He will work with the group to provide economic forecasts and trend analysis that credit unions can use in their planning process.
Vassallo, who has held his current job for three years, has extensive experience in the credit union movement. Previously, he was CFO of Fort Belvoir FCU for six years and was also an education consultant at CUNA Mutual Group. In that position, he worked with more than 400 clients in the areas of asset-liability management and product pricing and was also a speaker at many regional and national conferences.
He is a member of CUNA's CFO Council and served on its executive committee for four years. He was on CUNA's accounting task force for three years.
Vassallo received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo, and a master of arts in finance from the Catholic University of America. He was awarded the CFA designation in 2000.
"In the current economic environment, we face some unique and difficult challenges, and I am looking forward to working with CUEG in its efforts to assist credit unions," he said in a statement.
SBA Surety Bond Amount Doubles
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has increased the amount of Small Business Administration-backed surety bonds up to $5 million.
Small businesses use surety bonds to compete for construction and service contracts. The higher amount is more than double the previous $2 million maximum surety bond guaranteed by the SBA, according to the agency. Through SBA's surety bond program, it guarantees bid, payment and performance bonds. Surety bonds protect the project owner against financial loss if contractors default or fail to perform. Under the partnership, the SBA provides a guarantee to a participating surety company of between 70% and 90% of the bond amount. The new $5 million amount went into effect on March 27.
PPIP May Boost Investor Confidence
Investors' confidence could receive a sustainable boost through the recent unveiling of the Treasury's public-private investment program, according to MEMBERS Capital Advisors.
The PPIP combines $75 billion to $100 billion of the government's existing $700 billion in TARP money with money from private investors to buy troubled loans and securities from banks.
"The addition of PPIP to the Treasury's and Fed's previously announced programs underscores the commitment of the administration to work toward the stabilization of the U.S. economy, with particular emphasis on the housing market," said Livia Asher, managing director and portfolio manager at MEMBERS Capital in the March 23 MarketLine alert.
Asher said no one program will prove to be the "silver bullet" nor will solutions be immediate. However, "each incrementally adds to the confidence of the market." The stabilization of home prices and restoring of liquidity could lead the market to recover "albeit probably not in straight-line fashion."
Retirement Plans Taking More Hits
Fewer people are making it to age 40 without a crisis affecting their plans to save for retirement, a new survey has discovered.
According to an AARP Financial Inc. and Boston Research Group survey of 1,200 adults between ages 40 and 70, 57% had experienced a major life crisis. Among them, a job loss (18%), divorce (29%), death of a spouse or life partner (10%), a serious illness of long-term disability (24%), or the illness or disability of a child (7%). The findings showed that roughly 43% were able to make it to their middle-age years without being affected by a life crisis.
The number of retirement-age Americans seeking employment is also on the rise. According to the survey, 433,000 of them were looking for jobs in February, twice as many as those in November 2007.