I enjoy reading Credit Union Times Publisher Mike Welch's column each week, but a portion of his November 13, 2002, piece, "Several recent opinions still playing out," warrants further comment. Mike correctly notes that in a recent letter to the editor I "took [him] to task" for a comment in a previous column regarding the importance of NCUSIF's federal backing. Responding to my letter in his column, Welch wrote, essentially, that if all other sources for bailing out a failing credit union have been exhausted it is nave to believe that Congress will "automatically" bail the CU out. I disagree. As provided for in the Competitive Equality Banking Act of 1987, credit union shares insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, and the United States government has never defaulted on its obligations. I do not doubt for a moment that Congress would move swiftly to safeguard constituents' funds, as promised, in the unlikely event it became necessary. Fortunately, the strong financial health of federal credit unions means we are unlikely to have a real-life test case to point to in order to settle this disagreement. Fred R. Becker, Jr. President/CEO NAFCU Arlington, Va.

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