CU Water Cooler

Realism and the U.S. Credit Union System

Matt DavisComment
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
— William Arthur Ward

The sun has set on the U.S. credit union system. That's what we've heard, anyway. Heck, you've probably even said it yourself. But instead of complaining about it or resigning ourselves to that fate, what if we adjusted the sails?

The purpose of this post is to try to get the smartest people in credit unions (that's you) to discuss how the credit union system can enjoy a rebirth. So, what do you say?

  1. The System's Purpose. Why is a system important, anyway (or is it)? What problems does a functioning credit union system solve?
  2. The System's Current State. Is the system actually broken? If so, how? If not, why not?
  3. The System's Structure. The "credit union onion" describes a credit union system in which members are served by credit unions, who are served by Chapters, Leagues, CUNA, and WOCCU, respectively. If you were to recreate the credit union system from scratch to meet the needs of today's credit unions, what would it look like?
  4. The System's Activities. What should a functioning credit union system do to solve the problems from question 1? What are the activities each component of the system should perform?
  5. The System's Business Model. How will all of the above be paid for? Where does the money come from?

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Matt Davis is the founder of gameFI, President of 6th Story, and co-founder of CU Water Cooler. He's a leading thinker, writer, speaker, and creator in the credit union world. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and two sons.