A Time to Give Thanks

This time of year there is much to be thankful for, as evidenced by last week’s business headlines.


What a wonderful time of year as we look forward to a week of blessings, family, and a break from daily labors. There is so much to be thankful for — even if one looked at just Friday’s “business news” from the Wall Street Journal or New York Times.

  • Job market keeps making gains: The four week moving average of unemployment claims fell to the lowest level since the first week of September 2008. (Wall Street Journal)
  • October was New York state’s best month for new jobs in years, data shows: “With relatively strong growth in the city.” (New York Times)
  • Mortgage delinquencies decline: “The decline reflects an improving economy and is the latest sign that the worst of the mortgage crisis may be easing.”  (Wall Street Journal)
  • GM’s IPO may raise record amount. “The move … is a response to stronger-than-expected demand for shares in the auto maker, which is generating solid profits.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • Asset-backed bonds come back: Asset-backed securities are making a comeback, including types that haven’t been seen since the financial crisis. Issues included bonds backed by billboard ad revenue, subprime auto loans, student loans, motorcycle loans, credit cards, and even aircraft equipment. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Mortgage rates jump: But Refinancing of 30-year mortgages can still save consumers. Approximately $780 billion 30-year mortgages have rates between 4.9% and 5.1% and comprise borrowers with “pristine credit quality and relative low ratios of debt-to-home values.”  (Wall Street Journal)
  • Small, but hopeful, signs in employment, factory output, and growth: Factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region accelerated in November, suggesting the economy’s recovery was gaining speed. (New York Times)

The American economy is coming back. Credit unions are working hard at the grassroots through their refinancings that average close to a $1 billion per day. Ultimately economic recovery and jobs are driven by consumer demand.  The extra $100 or $200 per month that members save when they refinance debt is cash put right back into the local economy in terms of groceries, gas, and shopping. Mortgage pipelines are at record levels in some credit unions — and in many instances up to 90% of demand is from refinancing that gives members access to the lowest rates ever.

Credit unions and Thanksgiving have this in common: It is not what we say about our blessings but how we use them that is the true measure of our gratitude. The pilgrims did not have a credit union, but they did have a Compact. We share that cooperative commitment every time we help a fellow member.

Enjoy your week, and thank you for sharing your blessings.