Monday, February 23, 2009

Join the Board of Directors

All this talk about banks, but people tend to not know what they don't know.  You wanna be a new director of a community bank for a day?  The KC Fed has an online course that tells you all you need to know.

This site is built around events occurring at the fictional “Insights Bank and Trust,” a small community bank where you serve as an outside director. An outline of the course is presented to the right. Early parts of the course serve as a prelude to an October board meeting, which will offer information on typical points of discussion for bank directors.

In the early sections, you will learn about your duties and responsibilities as a director (see Corporate Governance) and items to expect as you start the important job of being a bank director. You will also learn about a fraud that occurred at Insights Bank prior to the meeting; this section introduces the topic of operational risk and its controls. Subsequently, you will attend an October board meeting where the focus is on a variety of topics regarding the evaluation of a bank’s financial performance and the management of the risks to its portfolio (credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk).

In each lesson, you will find video scenarios, sample reports and reference materials that are designed to raise awareness and help directors address on-the-job issues banks often face. Printable references, helpful tips and practice exercises may also help you gain confidence to ask pertinent questions and apply new knowledge to meeting bank director’s real-life responsibilities. A list of course topics, practice exercises and supporting “meeting materials” lessons is available from the Reference View.
This is really a good course and people might really find it useful -- like how to set loan loss reserves. Here is another view of the content. Economists and people with a theoretical basis in finance might get a little taste of reality, and perhaps humility. I suppose that's asking too much.

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