Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Fiat money alchemy

Gold Coin Vending Machine Offers Profit in Case of a Bank Run

The Stuttgart-based company just unveiled its first prototype at the Frankfurt airport, which offers a 1g gold wafer for €30, a 10g bar for €245, or gold coins. The machines are wired to monitor current gold prices and adjust their rates accordingly.

Thomas Geissler, who owns TG-Gold-Super-Markt, told The Telegraph, "German investors have always preferred to hold a lot of personal wealth in gold, for historical reasons. They have twice lost everything. Gold is a good thing to have in your pocket in uncertain times.

Doesn't it seem kind of twisted to make the spectre of a financial crash into a glittering vending machine offering salvation in the event of a bank run?

Can you imagine the scene if banks started putting these things outside their front doors?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Zimbabwe Times

Improbable research: the hundred trillion dollar book

Gideon Gono, author of the new book Zimbabwe's Casino Economy – Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Challenges, displays a rare, perhaps unique, kind of scholarly reserve. Since December 2003, Gono has been the governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank.

Two weeks ago, Gono was awarded the 2009 Ig Nobel prize in mathematics. The Ig Nobel citation lauds him for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers – from very small to very big – by having his bank print banknotes with denominations ranging from one cent to 100 trillion dollars.

During 2007 and 2008, Zimbabwe's inflation rate rose past Olympian heights: topping 231m%, by Gono's reckoning; and reaching 89,700,000,000tr%, according to a study done by Dr Steve H Hanke of Johns Hopkins University and the Cato Institute.

The book explains that every larger, richer country will face the same problems...

distortion economy

State should have let banks fail, says Nobel-winning economist

"I find it very ironic that people who have always been in favour of market economics all of a sudden suspended the rules of capitalism. It really undermines the functioning of the economy. It's a distortion to the economy."
But his comments came as a security analyst in London
said troops would have had to be deployed on the streets if the government in Britain had let large banks there fail.

More light reading - 2

Chris Dodd: Confidence Man

What does it mean to “have confidence” in a private, voluntary, free market transaction?

If you deposit money in an ATM, how can you be confident that the cash you put in will be available to you later?

If you pay an insurance company for future protection, how can you be confident it won’t go out of business?

If you invest in the stock market, how can you be confident you won’t lose money?

No running please! (update)

Dutch central bank takes over DSB - oct 12

“The bank called for the emergency measure [to take control] due to a large outflow of liquidity that endangered the continued existence of DSB over the short term,” the central bank said in a statement.
Nout Wellink, president of the central bank, said DSB was now under administration in a process likely to lead to liquidation.

DSB boss took millions from 'his' bank - oct 13

On Monday, the bank was put under central bank control and administrators were appointed. The intervention followed a run on savings. In total, over €600m was removed from the bank over the past few days.

All savings at the bank have now been frozen and bank customers can use their bank cards to withdraw a maximum €750 - or €250 a day - before Wednesday afternoon.

Savers with up to €100,000 in the bank will be able to get their money back under the country's deposit guarantee scheme. But some 4,000 people with savings in excess of this amount are likely to lose the rest.

And some 4,000 people with subordinated deposits, which earned interest of around 6.5%, are not covered by the guarantee scheme at all.

Too late... the runnings all done... the fat cat got the cash... and the small guys are left waiting.

Friday, 9 October 2009

No running please!

DSB Bank website down, hackers or a run? - oct 1

Clients of independent bank DSB were unable to transfer their money electronically on Thursday, leading the company to blame a concerted attack by hackers.
But the Telegraaf claims the site crashed because too many customers were trying to shift their money following a tv programme.

DSB Bank website still down (new) - oct 2

Clients of DSB Bank continued to have difficulty in accessing their accounts online on Friday report various media.
The bank is still officially blaming hackers for the problems but a bank employee told ANP press service on Friday morning that the website had crashed because too many clients were trying to move their money, reports the NRC.

Central bank wants probe into DSB run call - oct 5

The Dutch central bank is in favour of an investigation to establish whether Pieter Lakeman, head of a lobby group representing disgruntled customers of DSB Bank, could be held legally responsible for calling on savers to withdraw their money from the bank in order to force it into bankruptcy.
Last week customers removed around €60m from the bank following a call by Lakeman to force the bank into bankruptcy.

Sounds like the dutch are getting a bit jittery..... come on now.... you know your moneys safe.