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World Council Seeks Nominees for Distinguished Service Award
Thursday, January 7, 2016 6:40 AM

The World Council of Credit Unions (World Council) has put out a call for nominations for its Distinguished Service Award (DSA). It’s the highest honor given within the international credit union movement, according to World Council.

The award recognizes individuals and organizations for their exceptional work in developing the credit union movement outside their home countries. “Our global community of credit unions is stronger thanks to the dedicated efforts of individuals and organizations who believe in it,” said Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO.

Nominations are due March 14.

World Council member organizations can nominate individuals and organizations whose work they feel has significantly benefitted global credit union development beyond their national boundaries.

The award is not always given annually; winners are determined by the organization’s awards committee.

Last year, World Council recognized the following individuals with the DSA:

  • Dick Ensweiler, USA, president/CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League;
  • Scott Kennedy, Canada, director of Credit Union Central of Canada, former director of Concentra Financial Services Association, and former director of the World Council;
  • Roberto Rodrigues, Brazil, former president of the Organization of Cooperatives in Brazil, former vice president of the Organization of Cooperatives of the Americas, and former president of International Co-operative Alliance and International Co-operative Agricultural Organization; and
  • Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica, Jamaica's high commissioner in the United Kingdom, former minister of industry and tourism, and former minister of state in the ministry of industry, commerce and technology.

Winners will receive a complimentary conference registration and one companion registration for the 2016 World Credit Union Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

December Rate Hike Came Amid Uncertainties

The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) decision to raise interest rates last month was unanimous; but the newly released minutes from the meeting reveal more consternation than the undivided vote may have implied (MarketWatch Jan 6).

“Some members said that their decision to raise the target range was a close call, particularly given the uncertainty about inflation dynamics, and emphasized the need to monitor the progress of inflation closely,” the minutes said.

The FOMC voted for a rate hike—bumping the federal funds rate up to 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent from 0 percent to 0.25 percent—for the first time since the financial crisis at its meeting in December.

Members cited strength in the labor market and a reasonable confidence that inflation would eventually ascend to its 2 percent target as reasons for its decision. But not every voting member felt strongly that inflation would rise. In fact, a number of the central bankers said they believed that the chances inflation would continue to flat line “remained considerable.”

Other concerns included that:

  • Continued bottomed-out oil prices could delay the expected increase in inflation;
  • Additional strength in the labor market could be offset by global “disinflationary forces"; and
  • Consumer and business expectations about inflation continue to drop.

“Although almost all still expected that the downward pressure on inflation from energy and commodity prices would be transitory, many viewed the persistent weakness in those prices as adding uncertainty or posing important downside risks to the inflation outlook,” the minutes said (MarketWatch).