In 2008 when the financial world was in turmoil, Congress and regulators were scrambling to put fixes in place.
New laws and new regulations were flying out of Washington faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.
Most people agree many of the limitations placed on the financial services industry were needed. Banks, investment companies and corporate credit unions were engaged in speculative investments and had ventured into risky markets without proper safeguards in place. Regulators either didn't understand the potential volatility of these ventures or accepted as true the flawed justification of their alleged value.
It was clear that action was needed to save the financial system, stabilize the economy, and make sure such a crisis wouldn't happen again.
Washington did take action and the result was thousands of pages of new laws and regulations. Some critics argue it was the typical response by the federal government to a crisis, doing more than was needed to solve the problem.
We have come to accept politics plays a major role when the Administration or Congress responds to a perceived problem. They want to show the taxpayers that they are protecting the nation from all harm foreign and domestic.
Unfortunately, sometimes those protections wind up being more of a burden. They handcuff the private sector from doing what is needed and what is best for the country.
When that occurs, basic common sense should be used to correct the over correction. Congress and regulators occasionally must step back and look with a fresh set of eyes at what they have done to determine if it is still needed.
Now is the time to provide real regulatory relief to allow CUs to serve more people, provide additional services, make the loans businesses and individuals need, determine who is a safe customer and allow them to grow stronger.
Real regulatory relief would be what has been suggested for years but only given rhetoric to appease the masses: supplemental capital, opening up fields of membership, greater charter flexibility, changes in member business lending and refining regulations are just some of the steps that must be taken and taken now.
Times are improving. It doesn't take a lot of thinking to know how to make them better. All it really takes is a little common sense.
Michael E. Fryzel , an attorney, consultant and former NCUA chairman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.