Monday, September 23, 2019

FOMC Rate Cut Should Have Been Larger

ST. LOUIS–One member of the Federal Open Markets Committee says he believes the Fed erred last week and should have cut rates further.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said deeper rate cuts are necessary to head off growing economic risks. At its most recent meeting the FOMC cut rates by 25 basis points.

“Lowering the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points at this time would provide insurance against further declines in expected inflation and a slowing economy subject to elevated downside risks,” Bullard told the Wall Street Journal. “It is prudent risk management, in my view, to cut the policy rate aggressively now and then later increase it should the downside risks not materialize.”

Bullard was among three members of the FOMC who voted against the 25-basis point reduction, but he cast his vote for a different reason, as the other two FOMC members dissented because they didn’t believe any rate cut was necessary. The three dissenting votes were the first to be cast since an FOMC meeting in September of 2016.

Growing Risks

Bullard told the Journal the risks of an economic slowdown are growing, and noted the Fed’s target-rate range, which now stands at between 1.75% and 2%, is higher than other major nations. Bullard also said a bigger rate cut now would help speed a return to 2% inflation.

Bullard further told the Journal that while his vote went against the consensus, he remains confident that his colleagues “will continue to monitor economic developments and respond accordingly as economic circumstances dictate.”

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Inbound Marketing for Credit Unions

Inbound Marketing for Credit Unions: A Primer

Which would you prefer:

You use print, radio, TV, and banner ads to attract new members and market specific products and services.
You let eligible, already-interested parties come to you for those same products, services, and membership benefits.

Those options represent the difference between outbound and inbound marketing. Of course, you don’t have to choose between them. You can (and should) use both methods. But if your credit union is interested in inbound marketing—and letting leads and prospective members seek you out—then this primer should help.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing leverages content such as blogs, videos, case studies, and social media to attract leads and capture new business. Search engine optimization (SEO) makes the content easy to find online.

Check out “Inbound Marketing for Credit Unions: A Primer” from Ongoing Operations & CU2.0 on Vimeo.
The video is available for your viewing pleasure at

If you like this video, make sure you share it, too!
Vimeo is filled with lots of amazing videos. See more at


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Fed approves quarter-point rate cut but is divided on further action this year

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports have weakened. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-3/4 to 2 percent. This action supports the Committee's view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain. As the Committee contemplates the future path of the target range for the federal funds rate, it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair, John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; and Randal K. Quarles. Voting against the action were James Bullard, who preferred at this meeting to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent; and Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred to maintain the target range at 2 percent to 2-1/4 percent.

Implementation Note issued September 18, 2019

FOMC is expected to cut rates Today

WASHINGTON—The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to cut rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy-setting meeting, which ends today.

Along with numerous other analysts, NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long said he anticipates another rate cut due to comments made by committee members at their annual retreat last month and in the last meeting minutes.

At the end of its July meeting, the FOMC cut rates by 25 basis points. Since then, there have been conflicting economic data: the labor market remains strong, inflation has firmed, consumer spending hasn't fallen significantly, and the economy is expanding at a modest pace; however, trade and tariff uncertainties and global economic weaknesses have created headwinds and unease, stated Long.

Long predicted another 25-point rate cut due to these concerns and the threat of a potential recession. The FOMC will next meet Oct. 29-30; its tentative meeting schedule for 2020 is now available.