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More Reviews of Risks with Privately Insured Credit Unions


When I reported on a Texas credit union that was trying to switch its insurance from federal to private, I reviewed the American Share Insurance (ASI). ASI is the main provider of private deposit insurance to credit unions. I discussed some issues that could cause problems for ASI.

One potential issue for ASI is the large Nevada credit union, Silver State Schools. In my previous post, I included some excerpts from the Las Vegas Review-Journal article which provided a summary of Silver State Schools financial health. The article mentioned that "Its net worth slipped to 5.52 percent, which credit unions consider undercapitalized."

The economist, Dr. Keith Leggett, recently posted the latest financial data for Silver State Schools in his blog post What Risks Does Silver State Schools Pose to ASI?. According to Leggett, Silver State Schools is the largest privately insured credit union in the country. It's heavily invested in real estate loans, and Nevada is one of the hardest hit real estate markets in the country with about 66% of all mortgage loans being underwater. He attached the ASI data on Silver State Schools in this post so you can review the data yourself. Bankrate.com gives Silver State Schools 1 star (lowest) for safety and soundness.

Leggett also has an interesting post The State of Privately Insured Credit Unions. According to Leggett, "Privately insured credit unions in California and Nevada have been particularly hard hit by the recession." And privately insured credit unions in California and Nevada make up 46% of all assets of privately insured credit unions.

It's important to note that Leggett is employed by the American Bankers Association, an association that hasn't been too friendly to credit unions. Nevertheless, he provides quite a bit of data to back up his posts.

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I've tried to post a comment on Mr. Leggett's blog asking him why he doesn't talk about the fact that the bank's insurance fund is almost bankrupt (ironic) or why he doesn't put up any Nevada bank data for perspective, but he refuses to put up anything that implies the banks are doing worse or actually caused this mess. It's unfortunate that no matter what, the banker's aren't going to take responsibility for all they've done to cause these issues. They only want to point the finger at others.

Someone should remind Mr. Leggett that those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Or, at least try to look impartial by talking about bank failures.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I've tried to post a pro-credit union comment on Leggett's site too, but it says it must be "reviewed" first. I guarantee he won't put anything up that disagrees with his bashing.

Bloggers like him are a joke. They don't care about the truth, they only want one side out there - theirs.