Anti-'Bailout' Campaign Expands to Another Show
The industry's campaign to keep a lid on "bailout" headlines relating to the corporates expanded to new ground this week.
First, CUNA finally managed to air a previously scheduled interview by CEO Bill Cheney for a slot on a popular business cable show as he offered a safety/soundness message.
And a FoolProof financial literacy packet called "Burning Money" began attracting wide interest among teachers after it received a large AOL audience stemming from a syndicated Chicago Tribune column.
In the Cheney interview appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box" with guest host Steve Forbes, the CUNA CEO again emphasized that "taxpayers will not lose a dime" from the NCUA restructuring since CUs will absorb the costs.
Asked whether a "worst case" scenario could trigger government guarantees behind the securities under the legacy assets plan, Cheney said even if the costs reached the high-end estimates of $15 billion, CUs have the capacity to pay that off through the year 2021. "We know the costs are sustainable, we've run the models and the taxpayer won't be impacted," Cheney explained.
Asked by Forbes if CUs were affected by the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred securities and trust preferred, as smaller community banks were, Cheney noted that CUs don't issue trust preferred securities and most CUs did not invest in Fannie and Freddie preferred securities.
FoolProof distributed free educational videos to CUs after the Sept. 24 NCUA action and followed up with a "Burning Money" instruction series. One Wisconsin CEO praised that effort as worthwhile in helping the public understand the CU business.
"We're glad to see FoolProof keeping the focus on credit unions' commitment to consumer advocacy when so much of the discussion in the press around the country right now is about the corporate takeovers," said Eugene Szymczak, president/CEO of the $1.2 billion Educators CU of Racine, Wis.
FoolProof, based in Melbourne, Fla., said in little more than two weeks 1000 high schools in 20 states have signed up for its "Burning Money" instruction aimed at teaching financial literacy. The show was aired on social networks earlier this month.