Posted by Anthony Demangone
Someone just sent me the following, and I wanted to share it with everyone as quickly as possible.
April 1, 2011. 3:01 a.m. Washington, D.C. (AP) - Federal lawmakers and regulators gathered in an unprecedented meeting early this morning to apologize to America's credit unions.
"You know, we always say how you guys aren't the problem, and then we went ahead and wrote rules that tripled your compliance burdens while hampering your ability to earn interest and non-interest income," said one lawmaker who asked to remain anonymous. "I apologize. I'm sorry."
Regulators chimed in, stating that they too went overboard against America's credit unions. One official from the Federal Reserve spoke about the agency's recent final rule that tweaked a few provisions mandated by the Credit CARD Act.
"We were tweaking a few provisions, and we issued a final rule that was more than 300 pages long," she said, asking to remain anonymous. "No one can read what we write. Not even us!"
All regulators and lawmakers signed a binding agreement that outlined the following actions:
- Senator Richard Durbin will abstain from any discussion or vote involving interchange.
- Regulators vow to begin writing regulations in English. They anticipate the need for extensive training as they implement the initiative.
- Regulators are implementing the "no more than 50" rule. Final regulations may not take up more than 50 pages in the Federal Register.
- Federal lawmakers agree to pass legislation agreeing to a 50-year implementation freeze of the Dodd-Frank Act, giving GAO ample time to measure its effect on credit unions below $1 trillion in assets. If any credit union within that category is harmed in any way, the Dodd-Frank Act will be repealed in a public ceremony involving a copy of the original legislation, and either a flamethrower or dynamite.
- Each federally-insured credit union will have a "whammy" button installed in their operations center. If any credit union wishes to stop a piece of federal legislation or regulation, all they have to do is yell "no whammies" and hit the button, much like the 1980's game show, Press Your Luck. (YouTube).
The agreement contains 39 other items, and can be downloaded here.
NCUA recently issued a legal opinion letter that creates an important and welcome change in their position concerning associate and emeritus director positions.
In its legal opinion, NCUA indicated that federal credit unions may reimburse associate board members and directors emeritus for their training costs, as long as the volunteer is not serving in just an honorary capacity.
In previous opinions of this office, we have stated that volunteer members of non-voting, advisory committees, such as emeritus or associate directors, are not eligible to receive expense reimbursement or insurance benefits. See for example OGC Op. 10-0913 (October 29, 2010). Upon reconsideration, we are of the opinion that if the individuals in question provide services that are established by the board and that go beyond merely serving in an honorary capacity, the normal exceptions to the statutory bar on compensation should apply. This would include reimbursement for training and training-related expenses that are appropriate to the service being provided.
So, not only are these officials allowed to attend board meetings and other credit union events, but they now can attend training at conferences and other locales with the credit union paying or reimbursing them for the costs associated with the training. This opinion should help credit unions attract and retain individuals to help their corporate governance.
Have a great weekend, everyone. And Happy April Fool's Day!