Bailout Is Corporates' Cross To Bear

As we are all aware, natural-person credit unions are being asked to restore the NCUSIF after the effects of the losses at U.S. Central are recognized. This $5 billion charge will cause untold harm to our members, who took no part in the decisions that led to these losses. In fact, most credit unions in the country will post negative net income during 2009 and will certainly have a meaningful depletion of their members' capital as a result.

It is impossible to quantify the loss of trust and confidence which natural-person credit unions will suffer from their members due to actions taken by the corporate network. It is possible [this] may cause additional financial losses that far exceed the original estimate.

This is unnecessary. The corporate network has over $4 billion in capital that we set aside to absorb future losses. Therefore, I propose the corporate network expend 10% of its capital before we force natural-person credit unions to pay anything into the NCUSIF.

The NCUA has hired PIMCO to place a realistic value on the holdings in the corporate network. When we receive the final number, we will know exactly the cost to the NCUSIF. At that time we can transfer our capital and, most likely, eliminate the necessity of our member credit unions being charged any fee at all. Their members will be completely insulated.

At that time, we will all be insolvent. Those that can be recapitalized by their members will survive. Those that do not have the ability to convince their members that they have the expertise to add value to the system will fail. The natural-person credit union market will determine how many corporates it needs and which existing corporate credit unions will survive. This is our cross to bear.

Thomas D. Bonds, President & CEO

Corporate America CU, Irondale, Ala.


Letters to the Editor can be sent to Managing Editor Lisa Freeman at lfreeman@ cujournal.com.