Friday, December 18, 2009

United States Of Big Banks

I was depositing a check at my bank, Wells Fargo, and the teller wanted to up-sell me to a de-luxe account of some sort, some kind of special, VIP, for our very favorite customers sort of thing. No doubt. The delux came with no BillPay fees, which is very nice and free money orders, etc. Our conversation went like this:
Peter: the delux carries an automatic monthly transfer to a savings account, right?

Teller: that's right, we set that up right here in the branch.

Peter: $100 a month, or something?

Teller: just $75

Peter: so what's the interest rate for the savings account?

Teller: you get an introductory rate of 3.25% on the first $500 and [blah blah, more figures]

Peter: fascinating. A reverse teaser rate.

Teller: Yes, [what a great deal this, etc]

Peter: and what's the regular interest rate after the one year?

Teller: well it varies you know.

Peter: what is the rate today?

Teller: zero point one-five percent

Peter: [pause.. astonishment..] ZERO POINT ONE-FIVE PERCENT??
[voice goes up a few decibels] that's.. fifteen cents a year.. on a HUNDRED DOLLARS??

Teller: [almost inaudible] that's right

Peter: wow. WOW.
[can't believe it.. does the math again in his head] zero point one-five percent.
[looks at the teller to see if she thinks this is strange. Teller is looking at her feet.. maybe wondering if she's going to have to hit the security button]

Peter: you have Ben Bernanke to thank for that.. [realizes that this is not the place for a debate on macro economics, and quits]

Teller: can I help you with anything else?

Peter: [cheerful again] no not today, thanks!

I just wish I'd thought to point out to her that when Wells Fargo lends me money, they charge around twenty percent interest (i.e. cash advance rate) and did she think that was fair? But why bother?


Gold Coins said...
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Anonymous said...

stumbled onto your site and am amazed w/your common sense. recent conversations w/money(wtf is that?)managers have left me thinking that the only good investments are in canned goods, seeds, and guns. why aren't you posting anymore?