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Inside Washington (09/02/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (9/3/08)--For a market economy to work best, individual institutions must be allowed to fail, Thomas M. Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said Monday in a speech in Buenos Aires. Economies also must find a balance between financial stability and a stable price environment and in doing so must let institutions fail, he said. “The ‘too big to fail’ issue will only grow in importance as the consolidation of the financial industry grows both in size and scope in future decades,” he concluded ... * WASHINGTON (9/3/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) announced that its general counsel, Sara Kelsey, will retire on Oct. 31. She has served as general counsel the past two years. Before joining the FDIC, Kelsey served as deputy superintendent and general counsel of the New York State Banking Department; counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom; and as senior vice president and associate general counsel at Chase Manhattan Bank. She began her career with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., in 1976 ...

NCUA posts Hurricane Gustav information

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/3/08)—On its website, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has posted Hurricane Gustav recovery information for credit unions and their members, information that is modeled on resources disseminated after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita three years ago. The information includes, in English and Spanish, presidentially declared disaster areas and U.S Postal service links, among other information. Use the resource link below to access the NCUA posting.

Dates set for 75th FCUA anniversary event

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WASHINGTON (9/3/08)—National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board member Gigi Hyland announced the date of her free, two-day symposium recognizing the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA). It will be held here on Capitol Hill June 9-10. The event, celebrating 75 years of federal credit union history while providing a forum to discuss the future of federal credit unions in the 21st century, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington. The program agenda will focus on the current financial marketplace, the importance of federal deposit insurance, opportunities for credit unions to serve all segments of their field of membership and opportunities for modernization of the FCUA, according to an NCUA announcement. The FCUA was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 26, 1934. The symposium will be one in a series of commemorative efforts the NCUA plans to undertake to highlight the landmark anniversary. Celebration of the 100th anniversary of America's credit unions, the 75th anniversary of the FCUA, and the 75th anniversary of Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will all be a major focus of CUNA's 2009 America's Credit Union Conference & Expo June 21-24 in Boston, Mass., next year. "We will be pulling out all the stops to make next year's America's Credit Union Conference an historic event in one of the nation's most historic cities," commented CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica.

Fin Lit Honor Roll comments sought

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WASHINGTON (9/3/08)—Credit unions are being asked what they think about a U.S. Treasury Dept. plan to initiate the Workplace Financial Education Honor Roll Program, which would recognize employers who establish and maintain successful educational programs. The program is meant to encourage financial literacy in the workplace by highlighting successful initiatives that show the benefits of financial education through both private sector and public sector efforts. It will be administered by the Treausury’s President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Information regarding those involved in the Honor Roll Program will be collected through an application form. The submitted information will be used to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of employer financial education programs and determine which employers will make the Honor Roll. The collection process will:
* Be conducted on a annual voluntary basis; and * Include brief narrative descriptions on the types of financial education programs being offered to employees.
CUNA is asking credit unions to comment on elements of the Honor Roll program by Oct. 15. CUNA seeks specific comment on the following areas:
*Is the proposed method of gathering information the most efficient? Are there other, similar methods of collection that may prove more effective? * Any suggestions to better structure and implement the Honor Roll Program? * Does the initial burden estimate of six hours sound accurate? * Aside from the collection process, are there any general concerns regarding the Honor Roll Program itself? * Other comments or concerns regarding the Honor Roll Program and its method of collecting data for participants.
Comments in response to Treasury’s proposed Honor Roll Program are due by October 27. Use the resource link below to access CUNA’s Comment Call.

CUNA Twitters to keep readers current on RNC

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WASHINGTON (9/3/08)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Editorial Communication Vice President David Klavitter posts comments and observations almost minute by minute at the Republican National Convention (RNC), which started Monday in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Credit unions are encouraged to check in on Twitter, a microblogging service, to get the latest credit union take on happenings at the RNC this week, as they did last week at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Twitter allows instant, extremely short online postings--limited to no more than 140 characters each. CUNA staff and volunteers, state leagues and corporates. attending both national conventions, aim to raise the profile of credit unions during the high-profile political events. Use the resource link below to stay up-to-date: Follow Klavitter on Twitter.

Convention delegate a lawmaker long-time CU member

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/3/08)--You could say politics is in the blood of Republican National Convention delegate Dave Senjem, a long-time credit union member and former board member in Minnesota. His dad was a mayor and his great-grandfather was a legislator. Senjem started in politics in 1992 by serving on the Rochester, Minn., city council for 11 years. Senjem (R-29) was elected--after a seat became available--to the Minnesota Senate in 2002 by winning a three-person race. He has been the Senate minority leader since 2006. “You become involved in politics because of a deeply ingrained feeling of community service, of giving back, and making the earth a better place,” Senjem told News Now last week in advance of the convention.
Click for slide showMinnesota State Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem (R-Rochester) during yesterday’s Summer Soiree hosted by the Minnesota Credit Union Network and the Credit Union Association of Colorado. A delegate to the Republican National Convention, Senjem served as a credit union board member for 23 years. The Tuesday event provided credit unions an opportunity to meet the GOP delegates. CLICK TO VIEW MORE SCENES FROM CUs AT YESTERDAY’S RNC (Photo provided by CUNA)
As a political leader, Senjem declared for John McCain months ago and “that has not changed,” Senjem said. He’s looking forward to seeing and hearing McCain at the convention. “I think the highlight of the convention will be a strong coming together of the Republican party around John McCain,” Senjem said. “There’s a sense of excitement that this nation will follow a man of deep commitment and experience. I’m excited because this is my first convention, and John McCain has been a good friend of Minnesota.” On a lighter note, Senjem said he has been invited to more parties at the convention than he can possibly attend. “Receptions are being put together by the NFL and major corporations and the list goes on, including a reception by the credit union movement on Wednesday that I plan on attending,” he said. Senjem, who became an employee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1964, joined the Mayo Clinic Employees CU in the mid 1970s when he sought a car loan. Senjem subsequently served 23 years on the credit union board of directors--until 2002. The credit union subsequently went to a federal charter and became Mayo Employees FCU. He has worked for the Mayo Clinic for 44 years and will retire next year. Senjem now serves as the environmental affairs officer at the Mayo Clinic. In his time with the credit union, Senjem has seen it grow from $5 million in assets to more than $200 million. Today it has $310 million in assets. “It’s a fabulous organization that does so much for so many in terms of financial security-- in a homespun and wonderful way,” Senjem said. “I think credit unions are the greatest organization on earth in terms of what they do and how they do it every day,” he concluded. “Being a part of a credit union has been a marvelous opportunity for me.”