morning - "waking up" periodically to find that we've driven many miles totally unaware of the traffic and scenery passing us by. Sound about right? Been there, done that ?

Well, "awoke" one morning recently at a stoplight to find myself next to a pickup truck pulling a small trailer.  On the cab of the truck was one of those magnetic signs, advertising the man's business (gravestones!).  It read: 

Lashom's Monuments and Memorials
"Specializing in dual memorial markers"
Call 919-881-6000

Strapped on the trailer was a pair of....

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

What's The Problem? ....

The Road Ahead...

Next time you get to thinking about your legacy in life ....

Why not try as a minimum, this little personal goal, which sure could make the world a better place for everyone....

From The Lumineers....