A regular reader of our blog recently tipped me off to an interesting story regarding asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) being discussed on Facebook.
A group of individual investors have formed a Facebook group to draw attention to ABCP and provide a forum to discuss ABCP and its roll in the sub-prime mortgage crisis in Canada. This has been a burning story in the Canadian press for quite awhile. For the past few months most of the coverage has focused on the institutional investors, but during April and May the spotlight turned to individuals—the mom-and-pop investors whose life savings (in some cases) got trapped in what they had been told was an investment that was as secure as a GIC.
The discussion board on the Facebook group is available only to members of the group to see, but what I can relay is how these concerned members have used this social media platform as a tool to air their grievances. And I'm not talking about Gen Y—I'm talking about older, close-to-retirement (or retired) folks. They seem quite knowledgeable about the credit union system, the provincial centrals and their relationship to investment firms that service the credit union industry.
To be frank, my knowledge and understanding about these issues is limited, so without talking over my head or getting political, I am interested in starting a discussion about the questions this type of situation raises. Here are some basic questions for you and your credit union to consider.
- Is your credit union doing enough to keep tabs on social media for issue management purposes?
- Do the available social media tools offer credit unions an opportunity to be proactive about an issue like this?
- And, do those of us in the credit union world tend to be too narrow in our view of who is using social media, demographically speaking?
Over to you!