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E-Mail: eclark@docfcu.org

Phone: 202-482-1082

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 14720

Washington, DC  20044-4720

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Thursday
Dec312009

My Sears Twitter Experience

Hi Everyone,

As you've seen from previous posts my wife and I remodeled the kitchen this year.  It's a joy.  We bought our GE Profile appliances at Sears.  When we bought them we were given a rebate form to send to GE for a $200 rebate.  We were told to wait for the appliances to be delivered to get their serial numbers for the form.  We bought the appliances in late August thinking they'd be delivered in late September or early October.  Because of the inevitable delays in the remodel we actually got them on the 29th of October.  When we checked on the rebate form it said it had to be postmarked no later than October 27th.  We thought we were out of luck.  But this week I tweeted @mysears  Within an hour someone from Sears tweeted me asking for direct contact info.  Last night I had a voicemail on my cell phone and at work to call them.  This morning I called (800-573-8431) and got Amanda who happened to be the person who left the voicemail.  She listened to my story, verified the facts and then said they could issue the rebate check on GE's behalf and I'd have it by Wednesday of next week.  That's awesome customer service and it shows the power of using Twitter to solve a customer service issue. 

Tuesday
Dec292009

Financial Institution Effeciency Ratio

Hi Everyone,

Here's my definition of the efficiency ratio.  It's operating expenses divided by (interest income plus other operating income minus dividend and interest expense).  A credit union's efficiency ratio is typically around 80%.  That means that for every dollar earned a credit union uses 80 cents to earn it.  A community bank's efficiency ratio typically runs around 50%.  Part of the reason community banks' ratio is lower is they charge a lot more fees.  But before all the credit union folks get all worked up and excited about how they are better than banks it should be noted that community banks also typically have much lower operating expenses.  This is one of the weak points of the credit union movement.  Credit unions must drive down their operating expenses relentessly to survive.

Wednesday
Dec232009

Pear Cream Cheese Pound Cake

A member just stopped me in the hall to say she liked the new kitchen.  She asked me for the pear cream cheese pound cake recipe I posted a few months ago.  It's so good I decided to share it again with all of you.  It's from Susan when she was at Old Ebbitt's Grill.  As she would say, make it your own.

 

1 cup Butter, room temperature

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cup All purpose Flour1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 T vanilla

Salt

2 Pears, peeled and cubed

½ pound Cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup Confectioners Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla

1 Egg

2 T Sour Cream

 

1. Grease and flour a 9x5x4 loaf pan

2. Prepare Cream Cheese topping: Using a low speed mixer: Combine Cream

Cheese, Sour Cream and Powdered Sugar; Add egg; add vanilla. Set aside.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg

4. Cream butter on medium speed until light, about 2-3 minutes.

5. Slowly add sugar, beat until fluffy.

6. Add eggs, one at a time; add vanilla. Scrape bowl often to assure

total incorporation

7. Slowly add dry ingredients on low speed (or by hand). Mix until

thoroughly incorporated, but do not over-mix.

8. Gently mix pears into batter. Turn into pan.

9. Carefully Spoon Cream cheese topping on batter in pan, gently

spreading to cover top of batter.

10. Bake 350-375 degrees for about an hour to hour and one-quarter, or

until toothpick in center pulls out free of crumbs.

Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out of pan. Cool. Dust with confectioner’s

sugar.

Saturday
Dec052009

The Real Cost Of the Corporate Credit Union Clean Up

Hi Everyone,

For those of you not in the credit union world we've been cleaning up a corporate credit union mess.  Corporate credit unions are credit unions that credit unions like mine can join.  Two of these corporate credit unions invested in some really crappy investments.  I could go on and on about the crappy investments but I'll save that for another time because something's really bugging me.  The cost of the corporate credit union bailout will run somewhere between $10 and $16 billion.  In the world of high finance that's not a whole lot but in the credit union world that's a ton because we don't take up much space in the world of high finance.  Every year for the next seven or eight years every credit union will be assessed by our regulators.  In 2010 the range we've been given is 15 to 40 basis points.  Trust me, it will be 40 basis points at the least.  The real cost for credit unions is this.  A credit union likes to have say, around 9% capital.  If you take $16 billion, the cost of the the corporate clean up, and divide it by 9% you get $178 billion.  That's the amount of growth the credit union movement will forgo to clean up this mess.  That in the credit union world is a lot of growth. 

Friday
Nov202009

Patchin' and Paintin'

Hi Everyone,

We're nearly done with the kitchen.  Yesterday the subcontractors for Lowes finished the cabinet work.  All that's left is some patching and painting that Luda and I will do.  We're thrilled with the end result.

 

 

 

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