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Financial Conversations with Fitz #74 - What is With All the Changes We Hear About in the News - 07/26/2010

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Corn and beans are growing.  1528 degree days.    About the same as last year.   Over half way there…...  Another Great weekend of celebrations around North Iowa.  Lots of good food stands….Then we have RAGBRAI coming to town tonight in Algona!!!!!    Celebrating the 70’s!!!!!   Dow will probably open mixed this morning….Earnings are improving—data still isn’t good on housing!!!!!   I figure we still have to sell about 3 million extra homes before the balance is in the housing market.  Grain, what a ride it has been….Last week I mentioned…..Don’t let these increases go without some action.   Market will probably open lower today.   Traders go from flood to drought in two days.   Lots of corn out there…..If you do any traveling it looks like a greenhouse both east, west and north from here except for the ponds.   Had a good viist about ponds the other day with a group of producers…   What do you do with yours.   How many years in a row do you have them???  Should we just seed them down?

Well back to banking….You have certainly been hearing plenty on the news and getting lots of mail from your banks.    Should you opt in or opt out with your debit card?    Remember that grade school number about “left foot in and right foot out”.    How does all affect me?  If you are concerned with having an Overdraft sometime when you are out shopping using your debit card you may want to give this some review.   Once in a while we could have a good balance is other accounts but not in the right one with the debit card.  If you opt in this is automatic.  So give it some review.  I checked to opt in since bank officers, by law, are not allowed to have overdrafts ever……As usual, you can always visit with one of us if you have questions.  Really good news on the FDIC insurance  making $250,000 coverage has been made permanent.   They even made it retroactive to January 1, 2008.   So much of the other news in the Dodd Financial Reform legislation will not really affect you the consumer if you have been working with your local Community Bank.   Most of the changes affected the banks themselves with some of our regulations in an attempt to help out the consumer and protect the FDIC against bigger banks failing.   We still have the same exams and regulation we have always had.   Plus I don’t know if the consumer realizes it or not, we also hire a private firm to exam us also to be sure we are doing everything right in deposits and loans to protect the customer and the stockholders of the bank.    There was a lot more language on securities trading, asset-based changes, non bank competitors, and defining just who is a bank.   The bill passed certainly wasn’t perfect, but a start toward some reform in the larger banks.   In the mortgage writing in community banks we always did ask people to have a down payment, have a job that paid sufficient money to make the payment.   Not too novel an idea.   Some protection on points for mortgages for the consumer. 

Hope you had a chance to volunteer for your church or community this last week, if not there is still today and the rest of this week.   Want to close with a great humanity story this morning…..I rec’d a call yesterday that one of our clients had lost their debit card.   Of course we help protect them with our system, so we proceeded to correct the problem early this morning.   When the night deposit was opened, here was the same debit card wrapped in paper with a note….”Found in the Street”    Only in good North Iowa.   Have a good week.

Where to go for help …..Local banker

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.