Friday, January 19, 2018

NAFCU's Chief Economist Curt Long Will Join Us In Seattle

We are proud to report that NAFCU's Chief Economist Curt Long will bring us up to date on the national economy and how it will affect the credit union industry at our 2018 Annual Conference in Seattle.

Curt Long was named chief economist and vice president of research in July 2017 after having been director of research and chief economist since August 2014. In this role, he serves as the association's chief economic analyst, conducting economic and financial policy research and providing ongoing economic analysis for NAFCU's staff and its member credit unions. Long also helps produce a number of NAFCU's publications – including the quarterly CU Performance Benchmark Report and the monthly Economic & CU Monitor – and its numerous economic forecasts and surveys. In addition, he presents on economic topics at NAFCU events and conferences. 
Long holds a Master's degree in Economics from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Texas Christian University.
Prior to joining NAFCU, Long practiced his financial skills for a real estate development company in Irving, Texas.

See you in Seattle

Sunday, January 14, 2018

FOMC President William Dudley reiterated his support of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) decision to increase interest rates.

NAFCU Chief Economist Curt Long.

"While there are reasons to be cautious about raising interest rates in the face of flagging inflation, at this time the FOMC seems to be in the mood to press forward with rate normalization, "Moreover, a number of the more dovish members will be cycling off the voting contingent of the committee in 2018. Plenty can change between now and then, but based on the present trajectory of the economy, NAFCU's expectation is that the Fed will raise rates again in March."

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley yesterday reiterated his support of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) decision to increase interest rates. Dudley said "above-trend growth" offsets the low inflation that has made some on the committee more cautious toward rate hikes.
Dudley, who also serves as the FOMC's vice chair, made his comments during a speech before the Securities and Financial Markets Association in New York. A day prior, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans indicated that he would prefer to wait until mid-2018 before going forward with another rate increase. Evans was one of two voters who dissented to the FOMC's decision to raise rates last month.
The FOMC, which is the rate-setting council for the Federal Reserve, voted to raise the federal funds target by a quarter-point during its December meeting to a range of 1.25 to 1.5 percent.
Evans said he disagreed with other committee members' belief that inflation will be boosted by strong economic conditions – he doesn't believe inflation will hit 2 percent until 2019 or 2020. However, Evans stated that the recent tax reform will continue to strengthen economic growth.
Dudley, in his speech, was optimistic about this year's economic growth and unemployment, but he said a too-quick uptick in economic growth could lead the Fed to be more aggressive in its rate setting. 
In 2017, the FOMC raised interest rates three times. Also during the December meeting, the committee revised its projections to three quarter-point rate hikes in 2018 and two or three in 2019.
Dudley is a permanent member of the FOMC; Evans' rotation on the committee ends this year.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lowell Firefighters Credit Union Supports Firefighter Challange
The firefighters are taking part in the 2018 B-Fit First Responders Challenge hosted by the Boston Bruins, as they seek to raise at least $3,000 for the 100 Club of Massachusetts, a charity that supports the families of fallen police officers and firefighters.

LOWELL -- Most people who head to the TD Garden in Boston have a fun time planned, whether they're catching a game or a concert, but for 10 Lowell firefighters who are heading there later this month, a little less fun is on tap.
The firefighters head to the Garden on Jan. 28 to run about 1.3 miles, much of it up stairs, while wearing their roughly 70 pounds worth of turnout gear in an effort to raise money for fallen colleagues.
The firefighters are taking part in the 2018 B-Fit First Responders Challenge hosted by the Boston Bruins, as they seek to raise at least $3,000 for the 100 Club of Massachusetts, a charity that supports the families of fallen police officers and firefighters.
Last year the event raised about $130,000 in all, according to the Boston Bruins, which hosts the event to help promote both The 100 Club and awareness of the importance of health and fitness.
"In a profession where any shift can be your last, knowing an organization like The 100 Club is out there and will look after our families if the ultimate sacrifice is made gives our brothers and sisters peace of mind," said Lt. Dave Keene.
The firefighters will don their gear in the morning, and run up the garden's steps before running a lap around one concourse, then another, then another, on a route that's about 1.3 miles long according to team captain Firefighter Mike Dexter.
The firefighters put their group together quickly, and have been buoyed by large donations from Madison Security, Fay-McCabe Funeral Home, W.L. French Excavating Corp., J Mike Ponte Floor Covering, the Lowell Firefighters Credit Union and the International Association of Firefighters Local 853.
"We don't rely solely on major contributions, though," Dexter said. "Any donation from $5 to $10 goes a long way as every bit helps."
Those taking part are Capt. Robert Beane, Lts. Dave Keene, Sean Quealy, Kevin McCauley, and firefighters Mike Dexter, Manny Martinez, Ryan Underwood, Dave McNeil, Will Garcia, and Buntha Kouy.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Akron Firefighters CU Modernizes Their Website

Linda Willams, CEO of Akron Firefighters Credit Union, looked at their website and decided that it was a little dated and that she has so many young employees she would give them the challenge to modernize the site.

Knowing that your website is the first impression your members, and non-members have of you, it is essential to keep it modern and up to date.  Take a look at what they came up with, a fresh new look!

Comments to Linda Williams

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What is a 'Blockchain'?

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion on Blockchain's and Bitcom so I decided to provide the following article from Investopedia  This should assist credit union directors and staff in the better understanding of Blockchains and how they will affect everyday life and the financial industry.

Grant Sheehan CEO

What is a 'Blockchain'

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what's known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.

BREAKING DOWN 'Blockchain'

A block is the ‘current’ part of a blockchain, which records some or all of the recent transactions. Once completed, a block goes into the blockchain as a permanent database. Each time a block gets completed, read more

See you in Seattle

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Will banking be the next industry to feel the 'Amazon Effect'?

It seems like there’s nothing Amazon can’t do these days. They’ve moved into the cloud with web storage and computing services. They’ve launched music and video streaming services. And they’ve even taken on old-fashioned brick-and-mortar retailing.
In June 2017, Amazon announced they were buying upscale grocer Whole Foods. According to reports, they are also looking at getting into the pharmaceutical and home furnishing industries as well.
This has many wondering if Amazon’s appetite knows no bounds. Is there anything they aren’t planning on taking over, including banking?
Probably not.
Asheet Mehta with the global banking practice at McKinsey, one of the world’s most respected consulting firms, explained in an interview with Business Insider that Amazon’s stock trades on the company’s future growth potential, not it’s current market value, which is why Amazon needs to continually move into adjacent markets.