CUES Podcast
CUES Podcast
Mar 18, 2021
CUES 113: Lay the Runway in 2021 for Economic Takeoff in 2022—an Interview With Dan Berger
Play • 20 min

The U.S. economy may soon be poised for takeoff, according to Dan Berger, our guest on episode 113 of the CUES Podcast.

The efforts of credit unions to serve members at a time of need will continue to be a key factor, says Berger, president/CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, Washington, D.C.

“I think that we got some more stuff to get through in 2021 in regards to COVID and cranking up the economy and getting more people and to be financially inclusive with the economy,” he explains. “I equate it to laying the runway in 2021 so you can really take off in 2022. But I'm so pleased with this industry, in the CEOs I speak to across the country, in the jobs that they're doing. I mean, it's really been an incredible effort across the board, and I don't see it stopping.

“The stories I hear from across the country with, you know, skip-a-pay programs and workout loans and things along those lines,” he continues, “ … that’s the difference between us and the big banks. When people were helping folks even before Congress said they had to do it …. and, in terms of forbearance, this industry has really responded to their members as well as their communities. 

“Credit unions have come up with very innovative programs to help their members through this,” he says. “And that's where, in the long run, people are going to remember that institution that was there that did a workout loan for them or did some loan modifications for them. They're going to remember that. You can't buy a full-page ad like when Wells Fargo does to try to re-establish trust. You have to build that over time. 

"And that's what credit unions have," he underscores. "They have this incredible amount of trust, and it's even built upon even further through 2020. And you'll see it throughout 2021 as well.”

Berger also says in the show that continued vaccine distribution and targeted stimulus to people who need it will play key roles in getting the economy back on track.

The show also gets into:

  • The unemployment situation in 2020, now and going forward
  • The importance of taking care of employee so they, in turn, take care of members
  • The likely impact of remote work as the world reopens
  • The increasingly important role of community development financial institutions
  • How increased liquidity from deposits of federal stimulus program funds and increased savings due to the pandemic might impact credit union operations and financials

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