Timeless Wisdom: Creating Effective Public Policy

Two principles guided Ed Callahan’s tenure as NCUA chair.  One was his positive motivation.  In his many public comments,  he never summoned  fear about the future; rather he always presented examples of hope and progress by the movement.

The second was his belief in the enterprising spirit of human nature.   He believed ordinary men and women had created an extraordinary cooperative system  that deserved the respect and support of regulators.  In his own words:

“Our movement does not exist because it was created from the top down. Rather it was created from the bottom up. We did not tell Congress we wanted to be “safe and sound” institutions. We always knew that if we were lending to our members there was risk involved. Serving came first; safety and soundness was a means to the end of serving.”

Ed Callahan, Callahan Report, May 1999

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