‘The chance of something going wrong increases greatly with the proximity of an NCUA exam.’
Murphy’s infamous law, “if something can go wrong, it will,” is renowned. But certain industries take this basic premise of risk management further with their own rules.
One such law for baseball, for example: A promising season will not last long. The Seattle Mariners corollary: A promising season lasts until mid-April.
This made me think: What are Murphy’s Laws for credit unions?
Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it will.
CU corollary: The chance of something going wrong increases greatly with the proximity of an NCUA exam.
CU corollary No. 2: And it will be spectacular.
Murphy’s Law: Being dead right doesn’t make you less dead.
CU corollary: Being dead right makes you a CEO.
Murphy’s Law: It’s impossible to make something foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
CU corollary: Any staff has more than its fair share of fools.
Murphy’s Law: You’ll always find something in the last place you look.
CU corollary: This will not force certain agencies to make you quit looking.
Murphy’s Law: The other line always moves faster.
CU corollary: That other financial institution charter always has it easier.
Murphy’s golden rule: Whoever has the gold makes the rules.
CU corollary: Banks have a lot of gold.
Murphy’s Law: In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
CU corollary: In case an examiner gets smart, start talking.
Examiner corollary: The amount of reason from a CEO is directly disproportional to the amount of air expelled by that same CEO.
Murphy’s Law: Just when you think things cannot get any worse, they will.
CU corollary: Just when you think things cannot get any worse, another regulation arrives.
Murphy’s Law: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
CU corollary: No matter, there are some things even bankers can’t be taught.
Murphy’s Law: Chaos always wins because it’s better organized.
CU corollary: The insistence on a member to obtain something is inversely related to its value. CU corollary No. 2: Give away free stuff at your own risk.
Murphy’s Law: The probability of rain is inversely proportional to the size of the umbrella you carry around with you all day.
NCUA corollary: Ha! Told you. RBC2!
Murphy’s Law: Common sense is not so common.
CU corollary: Looking for common sense is like planning your meal after going on a snipe hunt.
Murphy’s Law: In any particular situation, if three things can go wrong, they usually do in sequence, each facilitating the occurrence of the next.
CU corollary: The granting of a perfectly acceptable loan is followed by the grudging approval of a mediocre loan and is finalized by the tenuous approval of a marginal one. By some odd coincidence, the only one that doesn’t go bad is the marginal loan.
Murphy’s Law: In order to get a personal loan, you must first prove you don’t need it.
CU corollary: In order to get a personal loan, you must first prove that you do need it, and then that you really don’t.
Murphy’s Law: Behind every little problem there’s a larger problem waiting for the little problem to get out of the way.
CU corollary: Behind every huge merchant card compromise is a new, larger, unfound card compromise.
Murphy’s Law: The big catastrophes are made up of smaller ones.
CU corollary: Credit unions do not fail by one action, rather they die by 1,000 cuts. And finally:
Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. At the worst possible time. And it will be your fault, and everyone will know it.
CU corollary: And we will deal with it, like everything else.
JAMES COLLINS is president/CEO at O Bee CU, Tumwater, Wash. Contact him at 360-943-0740 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.