By Christopher W. Pinkham
As I sat at the business-friendly Portland airport (PWM to you frequent fliers) during my four-hour-and-30-minute, equipment-delayed, non-stop flight to D.C., I thought, “What does the banking industry think about Washington?”
Note: I should add that the business-friendly jab at my good friends in the city of Portland refers to the numerous deficiencies I noted at the Portland Jetport during my six-hour stay (90 minutes early plus the four-and-a-half hour delay): only one electrical outlet for every 15 gates makes cell phone recharging a contact sport; no adult beverage service after 7 p.m. seemed both an inconvenience and a revenue loss; Three Musketeers at $1 each was OK until they ran out; and the woefully inadequate customer communications about delays – but that’s not the city’s fault. If I may quote, “We think we have found a new plane but we’re not sure as it may have one more stop! If it is the plane, we’ll have to ferry it from Dulles to Reagan with a different crew. Then we’ll collect the DCA to PWM passengers, before we can tell you what time the plane might arrive PWM and then, of course, what time it will depart PWM. And by the way, thanks for flying with us.”
What the banking industry thinks about Washington? Well, part of the next issue will focus on that concern. What makes the banking industry so regulated, why is Congress so slow to address policy issues for the financial service industry, and why do credit unions enjoy complete control over actions by elected officials? E-mail me your thoughts and I’ll incorporate them into the September issue (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Acronyms and Mnemonics
OK proofreaders, thanks for the scrutiny of last quarter’s article on acronyms. Yes, FIRREA was incorrect; it is the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. And thanks to a couple of readers for the introduction to mnemonics. Invented by the Greeks 2,500 years ago, mnemonics (pronounced “ne-mon’-ics”) is the art of assisting the memory by using a system of artificial aids – rhymes, rules, phrases, diagrams, acronyms and other devices – all to help in the recall of names, dates, facts and figures. Like the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) or FEAR (Forget Everything And Run)!
Christopher W. Pinkham is president of the Maine Association of Community Banks.