Inside Sources — Credit Unions: A Formula That Congress Got Right

The head of the Florida Bankers Association recently opined that credit unions aren’t paying enough in taxes. The comment was rich, considering that banks control 93% of financial depository institution assets. Deemed too big to fail, it was these very banks that turned their backs on consumers and small businesses during the last recession, while […]

Morning Consult: When It Comes to Banking, Size Does Matter

In a reaction to the last major financial crisis, Dodd-Frank (the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) was passed, and with it came hundreds of new regulations designed to provide additional financial stability, as well as ending the bailouts of “too big to fail” giant financial institutions. In its effort to prevent a future […]

Real Clear Markets: When Regulators Pick Winners, Consumers Are The Losers

A welcomed theme in the recent election cycle was promise of a thoroughgoing review of unneeded regulations. Regulations that never were subjected to consumer cost-benefit analysis, or that pick winners and losers, or that are in a constant state of flux are prime candidates for repeal. Within the financial community many regulations have arrived as […]

Block Chains in The Financial Sector Should Benefit Consumers

While consumers are unlikely to have direct contact with a “block chain,” the advantage that these public ledgers deliver to businesses will be felt in higher security and lower costs for consumers.  The use of block chains in the financial sector is still under development so it may be poorly understood. Block chains have long […]

Negative Interest Rates and the Mattress

Interest rates have a strong influence on consumers investing, homes and cars affordability, college loan payments, and the income retirees receive from their retirement plans.  Currently, interest rates are low – conventional 30-year mortgage rates have dropped to 3.64% and a 10-year Treasury bill yields 1.6%.  Depending on whether consumers are the borrower or lender, […]

Banks “Too Big To Fail?”

In recent years, we have heard complaints of how difficult it is for many of us to get a mortgage loan.  The flagship example was Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s difficulty obtaining a mortgage – a credit denial that is difficult to explain.  A review of bank and credit union behavior reveals that banks have pulled […]

Expecting a Crush of Lenders for Low Down Payment Mortgages?

The most prominent obligation for federal bank regulators – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve, and the Controller of the Currency – is to avoid another taxpayer bailout as happened in 2008. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) infused $250 billion into banks to stabilize them.  The program was embarrassing to banks […]

ACI in CNBC: The Elephant in the Room this Holiday Season

This piece, published at CNBC, discusses credit card fraud and its risks to consumers.  Surprisingly, one solution to fix this fraud, Chip and PIN technology, has been around for 15 years and used in Europe for over a decade with great success.  Maybe it is time for the U.S. to move away from its 1970s stripe […]