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Look Beyond the Magic 8 Ball

May 20, 2009
G. Kent Streuling Uncertain times deliver tough HR answers. My Magic 8 Ball® from junior high sits on my desk. During the current unstable economy, it reminds me the answers to my questions may be different each day. Wouldn’t it be nice to see what the next 18 months have... READ MORE

Control Costs, Boost Spreads

April 27, 2009
Judy Dahl Shrinking margins make cost control vitally important. Credit union margins are perilously low: Return on assets fell to 31 basis points (bp) at year-end 2008 versus a five-year average of 71 bp, reports the Credit Union National Association. This makes cost control more important than ever, say Eve... READ MORE

The Barometer of Influence

April 27, 2009
John Magill The movement’s political force has put CUNA at the bargaining table with legislators. Influence is to Congress what the dollar is to the economy. Both allow the holder to obtain a desired product. In the economy, the dollar gives you purchasing power. In Congress, influence gives you power,... READ MORE

Let's Get the Ape Off the Building

April 27, 2009
Daniel A. Mica The CU movement definitely faces a monster of a problem. Veteran comedian Bob Newhart had a famous routine that may describe best what credit unions have been experiencing during the past months. It goes something like this: It’s a security guard’s first night on the job at... READ MORE

CUs Need Conflict of Interest Policies, Disclosures

March 30, 2009
Kathleen Thompson Take note of IRS Form 990’s new Part VI on nonprofit governance. A new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirement has focused attention on credit unions’ need for conflict of interest policies and annual disclosure processes for board members and senior staff to report possible conflicts. Review a sample... READ MORE

Where's the Good News?

February 20, 2009
CUs sense a renewed urgency to invest in their communities. READ MORE

Certainly Uncertain Months Ahead

February 20, 2009
Steve Rick The Fed’s ‘quantitative easing’ is necessary but insufficient. The only certainty of the 2009 business environment is it holds the greatest uncertainty most credit union leaders ever will experience. The reasons include uncertainty over the degree, duration, and dispersion of the recession; government policy responses; and the financial... READ MORE

Roadblocks to Member Growth

February 20, 2009
James Collins Some growth strategies stymie even the most dedicated CUs. Here are two numbers to think about:    0.88% —annual U.S. population growth, according to cia.gov, which it claims is “as accurate as anything else we’ve done over the past eight years.”   2% —annualized growth of credit union... READ MORE

Try a Little Self-Analysis

February 20, 2009
Mark Sievewright The best vision and mission statements are mantras for action. I’ve had the privilege of helping many credit unions, leagues, and trade associations with their strategic plans. Although it may seem early in the year to think about plans and budgets, the market environment dictates it’s time for... READ MORE

Tried and True

February 20, 2009
John Franklin The same philosophy that created the CU movement is alive and well today. This U.S. Credit Union System celebrates some historic milestones. In June, during the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo, participants will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first U.S. credit... READ MORE

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