Feeling CUs' Pain Doesn't Put An End To It
I hope the CU community took notice of the great contrast between the two viewpoints in the Jan. 10 CU Journal. On page 7, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz shared more disingenuous arguments of "we need more during tough times" (meaning our only excuse is that we did not have enough people doing ineffective things prior to being shown to be so ineffective), and "it could have been worse, we saved so many more" (another common cry-it could have been worse, so do not be mad about the patient-killing solutions we use over and over).
The chairman's comments set the stage for the article by Tom Miller, president of Affinity Group CU, which followed one page later and called for a wider, louder, and more engaged voice from his peers. If anyone read both articles they would understand now is the time to speak up and not let NCUA off the hook. Matz was right about a few things: NCUA is an "easy target," and agency staff has had to "work harder" and some NCUA staff will have to make "sacrifices." But she was so wrong about everything else.
If Ms. Matz could only hear the message from the crowd that many of us believe, which is that more NCUA spending on old solutions will only lead to them being a bigger and easier target. More of the same solutions will only make NCUA work harder at excuses for not being the problem. More of NCUA's employees will be making sacrifices as the agency is found lacking.
The chairman continues to use the same speech writers as the trade associations: pacify, crisis means you need us more, and we share your pain. Where will new solutions come from? Not from these centralized safe-keepers of the flame. Instead, they will come from the ashes of those willing to rebuild with new solutions and challenges to the status quo.
Ms. Matz, look for some new speech-writers. I'd suggest you start with Mr. Miller's article on page 8.
Randy Karnes, CEO
CU*Answers, Grand Rapids, Mich.