A Time to Evaluate

The economy is rolling forward, but credit union still have plenty of work to do. 


Tonight, President Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address.  He will touch on the past challenges and identify his leadership priorities. The speech is a chance for the country to review what’s transpired in the past year and see the President’s game plan for what is to come.

The economy is rebounding. According to a USA Today survey, economists predict 2011 will bring 3% or more quarterly GDP growth, unemployment falling below 9%, and most business sectors posting strong sales numbers. There are even signs of a recovery in hiring.

Callahan & Associates has profiled the improving credit union performance since December 2009. Our outlook – in articles and through our quarterly Trendwatch – has been to Make Big Plans for 2011.

Cooperatives’ robust performance has been a three-year effort. North Island Financial Credit Union is one credit union that is celebrating a strong performance in 2010. It just reported net income of $11.5 million for 2010. Its net worth ratio has improved from 3.4% at year-end 2009 to 5.26% as of December 2010.

There is still much to do. Many of the country’s consumer and institutional reforms from the Great Recession are yet to be implemented. Fannie and Freddie are still in conservatorship. Some of these reforms are at the heart of why credit unions exist.  The cooperative model purpose is to provide better solutions for creating shared value than is available through either government or purely market-facing institutions. This public policy role is the foundation for credit unions’ tax exemption.

An upcoming webinar on February 2 will review this critical public policy-facing role. In the webinar, we will illustrate credit unions’ reforming heritage and changes that will enhance that role in light of current economic and social needs.

Two recent Callahan Reports serve as perspective for this event. January’s issue focuses on the need for regulatory accountability.  The Corporate Crisis & Regulatory Reform, a special Callahan Report, suggests directions reform might take.


Jan. 24, 2011


  • I wouldn't base a projection of recovery based an a survey. We're still in a mess that won't gain much ground this year. The real estate market is still a problem and until that get corrected the recovery will slow and painful.
    Brad Johnson