Monday, October 31, 2016

White Wash - Black Eye....


Even NCUA's Watchdog - the "OIG"
appears to stinketh!
IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT MANY OF YOU DIDN'T KNOW THE "HISTORY" ON HOW NCUA ENDED UP PAYING OVER $1 BILLION IN EXCESSIVE LEGAL FEES.

JUST FOR THE RECORD "THE SKUNK" WAS FIRST "CALLED OUT" IN 2013 WHEN THE LEGAL BILL 
WAS "ONLY" $42 MILLION:....

(READ IT AND WEEP!)
[from February, 2013]



O My, O Gee, OIG
What a long nose you have!

Ever tried to type with clenched fists ?  Can really bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "growing frustration".  Try it sometime! If you need a little motivation to get "fired up",  just read the latest, hot-off-the-press novella from the NCUA Office of The Inspector General (OIG).



OIG's February 16, 2013 letter to Congressman Darrell E. Issa, Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is yet another cause for embarrassment for anyone and everyone - that's you and me - involved with credit unions.  

The letter from OIG is in response to a request from the Congressman for an "explanation" from NCUA, concerning a damning front page article in the Wall Street Journal ("Nice Payday for 'Toxic' Work" - Oct. 26, 2012) describing how NCUA had paid over $42 million in "contingent" legal fees to two Chicago law firms.  

"Pass the Cash" was played by NCUA despite an express Executive Order ( #13433 issued May, 2007 by President Bush and affirmed by President Obama - one of the few things both parties have agreed on in quite awhile !) barring such arrangements as detrimental to the best interests of the American taxpayer.


But, let's stop and let you actually read the letter, before we discuss the content any further.  Really you need to read it; it's important to the future integrity of the credit union movement.  And, it won't take you too long;  in fact here's almost a complete copy of pages 3 and 4:

 "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX   XXXXXXXXXX 
XXXXXXXXXXX      XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX  XXXXX XXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX ""
(Guess you get the picture...)

With NCUA's track record, you always suspect everything to have....

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Making A Governmental Agency Appear Stupid... at Best!




Will full...
George Will's nationally syndicated column is generally viewed as "leaning somewhat to the right" in theme and content.  Some think his real, major bias is a strong preference for common sense.

One of his most striking opinion piece quotes comes from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's thought provoking book: "Secrecy: The American Experience". 

Published by the Yale University Press in 1998,  "Secrecy: The American Experience" was widely acclaimed as ..."the best book of the year - and then some - about law, government, politics, American history, and human nature. .... the book describes the baleful impact on our national life of the ever expanding imposition of government secrecy..."

George Will provides this brutally honest insight from Senator Moynihan: 


"... secrecy makes government stupid by keeping secrets from itself."

Can you think of any federal government agency which might improve its I.Q. by listening to the Senator's advice on being more  open-minded to dialogue and more transparent in its operations? 


Perhaps...

Friday, October 28, 2016

"Someone" Needs To Come Clean... Accountability, Competency, Transparency - "ACT"!

H-m-m- let's see....



It's time for a little pop quiz ! Let's make it multiple choice to improve your odds at passing - OK?  Here goes:




Q: Which of the following: 

1.  Has been involved with "Pass The Cash" political shenanigans involving Chicago law firms and insider cronies ? 
2.  Has initially denied any knowledge of wrongdoing? 
3.  Has claimed that their illegal activities were simply intended to protect the taxpayers ? 
4.  Has or should be prosecuted for their malfeasance and negligence ? 
5.  Is or should be spending some "quality time" in prison ?





A) Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich ?






B) Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. ?






C) The NCUA ?



  
or ....

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A One Track Mind... ?



Off the rails?

"Speed - nor NCUA "zero-based budgeting"- is  an asset, when you're heading in the wrong direction."


But so
"robust"!



LOCO-MOTION?


NCUA Budget Review...Or "Deckchair Leadership"?


"Much ado, about nothing."
Well, today is "showtime" for comments on the proposed NCUA budget. The open meeting should provide yet another convenient stage for our usual cast of credit union characters. Great theater for "the players" to strut and fret their hour upon the stage. But William Shakespeare has already spoken eloquently about the NCUA budget and today's play acting:  

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Why? Because the NCUA budget has absolutely nothing to do with the real problems at the Agency. 

Let me refresh your memory, happened just last year, under oath before Congress... 

... here's what the NCUA said about you, your members, and what you can do with your "*!xl*^!" budget ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Here's A Chance To Find Out If You Want To Pay Dues Next Year!


Some of us have "whined" a good bit about the unbelievable scandal at Wells Fargo, have "groused" about the less than ideal choice in Presidential candidates, and "raised the alarm" that our democratic government seems to have become a "pay to play", Wall Street insiders' joke on the people...

It seems that the credit union movement may have a little potential BILLION DOLLAR SCANDAL [link] of its very own on its hands. Probably isn't; quite sure it's all on the "up-and-up", because credit unions are "the guys who wear the white hats" in the financial services arena, right? Right! Absolutely! Unquestionably! Without a doubt!

Well, if so, then there can be absolutely no reason for NCUA not to publicly air the full story behind how the contingency legal fee arrangements were thought to be beneficial, how prospective firms were identified, and the process through which the firms were selected. How can the truth hurt anyone? What would there be to hide? Why wouldn't we want to confirm to credit unions, Congress, and our 105 million taxpaying members that "Credit Unions are different!"?

   AND YOU KNOW WHO SHOULD ASK...

Monday, October 24, 2016

NCUA: Legal Beagles...



Truly "Lincolnesque"!


"A BILLION HERE, AND A BILLION THERE, AND PRETTY SOON YOU"RE TALKING ABOUT REAL MONEY."


- SENATOR EVERETT DIRKSEN
(R-ILLINOIS)




CUToday: "Did NCUA Overpay..." [link]

WSJ: "Nice Payday... "(10/26/12) [link]



Executive Order # 1343:
 "Protecting American Taxpayers From Payment of Contingency Fees"
Issued by President Bush
May 16, 2007

In the interest of transparency, did the NCUA meet Section 2, part b of the Executive Order? Which states...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mission Accomplished....


Been a bit of controversy brewing within the blog "Comments" over the last few days about the role and effectiveness of the CU trades - primarily CUNA and NAFCU, but without doubt also the leagues and NASCUS.

Dues decision time is once again just around the corner for credit unions.  Thought it might be appropriate to recognize and reemphasize the progress CUNA has made over the last 18-24 months on the issues of governance, transparency and reform: 


"The membership of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has overwhelmingly voted to modernize the associations bylaws. This historic change creates a new, open membership model for CUNA and empowers the board of directors to maintain a fair dues formula and board structure as the credit union system evolves."[link]


Really?








"This is a tremendous victory for credit unions. I am grateful to our members for this strong vote of confidence in CUNA and for embracing a modern, national trade association model
"A tremendous victory"?
that will help us build an even stronger, more effective, and more united credit union system," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.

So, what has changed...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Presidential Politics.... 2016!!


WILL THE NEXT DEBATE BE ABOUT THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?


... OR WILL THE DEBATE BE MORE...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Outside The Box Thinking...




In the beginning ( no I was not there!); credit unions were created as cooperatives, which were to be owned and controlled by the members and managed in their best interests.  

One member / one vote; a democratically elected Board; a common goal, a common purpose - the common good !  
"We're all in this together..."

                                                                            
                                                                                
But today, some Boards and CEOs have become "more creative" in how they view their relationship with and their responsibilities to those member-owners.


Kind of an "outside the box" sorta view....


Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Logic of a Bureaucracy... Oh, Deer...


The far western part of North Carolina (... beyond Asheville, and Asheville is pretty "far out"!) is still a very independent minded section of the Country. Up in the mountains things change more slowly; family and church are still important; people have long memories; grudges are held firmly, often passed down through generations.


In this corner of the State, the region includes some of the last true wilderness on the East Coast, stretching into Georgia, Tennessee, and the Cherokee Nation - the scenery, mountains, valleys and rivers are on the gorgeous side.

Visitors and tourists - outsiders! - are tolerated for the money they bring to the area, but are often provided - just for fun! - with a free copy of the movie "Deliverance", handed across with a sly wink and a wry grin. 

With mountain folks "Authority" is often questioned; sometimes that can cause "problems"...


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Monetary Policy......


The FED !


Alright here's an easy quiz for Wednesday morning:




WHICH FAMOUS ROCK AND ROLL BAND IS "THE HOUSE BAND" FOR THE FEDERAL RESERVE?

C'mon don't peek yet! 

Which band is both 1) named after and 2) sings about 
U.S. economic policy ?????

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Eulogy For Small Credit Unions...



Yew-r-hairies
Badin Employees Federal Credit Union is tucked up against the Uwharrie Mountains on the banks of the Yadkin River, about 40 miles east of Charlotte - the hometown of banking giants Bank of America and Wells Fargo. If the Town of Badin were a nudist colony, it would be located smack dab in the middle of no wear. But, it isn't.

The Uwharries are thought to be the oldest mountains in the U.S. The Rockies these ain't! These mountains are well worn and rounded, much like ... well, never mind. Let's just say the Uwharries have fewer points than the teeth on a 25 year old bird dog.


"Meaning unknown"...!
Uwharrie is an old Indian word. It's a bit tricky to pronounce, much like La Jolla, Yakima, Albuquerque, and Butte. "Yew -whar-eee" is correct";  "you-are-hairy" isn't. Been searching for years for the original Indian meaning of the word. Last year a friend told me he knew the answer. "Look", he said, "it's in the dictionary. Uwharrie means 'unknown' ." "Well, great", I said. "Send me a copy of the definition for my files". The following week, sure enough, in came a photocopy of the dictionary definition. It said: "Uwharrie - probably from an ancient tribal name; meaning unknown." Perhaps I just need to pick better friends....


Sunday, October 09, 2016

Election 2016...!!!!




CANDIDATE

+


REMARKS

=

From The Field...


Q: Can you give me a little help?
A: Yes, very little.
"We were trying to help a member get a long expired mortgage lien officially cancelled. I went to the customer service rep's office at the b*#k and nicely explained what was needed.  Well, as my husband would say, that bank rep...



... was "as lost as an Easter egg".

Saturday, October 08, 2016

2017 "Non-R" Early-Birdy Managerial Forecast…….


Robusterians can't draw
straight lines,

 without becoming regressive...
Since quants, economists, and other - various and sundry - robusterian talking heads are held fully unaccountable for their voluminous, diarrhetic, pseudo-scientific blatherings [pretty good length on that phrase - heh?!]; thought it would not be harmful to subject you to my equally useless and profoundly senseless non-robusterian ("Non-R") early-birdy managerial forecast for 2017 So, please permit me to add to the heap (perhaps that should be "pile")…..

And, since it is said that "a picture is worth a thousand words", here's a look at your Credit Union Early-Birdy "Non-R" Managerial Forecast [regardless of your politics - "Left", "Right" or "OMG Please No"!] for 2017….

Friday, October 07, 2016

Credit Unions In Truth: We're Baaaaaaa-d!


Credit Unions: Not Predators!

Some of the best attributes of Credit Unions are that, as cooperatives, we're open, transparent, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda organizations.  No fine print, no come-ons, no-trip wires, no gotchas, no "Stumpf-ing", no Wells Fargo-ing, no consent decrees... "no phone, no fool, no pets"[Roger Miller - "King of the Road"].


Members First!

CUs are sheep in sheep's clothing....



Thursday, October 06, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

From The Field: Say What?

                                                                           


"We have been extremely busy this month, despite the inclement weather caused by the hurricane.  As the old saying goes:  

"Our members were in here like a hair in a biscuit".