Via articles seen on Hacker News this morning, it's worth reading both the write-up in the New York Times and an admirably transparent post by the Internet Archive Federal Credit Union's Chairman on their challenges. Spoiler alert: It’s like when you had that professor who wouldn't even read your paper because you used Arial 10 instead of Times New Roman 12.
Look, I get it. There's no doubt that it's incredibly difficult to start a credit union in the US -- and even harder for it to succeed. (Hey, it makes it difficult on the entrenched to do business, too.) This isn't a commentary on the fairness of the situation; it sucks.
I want to point out that we shouldn't be surprised.
I agree with a commenter, who wrote in response to Kahle's quote of “I see a system as unhealthy if regulators put 200 to 300 institutions out of business every year for decades on end while only allowing a few to start”:
This is the problem with regulation: it's in the regulators' interest to be as strict as possible, because any failure will be harshly punished (in the press, in the civil service, and in the courts), while success has no reward.