There was so much irony and envy on hand last week that it required a building with 2.6-million square feet of meeting space just to handle it all.
First, the irony. For a large conference with the name “bank” in it, for all the thousands of “bankers” from around the world who were on hand, and for all the references to the “banking” industry, if you listened carefully during the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery Show you might have noticed it was “credit unions” that so many people were talking about. Even if no one used those words—or even realized what was right beneath their noses.
When it comes to credit unions’ involvement in politics and advocacy, two interesting statements were made almost simultaneously that should really cause the whole CU community to pause and think for a moment.
In the cartoons, the Voice of Conscience is always portrayed as a little white angel sitting on a character’s shoulder, struggling to be heard over the temptations being whispered into the other ear by a grinning, little red devil.
It’s hard to exaggerate the fears and rumors that have surrounded the terrible outbreak of Ebola.
Some have called for stopping all travel, for mass quarantines, and not just suggested but claimed to know that the whole tragic sequence is. in fact, a government conspiracy.
When the Terracotta Army of talking heads in Washington is blathering about the balance of power in the capital, the yammering most frequently centers on “control” of Congress or the White House, and which states might be players in the seat count. It doesn’t get the same attention, obviously, but a much quieter states vs. federal tug-of-war has been playing out in Washington, especially over the past decades, and that is state CU supervision vs. federal supervision. In an industry where there is approximately a 60/40 federal/state split, and nearly every CU is federally insured, the latter spend much of their time working for redemption from federal preemption.
The CUNA board has made pretty clear where it believes the trade association needs to be headed with its hiring of a former congressman as its new CEO. Or perhaps that was just the default position of a board borrowing a page from the American Bankers Association and choosing to focus on a (real or perceived) external threat rather than the bushel basket of thorny durian fruit that is the internal challenges.
As I was saying…
That “something cool” is finally here. And we think we’ve delivered.
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