Singing in the Rain

An averted government shutdown is just one way April has brought more flowers than showers.


Retailers welcomed transitioning weather as well as transitioning spirits this spring as the 25 businesses tracked by Thompson Reuters reported a 1.7% increase in sales this March (four out of five of the businesses beat analysts’ predictions for performance!). 

The gap between the best performing and worst performing segments in this group also decreased to less than 5 percentage points, indicating a healthier picture overall for institutions of all types. 

Stock experts are holding fast to earlier forecasts for growth throughout the year, reports the New York Times, as a bullish market transcends challenges that might have steamrolled a lesser turnaround. 

There is no greater need this spring than the transfer of knowledge between consumers and their financial institutions. And no better time to start than tax time, as scammers target consumers by impersonating the IRS, and consumers engage in misrepresentations or mistakes on returns that end up in fines or worse.

British parliament is clamoring for a more effective centralized channel to convey financial education in the United Kingdom, and we across the pond are in no position to abstain from such solutions. A recent poll showed one in five Americans believe that their best retirement strategy is the lottery, says FastCompany, indicating there’s still plenty of work to be done. 

Employers, schools, credit counseling agencies, and community-based initiatives have all failed to substantially address the problem, the article continues. But credit unions are putting their existing networks and community connections to use in ingenious ways that reach from the teller line to the kitchen table (read more at 

In emergency situations, it’s always recommended to assign individuals specific responsibilities to ensure crucial tasks get accomplished. The economic emergency may have passed, but credit unions have assigned themselves the role of practicing preventative medicine in the coming days, with a finger to the increasingly vibrant pulse of the American consumer.


April 11, 2011


  • Just about every article you've written recently, Alix, has had a positive spin to our economy's slow resurgence and how it auspiciously affects credit unions. Kudos to you for your consistency. I think we need this consistent message right now. But I also appreciate the straight-up honesty of your Insights -- especially this post. The transfer of knowledge to empower credit unions and their members is a must right now for this industry to remain relevant and gain more marketshare -- even if it is one new member at a time. Credit unions need to keep stepping up in this area.
    mike lawson