Even though a slept through the “5,4,3,2,1…Happy New Year” moment this year, I did wake up New Year’s day with a sense of relief that 2008 is behind us and excited to make 2009 the best year ever!!!

Then I read this:

Local Credit Union Changing Hands.

“Valley Credit Union is officially handing over the keys to an out-of-state banking group. Service will resume Friday without many visible changes at Valley Credit’s three branches.

The credit union was facing the possibility of failure, so it sold itself to Illinois-chartered Citizens Equity FInancial Credit Union.”

I didn’t know credit unions could “buy” other credit unions – or sell to an out-of-state banking group??

How many ways is this article wrong? No wonder people are confused about credit unions. Are they member owned anymore? Does the phrase financial cooperative mean anything?

This article was a little better but you have to be an insider to fully understand that this is not your run-of-the-mill-bank-failure-buy-out fiasco.

The coverage of this merger could have such a positive and educational bent. How about saying this:

“Valley Federal Credit Union in the Silicon Valley has merged with the members of Citizens Equity (formerly Caterpillar Employees FCU). The members of Citizens Equity will respect the ownership and Valley Fed will keep their name and 90% of their employees. This is a great example of people helping people in these trying times. Credit unions are member owned financial cooperatives and in their 100 year history have never cost taxpayers money.”