The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Where’s the Integrity On Wall Street?

On November 24th, 2008, posted in: Uncategorized by

When my influence was essential to my kids’ development, I remember reminding them about the importance of maintaining integrity. I would tell them: “Integrity is what you do when nobody’s looking. It’s a key measurement of one’s character. One’s good character can never be compromised.” I pretty much preached these kinds of thoughts to the point of exhaustion. At the time, I figured integrity would be the difference maker at some point in their life. It usually is.

My favorite example of integrity was asking them what they would do if they found someone’s wallet on the street and it was jammed with money. Nobody’s looking, so what do you do? There’s a right answer and a wrong answer. My kids fortunately always picked the right thing to do, and as a result, have made the right choices in real life as well.

But where is Wall Street’s integrity? What were they doing when nobody was looking? How about some of the investment bankers – where was their integrity? AIG officials celebrated their government bailout by using taxpayer money to wine, dine and hang out at the spa. Integrity? I think not! How about unscrupulous real estate brokers who took advantage of a greedy market and a less-than-sophisticated borrower to make countless mortgage loans to people who were less than qualified to understand what they were getting into? While countless reasons exist for the problems leading to our government bailout, sadly I sense that a lack of integrity is somewhere near the top of the list.

I don’t know what the local banking industry is doing when nobody’s looking. However, I DO know what St. Louis Community Credit Union is doing! We’re not thinking about highly exotic investments with intolerable risk. We’re not busy focusing on stockholder profits. And we’re surely not discussing a host of multi-million-dollar compensation packages for our executives! Rather, we are focused on giving back profit to our members. We’re trying to figure out how to lend more money to our members – there’s no credit crisis with us.

Integrity is what you do when nobody’s looking. We’re proud of how we represent our members.


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