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NCUA releases corporates distressed securities info

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/6/09)— The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said Friday it plans to release information about the distressed securities held by U.S. Central FCU and Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp), including information on the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures (CUSIP) numbers and par value. The announcement drew a positive response from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), which has been pressing NCUA for greater transparency on its actions surrounding the corporates. Chief among its requests, CUNA specifically asked for the information on distressed assets and CUSIP numbers, especially after U.S. Central and WesCorp were placed into conservatorship last month. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica commended the NCUA Board for moving to make this information available. “We’re pleased that the NCUA board is responding positively to our strong call for greater transparency," Mica said. "The release of information will shed new light on the assumptions, analysis and findings reflected in a PIMCO, which served as the basis for the agency’s estimate of the cost impact on credit unions.” The NCUA engaged Pacific Investment Management Company LLC—or PIMCO—for an independent analysis of potential losses at the two corporates. On Friday the agency said it will be releasing to members of U.S. Central and WesCorp information on the distressed securities each institution holds, including the CUSIP number and par value for each of the securities. The NCUA’s release of the securities information, Mica said, will, in effect, give the credit union movement the information it needs to do its own analysis comparable to PIMCO’s. The NCUA also said it plans soon to make public a summary of the analysis of the securities and various third-party estimates of credit losses. And it is directing U.S. Central and WesCorp to have their external vendors conduct quarterly reviews of all private-label mortgage-backed securities to determine revised estimates on credit losses that can be compared against NCUA’s own analysis. "This information will be very useful in determining the extent to which credit union capital deposits in corporate credit unions might be impaired," Mica noted. However, he added that CUNA will continue to vigorously pursue further clarity on how NCUA will view the accounting of the costs to natural person credit unions of the agency’s actions to stabilize the corporate system. “CUNA will also continue to work with NCUA toward passage of its legislative plan to mitigate those costs to credit unions by raising NCUA's borrowing authority from Treasury and allowing credit unions to spread out the costs over at least five but preferably seven or eight years,” Mica said. Use the resource link below to read the NCUA’s release on its second weekly update on corporates.

Cherry Blossom Run kicks off with CUNA help

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Click for slide showCUNA's Dan Mica holds up a flyer promoting a Baghdad, Iraq, "Cherry Blossom Run" being held in the Iraqi capital the same day at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run. The flyer was sent to Mica by a U.S. Navy officer attached to the U.S. Army and serving in the Iraqi capital. Mica, while still a Member of Congress, appointed the officer to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. The Baghdad run is being called the "Combat Zone Counterpart" to the Washington, D.C. race. Mica noted the Baghdad event during a check presentation press conference Friday at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., honoring the amount of funds raised by this year's Cherry Blossom Race.
WASHINGTON (4/6/09)--Distributing T-shirts Senate offices and praising the work of the credit union organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run were two ways on Friday that CUNA helped kick off the race, which coursed through the streets of Washington on Sunday. A team of CUNA staff members picked up T-shirts at U.S. Senate FCU and distributed one to each Senate office. The T-shirts promoted the “Capitol Hill Competition” of the Cherry Blossom Race--a “race within a race” for members and staff of the Congress. CUNA sponsors the competition with U.S. Senate FCU, Wright Patman Congressional FCU and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. Meanwhile, also on Friday, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica, along with CUNA Chairman Kris Mecham, attended the annual “kickoff press conference” for the Cherry Blossom Run at Children’s Hospital of Washington, D.C. Proceeds from funds raised by credit union organizers benefit Children’s Miracle Network, which in turn benefits Childrens’ Hospitals across the nation. In his remarks, Mica noted the vital role that the Cherry Blossom Race plays in supporting Childrens’ Hospitals, and praised the work of Credit Union Miracle Day, the credit union group that organizes fundraising. Mica also noted that the Cherry Blossom Race is receiving attention well beyond Washington. Holding up a promotional flyer, Mica told the group a “concurrent Cherry Blossom Run” was held on Sunday in Baghdad, Iraq. The flyer was sent to Mica by a U.S. Navy officer attached to the U.S. Army and serving in the Iraqi capital. Mica, while still a member of Congress, appointed the officer to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. The Baghdad run is being called the “Combat Zone Counterpart” to the Washington, D.C. race. The Cherry Blossom Run annually draws up to 13,000 runners; about 75% of the 1,500 volunteers who help run the race are credit union staff or volunteers. CUNA also sends a team of volunteers to help at the race.

CUs help Cherry Blossom runners Year seven and counting

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Click to view larger image Credit union volunteers blanketed Washington, D.C.'s National Mall to help approximately 13,000 runners participate in the CU Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run, including dozens of helpers from CUNA. CUNA's Kathy Thompson (foreground) and Peg Spangler, along with AACUL's Pat Sowick, were part of the CUNA crew hustling to check in gear stowed by the corps of runners participating in the Sunday, April 5 race that raised funds for Children's Hospitals. (CUNA Photo)
WASHINGTON (4/6/09)—For seven consecutive years, credit union volunteers, hoping to drive home the credit union message "people helping people," hit the National Mall by 6 a.m. Sunday to stow the gear of runners in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run. A long patch of rainy, gray weather cleared for the 13,000 runners at the event, which included hundreds of participants representing Capitol Hill. Pat Keefe, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) vice president of communications and media outreach, who coordinates the volunteer effort for CUNA, said Sunday, "The most important thing I think we get out of this annual exercise is showing the people running the race the credit union difference in action." "CUNA folks, for instance, volunteer to help stow runners' valuables, keeping them safe and organized during the race," said Keefe. "We’ve done this in the rain, in flurries--even on an occasional nice morning like this one. Our intent is to help runners--many of whom are from Capitol Hill--make a connection between credit unions and 'people helping people.'" Among Keefe's crew of volunteers were CUNA staff and their family members, and helpers from the National Credit Union Foundation, the American Association of Credit Union Leagues, and the Association of Corporate Credit Unions. Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. (CUMD), sponsor of the 37th annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run, raised $1 million to benefit Children's Miracle Network and its 170 affiliated children's hospitals nationwide. With this year's donation, CUMC will have contributed a total of $4.6 million to children's hospitals since its inception in 2001.

Inside Washington (04/03/2009)

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* WASHINGTON (4/6/09)--The Small Business Administration (SBA) said that the guarantees and fee changes the agency made to increase interest in lending has worked. Since provisions contained in the economic stimulus package increased the percentage of guaranteed small business loans to 90%, the agency has approved 4,256 loans worth $800 million total (American Banker April 3). Average weekly loan volume also has increased 21.7% to $146 million ... * WASHINGTON (4/6/09)--The financial industry is stressed out over financial institution stress tests, according to financial observers. The tests were announced two months ago and have caused increased anxiety in the industry because regulators have not said what results they will reveal (American Banker April 3). Some observers say the results need to be made public, or else more confusion will occur. Unless the results are made public, there will be more speculation, said Robert Clarke, a former comptroller of the currency. Some banks who pass the tests may try to publicize it--a move that might be in the best interest of some institutions, while others who remain quiet may tip off the industry that they did not do well, added Chris Low, chief economist, FTN Financial ... * WASHINGTON (4/6/09)-- National Credit Union Administration Board Member Gigi Hyland visited Treasury Department FCU in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, to meet with staff and CEO Alfred Scipio, and Operation HOPE CEO/founder, John Hope Bryant. Operation HOPE is a non-profit, public benefit organization with the mission of expanding economic opportunity in underserved communities through economic education and empowerment. The HOPE partnership with Treasury Department FCU, called HOPE Inside, is the first of its kind in the eastern U.S. and the first in a credit union. Through the partnership, Treasury Department FCU provides financial literacy and economic empowerment financial services to its members, including seminars on home buyer education and credit and money management education. In its first year, the credit union assisted over 2,740 members. From left are Hyland and Bryant. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Administration) ...