Consumers’ options for managing their finances were greatly broadened this week in 1934, after President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act the day before, promoting the nationwide formation of credit unions. These differ from banks by being member-owned and controlled. Credit unions are nonprofit institutions where groups of people can save, borrow, and obtain other financial services. There are nearly 18,500 credit unions in the U.S., employing more than a quarter million people. These establishments range from a small cooperative for a single church or factory, to those that serve employees of giant corporations. By contrast, there are more than 97,000 commercial banking establishments in America’s $3.6 trillion finance and insurance sector of the economy. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.