I’m sure you have heard the saying, “freedom isn’t free,” so today let us pause and reflect on the significance of this day, June 6th. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings began in the early hours 78 years ago today. Some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces stormed a 50-mile stretch of beaches along the French coast which ultimately became the beginning of the end of the second World War and the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany.
Are we headed for a massive economic collapse?
Record inflation means consumer/member suffering, so how will credit unions respond? Last week, Moody’s released an analysis that today’s record inflation is costing the average Household $300 a month more this year. That’s almost a car payment without getting the car! Some are saying that if the current trends continue, average households could be spending nearly $5,000 more over last year for the same goods and services.
As the administration tries to convince us that that this is “temporary and manageable,” others are telling us to “brace ourselves.” This is exactly what Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, the Nation’s largest bank, said publicly when indicated that a “hurricane is coming our way.” Dimon added that his bank is going to be more conservative in their lending this year. Elon Musk also weighed in, saying that he has “a bad feeling about this economy” and is responding by cutting his work force by 10 percent.
So much for this being “temporary, transitory, and manageable,” as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently admitted she was wrong about the path that inflation would take. In fact, the Moody’s analysis says that “It is going to get worse before it gets better,” specifically, gasoline and food prices are set to rise further. The price of eggs, for example, are up 22 percent year-over-year, airline tickets are up 30 percent, and meat and fish are up over 18 percent. If that isn’t enough to raise concerns, farmers are struggling to get nitrogen fertilizer which is likely to mean a reduction in yields this year.
One thing is certain, raising taxes and more government spending is not a solution. Milton Freidman, an American Economist and Nobel winner in Economic Sciences, was right when he said, “If you create too much money you get inflation.” Pretty Simple.
Is this an opportunity for credit unions, or will they be forced to cut back and lend more conservatively as well?
Economic forecast from CUNA’s Chief Economist is a bit more upbeat.
While we are all feeling the pinch from consumer inflation, in CUNA’s May Economic Update, Chief Economist Mike Schenk discussed the overall health of the economy, the Federal Reserve’s moves, and the stock market. While the forecast is not entirely positive, Schenk does predict the economy to rebound in the second quarter. Additionally, he predicts the prospects for a recession to be in the neighborhood of 35 – 40%. You can see the entire report here.
Dakota Credit Union Foundation financial education grants now available!
As promised in the recent Memo “Foundation Update,” the Dakota Credit Union Foundation Board has approved a $5,000 expenditure to support financial wellness and education, and we are excited to announce we are now accepting applications for grants that can be used for either the Zogo financial education app OR toward the CUNA Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP). Both programs support the mission of “Financial Well-Being For All” and enhance the options for Dakota credit unions to further engage members in support of that goal.
The foundation will be awarding five $1,000 grants, and preference will be given to small credit unions with limited resources. If you have already registered for CUNA’s Small CU Webinar Series, be sure to catch the online seminar on Thursday, June 9th, when the presenter will be Zogo. If you have not registered, you can do so here.
Also, DakCU will be holding our own Zogo webinar on Tuesday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m. (CT) for credit unions interested in learning more about this platform. Register here for “Zogo – on a mission to promote financial well-being for all” and feel free to have multiple staff attend!
Finally, if you are interested in applying for one of the foundation’s grants, start here by submitting an application by June 30, 2022. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
DakCU’s Pints & Politics gets “Green Light” for this fall.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the Dakota Credit Union Association’s “Pints & Politics” is back in full swing for fall 2022.
As you may recall, Pints & Politics” is our state-wide credit union legislative awareness program for credit union leaders, volunteer board members, and employees. These events are credit union specific – designed and presented by the Dakota Credit Union Association’s Governmental Affairs teams, bringing our advocacy and grassroots efforts directly to the chapter level. Briefly, the program brings credit union professionals, state, and federal lawmakers, and endorsed candidates together for an informal evening of credit union education and advocacy awareness.
We know it is vitally important for chapter members as well as chapter officials to be engaged in grassroots political involvement. Legislative representation is critical to the continued survival of the credit union movement, and chapters are very much a part of that political involvement process. Chapters have always been, and will continue to be, the backbone of the credit union movement, fulfilling a dual role as credit union educator and grassroots legislative link.
Dates have already been reserved for some chapters, and we are working on scheduling additional events. Be sure to contact Debbie Kruckenberg for assistance in coordinating your event.
What questions should you be asking your financial institution?
I recently contributed some comments to the Greater North Dakota Chamber for their Spring 2022 “Report on Business” magazine, which was focused on Finance & Banking. The subject they were seeking a response to was, “What questions should you be asking your financial institution?”
I participated, along with executives from the ND Bankers Association, and the Independent Community Banks. While one spoke on cybersecurity and another addressed rising interest rates by the Federal Reserve, I decided to focus more on the personal relationship that credit unions have with their members and their communities.
Therefore, my answer was this: “What drives your success?” Because we all know that if you are seeking a financial institution that puts service before profitability, the answer your financial institution gives to that question will make your decision blaringly clear. You can review the complete article here.
Creating a community through credit unions.
In the same Greater ND Chamber magazine that I mentioned above, Steve Schmitz, President/CEO of First Community CU (Jamestown, ND) was also featured in an article titled, “Creating a Community Through Credit Unions.” Steve took a similar approach in his statements, talking about the mission of “people helping people” and how credit unions strive to help their members be successful and thrive – beyond just numbers on paper. Again, you can find the entire magazine issue here.
Reminder - #ILoveMyCreditUnion social media blitz set for July!
After the hugely successful launch of last year’s social media blitz – #ILoveMyCreditUnion – our friends at the Illinois Credit Union League (ILCUL) are planning the next round on July 29, 2022. Last year, on one single day, the trending hashtag reached more than 22 MILLION people in 9 countries – and this year is likely to be even bigger!
The idea is so simple – all they ask is that on July 29, you make a social media post – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, using #ILoveMyCreditUnion. That’s it! The goal is to get that hashtag trending, bringing more attention to our great industry. Everything you need to participate – premade graphics, selfie signs, and even printable engagement signs for your members to sign and display at your credit union, can be found here. Be sure to click the “Sign Up” link to register – this is to let the ILCUL track how many organizations are participating, nothing more. There is no commitment, no charge, no obligations.
Have a great week!
The Memo is DakCU's newsletter that keeps
Want the Memo delivered straight to your inbox?