Sunday 16 September 2007

Rock of Ages

I'd noticed this too in Edinburgh:
The majority of people queuing were middle aged or retired.

(And "a bit boisterous" in Glasgow!)

On Friday an explanation might have been that younger depositors would be at work, but the same age profile could be seen on Saturday.

I then started to think that depositors would generally be older; their savings financing the mortgages of younger borrowers. That may well be the case. But is there another factor?

On Friday morning I risked my blood pressure by listening to the BBC's Today Programme. The fascinating part was when a reporter told us that he'd spoken to the oldest person in a City bank and even he couldn't remember a similar bailout.

The last one was in 1973.

Back in those days bank employees weren't usually graduates. Let's assume that most joined a bank at 18 although for some it would be at 16. That means that you'd now have to be 52 (or possibly 50) to have worked in a bank in 1973. And not a single person of that age could be found!

We all know that banks have a policy of getting rid of people older than 50 - except for the senior directors of course. Perhaps the chickens are now coming home to roost. Banks are staffed by youngsters who've never known tough times. Similarly, borrowers are all-too-often youngsters who probably don't even realise that credit cards and mortgages are normally financed by the wrinklies. The problem is that much of Britain's profligate borrowing and spending hasn't been financed from savings but by credit creation through the fiat monetary system.

Youngsters probably think that wealth is created free by nice, smiling politicians like Tony Blair and David Cameron or even by the no-longer-scowling Gordon Brown. The wrinklies are sufficiently in touch with reality to know that's not true and that's why they're getting their money out. It's a pity some of them weren't still employed by the banks.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Andrew Duffin
Couldn't it just be that the old people are the ones with the money? 
Certainly I remember that when I was young, I didn't have any. 
Oh, wait - some things never change

18 September 2007, 13:52:17 GMT+01:00
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What are you going to do with it, people enquire. Put it into Northern Rock, obviously. It is now the only bank with a 100% government deposit guarantee.

18 September 2007, 09:57:19 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer
Good for you Simon.

18 September 2007, 05:42:42 GMT+01:00
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Simon Clark
I'm 18, on a gap year before university (economics) next year, and I'm looking for a job at a bank. 
Luckily for you, I know that wealth is created through production and voluntary exchange.

18 September 2007, 01:52:21 GMT+01:00
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I'm going to get my money out of Alliance and Leicester by visiting an ATM.

17 September 2007, 21:56:36 GMT+01:00