The US government regulates Banks and Credit Unions (CUs), i.e. makes them put down on paper what assets and liabilities they have, and were CUs to lie, CU officials go to jail. So, how do we monitor our financial institutions, knowing that even lying CUs will raise flags on reports?

Credit Unions report back to NCUA. Each quarter, CUs must publish a Financial Performance Report, which you can get online. You just need your CUs NCUA charter number.

Most people should use credit unions because you automatically get a dividend because all credit union members own the credit union; whereas at a bank you just get fees. But, if you insist on using a bank, you can get its financial performance report from the FDIC.

Now you just need to "echo $URL" in your crontab once every 3 months, e.g.:

00 00 15 1,4,7,10 * echo visit ''

Also, when you see something you don't understand, read about it first online. If you still don't get it, make sure you have a good way to question your CU. At PSECU, their secure site allows members to email The President's Desk with any questions regarding financial performance reports. And most importantly, if you're reading this blog, you're smart enough to understand financial reports; if any bank or CU gives you lame answers for why their numbers suck, IMMEDIATELY move your funds to another institution with better numbers. While bank failures seem rare, they *really* suck.