Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Betting On Banks

Today time is short so this post is a repeat of one from 2010, those happy past days when we thought that it was all going to change.  It didn't and it really is not going to get better.  So here it is:

I have complained about how banks have changed.  Gone are the polite formalities of the past and the careful noting of detail by persons who know they are in a good job with a pension to look forward to. 

Now they are like the amusement arcades of the past with rows of blinking machines happy to take your money but not to give you what you hoped for. 

The staff are pushy people trying to sell me all sorts of stuff I do no want or need.  They are on commission with no pensions or job security.

My parents and regimental sergeant majors used to warn me of other dangers.  To be approached by eager young ladies smelling strongly of cheap perfume offering services you would be well advised to refuse is disconcerting. 

Especially when you know the result could be a nasty red rash at the bottom of the accounts.

The latest communication I have had from the bank was intriguing.  It is almost a metaphor for kind of general national financial problems that Vinnie Cable The Bank Crusher is on about.

It tells me that the balance in my savings account is zero.  I suspect I am not alone in having this problem.  It might be related to the other pieces of information.

One is that the rate of interest on such savings is 0.05%.  I am surprised only by the fact that I am not paying the bank to take care of the zero account. 

The other is that if I went into debit then the rate of interest they would charge would be 19.90%.   Long ago usury of this kind could be rewarded with burning at the stake.  Nowadays it comes with a knighthood or seat in the House of Lords.

We are urged by Keynesians to borrow to spend so that we can earn enough to spend more and to borrow more.  According to my Keynes there was something called savings that came into all the equations. 

Saving meant investment and if wise this created activity that enabled consumptions and savings.  If savings were too much this was a distortion.  If too little and borrowing far too much this was a worse distortion

Just like the mirrors in the old amusement arcades.

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