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I generally look forward to Mike Welch’s commentary each week, but I was disappointed when I saw that his March 26 column was nothing more than a warmed over version of his earlier, March 12 column criticizing NAFCU’s position on private share insurance. I’m also scratching my head over his decision to keep this controversy going without addressing the merits of the issue. As I reread Mike’s complaints about NAFCU’s decision, I had to wonder if he somehow missed my letter of March 19 where I addressed the timing, legitimacy, and public policy issues surrounding NAFCU’s position on private insurance. In particular, I indicated NAFCU’s position on private insurance did not materialize out of nowhere. Public debate on this issue began a year ago when Alan Greenspan raised concerns about private insurance at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Since then, numerous public officials have weighed in, most recently the commissioner of financial services for Colorado, who carefully analyzed the pros and cons of private insurance and ultimately rejected it as “not comparable” to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. It was against this backdrop that NAFCU’s Board decided to take a stand on what has become a fundamentally important issue for credit unions. Was NAFCU out of bounds to take such a stand, as Mike argued? No, as also noted in my letter of March 19, NAFCU had every right to voice its concerns on an issue that ultimately affects all credit unions and their members. Mike’s suggestion that NAFCU has a “hidden agenda”-protecting its membership by closing the door on the private insurance option-is totally off base. The truth is, the NAFCU Board knew its decision would not be universally accepted. Despite this, it had the resolve to stick by its principles, as it has done before and will no doubt do in the future, and let the chips fall where they may. What disappointed me the most about Mike’s March 26 column was his continued failure to examine the merits of the issue. Mike, instead of putting up Internet polls that have no statistical basis, with certain groups going out go out of their way to “stuff the ballot box,” why not address the merits of the issue as the Colorado commissioner has? From what I can tell, the commissioner independently and dispassionately analyzed the pros and cons of private insurance in “terms of pure consumer protection of our citizens’ savings” without getting into motives or politics. Finally, I do agree with Mike on one thing: we have too many important issues on our plate to get bogged down on this one issue. It’s time to move on. Fred Becker President and CEO NAFCU Arlington, Va.

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