Wisconsin Business Briefs: Report says state's credit unions have done well this yearWisconsin Business
-- Wisconsin’s credit unions have done very well this year. State officials report a 96-percent increase in the net income of state-chartered credit unions for the first nine months of this year, compared to the same time in 2011.
Wisconsin’s credit unions have done very well this year. State officials report a 96-percent increase in the net income of state-chartered credit unions for the first nine months of this year, compared to the same time in 2011.
Those institutions netted almost $165-million dollars from January-through-September, up from $84-million a year ago. Their combined return on assets grew from .59-percent last year to .98. And the net worth of Wisconsin credit unions is the highest since the Great Recession made its presence known in 2008.
Peter Bildsten, who heads the state Department of Financial Institutions, says credit unions have returned to the levels of strength they had before the recession. Wisconsin now has 188 credit unions, six fewer than a year ago. Bildsten says it’s due to mergers and industry consolidation.
Mercury Marine of Fond du Lac plans to hire 170 new employees by the end of this month. The maker of recreational boat motors credits an improved economy for the new jobs – as well as the growing popularity of one of its newest engines, a four-stroke motor with 150-horsepower. Mercury says there’s been an unprecedented demand for its most popular outboard engines. And it’s resulting in both full-and-part-time job opportunities that pay up to nearly 15-dollars-an-hour. Mercury Marine has added several hundred employees over the last three years when Wisconsin won a bidding war with Oklahoma – and Mercury ended up moving jobs to Fond du Lac from a plant it closed in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
We’ll wait-and-see. That’s basically what a Milwaukee firm says about a recent claim from its CEO on what might happen if President Obama was re-elected – which he was. Michael White told employees at Rite-Hite in an e-mail that voters should understand the quote, “personal consequences” of re-electing the president. Today, company vice-president Antonio Catalano told the Journal Sentinel that no decisions have been made on cutting benefits or jobs. And he said Rite-Hite will evaluate its business on an ongoing basis and make decisions that are quote, “in the best interest of the company and its employees.” White’s e-mail said that under a second Obama term, personal taxes would go up dramatically – company-funded retirement benefits would be at risk – and the firm’s health plan might disappear, because more employees would find cheaper to enter the government’s plan. Rite-Hite, which makes industrial equipment, was among the first known companies around the nation which told employees what might happen if Republican Mitt Romney wasn’t elected. A state law prohibits employers from telling workers who to vote for – or threaten pay-and-benefit cuts depending on who’s elected. Various media reports said U.S. companies were allowed to have more political interaction with their employees under the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision.