There are probably already too many awards programs. But Idecided there was need for another one, especially in light ofrecent developments in the banking industry's all-out war toeliminate credit unions. So I created it. The new awards honor"achievements" in the banking industry by individual bankers andtheir various lobbying groups. Judging was done solely by yourstruly. The awards are called the Pride In Greed or PIG Awards. Theplan is to present the PIGs at a prestigious awards ceremony at ameat packing plant in Wisconsin to be held at a time and date to bedetermined. The awards themselves will consist of a trophy in theshape of a pig (a duck version was not available). Awards will begiven in a number of categories that will include, "Best of Show,""PIG of the Year," and "Hall of Fame." Deciding who should receivethis year's PIG Award for "Best of Show" was tough. There were somany good candidates. It finally came down to groups that haveworked the hardest, spent the most money and staff time, createdthe largest number of creative falsehoods, and twisted the mostfacts in an ongoing effort to put credit unions out of business.Those groups are the not-for-profit, tax-exempt, state and nationalbanking associations. Although the American Bankers Association(ABA), the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA),America's Community Bankers (ACB), the Utah Bankers Association,and the Missouri Bankers Association, all had impressiveanti-credit union track records, the award goes to the ABA.Hopefully the losers won't feel that ABA won solely because of itslarger size, which enables it to devote considerably more resourcestowards bashing credit unions. Probably the one deciding factor wasits consistent high level of hypocrisy. The PIG "Hall of Fame"award goes to all those bankers who constantly claim that theycannot compete effectively against not-for-profit, tax-exempt,credit unions citing the lack of a level playing field. I gave themthe winning nod because despite their collective whining, theirbanks, large and small, somehow manage to rack up record profitsand growth statistics year after year. Unfortunately there are somany winners that no "hall" could be found that could accommodateall the individuals worthy of receiving this important recognition.A former banker now managing one of those billion dollar creditunions banks love to hate suggested a solution. He felt the awardshould be presented somewhere in Nebraska on a level playing field.The hands down winner for the "PIG of the Year" is Harris Simmons,an executive with the largest bank in Utah and the incomingchairman of the ABA. Although the competition for this very specialrecognition was very tough, no one individual in the bankingindustry is as hung up on credit unions as he is. It is rumoredthat he regularly has nightmares that someday credit unions mightbring money into their coffers that otherwise might have been addedto his already very generous compensation, stock option, and bonuspackage. A Special "PIG Award of Merit" is given to mega bankCitigroup for achieving a 29 percent increase in profit in thisyear's first quarter while gobbling up other banks and firingthousands of staff. As further proof that they are most deservingof this award, revenues also rose substantially, 16 percent, to$21.49 billion. Among the dozens and dozens of other PIG Awards arethese: "Best Headline In a Banking Industry Periodical for HelpingAdvance the Cause of Credit Unions." Among hundreds of possiblewinners, the award goes to: "Banks Again Achieve Record ProfitsWith Soaring Fee Income." Calling credit unions "parasites" earnsthe "Best Name Calling By a High-Profile Banking Leader PIG Award"for its attempt to convince consumers that patriotism demands thatevery man, woman, and child become a bank customer rather than acredit union member. The "PIG Stealth Award" goes to the reportedly75 percent of Wisconsin's 320 banks with a presence in Nevada wherethey found no need to gamble on paying taxes owed to the BadgerState. The "Dumbest Move PIG Award" goes to banking lobbyists inUtah for winning the battle but losing the war in their efforts totax the Beehive State's credit unions out of existence. Instead,about a dozen mostly larger credit unions switched to a FCU charterthus depriving the state of a large sum of regulatory fee income.The "PIG Spin Award" is given to ABA staffer Keith Leggett, anoccasional speaker at credit union meetings, for his skill atexplaining why banks really love credit unions, especially thetiny, plain vanilla types. He says, "credit unions were created toserve only those of modest means." We say, "Banks were created toonly serve the wealthy." We all say, "please define modest meansand wealthy." A late entrant won hands down the "PIG MisplacedPriorities Award." In the interest of full disclosure, the eventualwinner, once again the American Bankers Association, was nominatedby CUNA CEO Dan Mica after he discovered that the ABA had listed"taxing of credit unions" as a "super priority" over combatingterrorism, corporate reform, accurate accounting, and preventingcrimes like identity theft. Mica has asked members of Congress toconfirm that this PIG Award is well deserved. Among the hundreds ofwinners in this first "PIG Awards Program," far too many to evenhighlight here, is one that says it all; the "Lifetime AchievementPIG Award." This top award goes to all banking lobbyists who keepfanning the anti-credit union flames in an effort to justify themassive dues paid by banks to be able to afford some of the biggestpaychecks in the trade association business. Congratulations to allthe PIG winners! Comments? Call 1-800-345-9936, Ext. 15, or Fax561-683-8514, or E-mail [email protected].

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