What Can $1,000 Buy in Credit Union Intelligence?

On September 2, 2021, I received an invoice for 40 hours of work at $25 per, for a total of $1,000.

The service included consultation, designing, programing, testing and updating an Excel spreadsheet that allows any user to project the NCUSIF’s year-end equity using the latest data and forecasts.

It was not a simple task.  There are four variables each using different math concepts:

  1. The % rate of insured share growth.
  2. Operating expenses in $ charged via the OTR.
  3. Anticipated loss in basis points of year end insured shares.
  4. Yield on NCUSIF investments expressed as an APR.

With beginning numbers from the NCUSIF 2020 audit, these four variables must be programmed in a dynamic way so that the outcomes in dollars and basis points versus a year-end NOL target (1.3%) can be instantly updated.

Later numbers can be inserted as the year goes forward.  This is the only management model needed for the NCUSIF. The fund’s basic 1% underwriting design, its unique loss reserve accounting practice, and the almost 40 years of experience have validated its long-term resilience no matter the event or economic circumstances.

Completed in 40 Hours

The student who did this work is a college senior majoring in “leadership.”  I explained the goal, and the input parameters.   We talked by Zoom, sharing our screens  using Google Docs, and working together to test the functioning.

Here is a link to the finished spreadsheet.  It uses a year-end NOL “target” of 1.3%, share growth of 10%, and the latest data on operating expense and loss experience: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eAZN2CjyNkgu9bfuUXIF1xmFPBwLvAio/edit#gid=2118513014

The spreadsheet can be copied for use by anyone.  The user can fill in more recent data or other assumptions believed to be more accurate.   With the current input, the year-end equity NOL outcome would be 1.2876 or just shy of the 1.3% goal.

Is This Modeling Tool Sufficient?

The spreadsheet includes all the major variables.   The NCUSIF sometimes has accounting entries that are not related to current events creating deus ex machina  financial interventions as in a theatrical performance.

One example is recovery from prior year’s AME loss estimates which turned out to be too high.  For the past 7 years these have totaled $313 million added back to NCUSIF equity.  A second is the expense for additions to the loss allowance reserve, which often have no relation to actual experience.

Even with these minor exceptions, the tool used in conjunction with NCUSIF’s historical performance, is about as close to perfect as one could hope.  Take a look, give it a spin.

The Student  Programmer

The designer of this spreadsheet is a college liberal arts senior who also works full time for NVIDIA to help market their new Omniverse platform.

At the moment, NCUA has spent close to $40 million and over five years trying to install the MERIT data management program.   I wonder how much a bunch of smart, college kids might accomplish outside the beltway contracting environment at a fraction of this sunk expense.

The invoice ended with these words: Thanks for the opportunity to serve you (the student’s name) and the programmer’s tagline:   When you can’t, she can. 

Now that’s the coop spirit.







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