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Do you remember where you were ten years ago? Do you recall how much money you lost in a single week? Do you recall the origin of the phrases “banksters”, “it’s different this time”, and “too big to fail”? Do you still do business with the big banks who were instrumental in causing the recession?

The Great Recession began in December 2007 and didn’t end until June 2009. It was the longest recession since World War II and millions of people lost their jobs, their homes and their retirement funds. After many years of Wall St. banks making mortgages to people who couldn’t possibly pay their loans back, the dominoes started to fall in 2008. Bear Stearns failed in March and the federal government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September. Lehman went bankrupt and the giant insurance company AIG failed that month.

President Bush authorized the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on October 3, 2008. Over $700 billion was authorized to bail out the big banks. The stock market fell from a high of 14,164 in October 2007 to a low of 6,457 in March 2009. Exactly ten years ago this week (the week of October 6, 2008) the Dow fell by 18% (1,874 points).

The banks stopped lending, cutting off credit to millions of households and small businesses. These same banks (the ones that survived, anyway) are doing just fine ten years later. While it took many years for consumers and small business to recover from the recession, the too big to fail banksters doing incredibly well.

As we pass the ten year anniversary of that horrible economic event, it’s instructive to consider banking options. You can continue to patronize banks, all of whom are headquartered out of town (with just a few community bank exceptions) or you can turn to a credit union.

Credit unions are not-for-profit, cooperatively owned by financial institutions focused solely on the best interests of member-customers. As a tax-exempt option, Congress designed credit unions to serve a defined group of people (such as anyone living in the Dayton area) and to be contra-cyclical; a safe port in a storm affecting for-profit banks. When all the banks stopped lending during the Great Recession, credit unions kept serving member needs as always. Day Air Credit Union continued making loans to members when banks wouldn’t, and our loan portfolio increases year in and year out.

Day Air is headquartered here in the Miami Valley. We’re Dayton based people serving other Dayton based people. All money placed on deposit at Day Air is lent back out to our friends and neighbors in the Miami Valley. And yes, if you live or work in the Dayton area, Day Air Credit Union is for you. The choice is simple – do business with an out of town bank that required a big bailout ten years ago, or with a community oriented credit union focused on enhancing your financial well-being.