Comments on: The Bank of Cattaraugus’s numbers A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: youniquelikeme Sun, 25 Dec 2011 02:26:35 +0000 Auros, when I wrote my message the previous one to mine was not yet up.

Even so, you are making assumptions that a person’s salary can be lumped in with his wife’s. I did say “total salaries are so low” relatively speaking to consider the man wealthy and I still maintain that. (why you had to take what I wrote out of context is beyond me) Perhaps he made his money elsewhere as TFF says.

No need to presume me wealthy, or elitist as I make a very modest income with which I do amazing things like take care of my family, pay off my mortgage and I started saving for college when my child was 4… so it is paid for. I am not sure why you presume otherwise.

My questions arose being the article Felix is writing about speaks of the banker’s “wealth”, his modest income (either he is making a modest income or his employees are grossly underpaid, being it doesn’t state what his salary is) and the millions he is spending on museums and depressed building… he and the bank.

By: TFF Sat, 24 Dec 2011 23:45:22 +0000 @Auros, it takes a while for a family earning $100k to accumulate $1.1M in equity. “A few decades” is about right.

That said, the bank is 130 years old, and presumably had a reasonable amount of equity to begin with. I doubt that Mr. Cullen needs to save additional equity at this point, even if the bank isn’t profitable enough to extract anything.

Note also that he might have additional sources of income (e.g. county tax collector, CPA, etc…) The bank is not necessarily his sole support.

Finally, an income of $100k goes rather farther than you might think in upstate NY. A much simpler (and more relaxed) lifestyle than we see in the cities.

By: Auros Sat, 24 Dec 2011 23:32:30 +0000 youniquelikeme, if you think $100k in salary is “so low”, you really should get out and meet somebody who takes care of a family and saves to put the kids through college on the median family income, which is something like HALF that $100k. If you make $100k while living only modestly better than the median lifestyly, you could easily be socking away $40k every year. In just five years, you’ve saved $200k; earning even a modest 5% on it, and reinvesting all of it, you’ve just upped your annual savings to $50k; and so on.

A family earning $100k that really wants to, can accumulate quite a lot of wealth over the course of just a few decades.

By: youniquelikeme Sat, 24 Dec 2011 19:08:43 +0000 I do not wish to be skeptical, but I am wondering how a man can become “wealthy” if the total salaries are so low. I do so hope that the operation is entirely legitimate and continues to be the pillar of the community. (It sounded too good to be true after reading the whole story)

Buying local rundown properties will keep the town more stable, but he sounds like he has Disneyesque ideas, using bank profits, and that doesn’t bode well in a poor economy. I hope his head is in the same place his heart is…being the bank makes little profit, yet millions are being spent on distressed properties.

Credit Unions are the Jimmy Stewart operations of today. I have no idea why people are not flocking to them, being they give among the best rates, negotiate with long term customers, return fees when you have steady deposits and have lower fees than most banks? People have a choice, yet don’t exercise it.

Given the choice of a large bank and this one, I would choose the local community bank…

By: onthelake Sat, 24 Dec 2011 17:35:06 +0000 Feuer describes Mr Cullen as “a well-to-do man”; but he’s clearly not extracting a huge salary from his bank


By the standards of middle USA, he would be ‘well to do’ in a small town. Both he and his wife work at the bank – 2 of the 8 employees. Assume that they each make 50% more than the other staff. $276,000 in salaries divided by [6 + (2 x 1 1/2) = employees at around $30,600 and him and his wife each at $46,000. His household would have $92,000 in salaries. Add in 1/3rd of the directors $34,000 and his household has $103,300 a year.

And out in the real wolrd – not the world of the NYC/DC chattering classes, $100,000 a year household income is ‘well to do.”



DOn’t know if the prior bak president was Jimmy Stewart but sure sounds like this guy is a distant cousin to the presidents of our 2 little community banks here in tow. Both only have 2 branches. Both have online banking and bill pay. Both are run just the same way.

By: FifthDecade Sat, 24 Dec 2011 14:18:32 +0000 The manager prior to 1957 wasn’t James Stewart by any chance, was it? :D

By: Frwip Sat, 24 Dec 2011 07:21:05 +0000 Credit unions can’t accept state and municipal deposits but states can create their own state bank like the Bank of North Dakota and get pretty much the same results.

Of course, bankers will lobby like mad against any state legislator who would have the impudence to try to cut them them off.