Everything that’s wrong with banking summed up in one bonehead advertisement

September 4, 2014
Santiago, Chile

ANZ-zero-interest

If you’re looking around right now for a new bank account that pays a reasonable rate of return, ANZ bank has a hell of a deal for you: 0%!

That’s right. ANZ is offering its depositors absolutely zero interest.

Now, a bank paying 0% isn’t exactly abnormal in today’s banking environment. But what’s really strange is that ANZ actually took out an ad in an Australian newspaper to advertise this.

Yesterday’s page 10 of the Australian Financial Review (AFR) had a quarter-page ad from ANZ boasting about 0% interest rates for accounts denominated in number of foreign currencies, including Hong Kong dollars, Japanese yen, British pounds, and more.

Curiously, in order to qualify for this bargain 0% rate, you have to meet a rather significant deposit minimum.

For the 0% Japanese yen account, for example, you have to deposit 23.5 million yen (currently about $223,000 US dollars).

So basically some manager at ANZ actually thought that paying 0% interest on substantial account minimums would be an attractive offer… so attractive, in fact, that they should brag about it in the newspaper.

This is so completely ridiculous. But it really crystalizes what’s wrong with the entire financial system.

We’re told to keep our money in banks… that banks are safe. But the objective data tells a completely different story.

Holding money in most banks guarantees that you will lose money.

Adjusting for taxes and inflation, you’re losing at least 2% per year, even if you believe the governments’ notoriously understated official inflation statistics.

This level of absurdity pushes people into riskier and riskier assets, simply in an effort to avoid LOSING money.

Case in point– the government of Spain recently issued 1 BILLION euros worth of bonds that yield a paltry 4%. And they’re due in 2064.

Bear in mind, Spain is completely broke. And just two years ago the government had to pay 7.5% on ten year notes.

Now people are lending money to the Spanish government for 50 freaking years at just 4%.

This is insane.

But couldn’t this insanity last forever? Couldn’t the grand wizards of the financial system continue to engineer one deranged bailout after another for decades to come?

Possibly. But unlikely.

Right now the US dollar is the world’s dominant reserve currency. This gives the United States nearly total control of the global financial system.

In order to clear cross-border trade transactions, foreign banks HAVE to use the US banking system (which is controlled by the US government).

Further, rest of the world must essentially mirror US Federal Reserve policy.

But this power… and insanity… only lasts as long as the US dollar is the dominant reserve currency. And this is starting to change rapidly.

China’s renminbi is becoming much more widely accepted around the world for trade settlement; a number of foreign governments are now holding renminbi reserves and doing deals to promote trade in renminbi.

Even in the United States, renminbi payment business increased 327% last year, and the US is now the fifth largest offshore renminbi settlement center.

It’s no secret here, this is happening right under our noses. The financial system IS changing.

People who ignore this trend do so at their own financial peril.

Yet those who understand what’s happening and align themselves accordingly stand to make fortunes.

The Weimar Republic’s episode with hyperinflation in the 1920s is a great example.

Despite all the warning signs, most people did nothing… and they got wiped out.

A handful of people, though, saw the writing on the wall. They took steps to safeguard what they had. And they allocated their investment capital to bet that the currency would collapse.

They were right. And vast fortunes were created in a matter of months.

Throughout history there’s always a handful of people ahead of the trend. And they’re rewarded for their foresight.

Right now we’re in the very early stages of a similar transition— arguably one of the most important economic transformations since the Industrial Revolution.

Because of this, opportunities already abound if you know where to look. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be alive.