What will we remember most when we reflect on 2006?
That noisy membership promo-or those who exited quietly with clicks?
Perhaps it will be the PAC donations made on behalf of all the mems,
That went to support the GOP when most races were won by Dems
This year members stopped financing cars in order to finance the gas,
Leaving SUVs permanently moored to kill large swaths of grass,
Some tried to tap their home equity to buy efficient, smaller cars,
But found sinking home values and rate rises give reason to visit bars
That uneven playing field reached the point where banks could just take no more,
And they stopped counting profits long enough to demand no more service to the poor,
CUs rolled out payday loan options that made some lenders fidget,
For they had gotten fat and happy charging loan rates in the triple-digits
NCUA announced one day that it would simply no longer pay as much attention to whether a credit union had hit a 1% ROA,
Which was good news to many CUs so pinched by the margin squeeze,
They were charging members a buck a cough, and three for those who sneeze
Some online promos attracted the volume for which many had been wishing,
Unfortunately it came from overseas by those who like to go phishing,
Twelve State Farm CUs are now more neighborly after their consolidation,
While Nationwide moved to the bank side and insiders improved their station,
We'd be remiss to dismiss our candidates for Robber of the Year,
Up first the guy who signed a card for the troops-and then tried to disappear,
Up a creek without a paddle was one plan with an escape canoe,
And one found riding in a limo now knows what's also meant by "stretch," too
DFCU Financial dropped its plan to pursue a charter conversion,
After some of the unconsulted owners joined together to express their aversion,
Management complained that just 500 names could force a board recall,
Rather ironic since so many fewer are needed to convert to a bank at all
At Columbia some who asked questions were expelled right off of the board,
At Lafayette members couldn't get answers, that seems untoward,
Back at DFCU a $17-million dividend was paid out as a "thanks,"
Wonder if members realize they'll never see that if they're a bank?
It seems so very appropriate that 06 is round on each side,
For round and round went the sides this year over that on which CUs claim pride,
That they are based on democratic principles and that everyone is an owner,
So why do those who defend such ideals often appear that they are loners?
A whistleblower at Enron once noted how few ask the uncomfortable question,
Yet some discomfort in CUs is what's needed to avoid a future confession,
That in 2006 many saw but few acted on what mattered and mattered big,
And in not asking questions they let 2007 really become the Year of the Pig
We close out the year with The Journal's best wishes-if you renew your subscription!
For that may you be granted a lifetime health plan (of course, including prescriptions),
As for me I'd like to write on but I am getting an indication,
That you have read this far without showing me proper two-factor authentication
Frank J. Diekmann is publisher of The Credit Union Journal and can be reached at fdiekmann<at>cujournal.com.