Humor: ATM Machine

This post is from the early days of this blog, and is quite humorous in a macabre way (sounds like something out of a Stephen King story).

For my regular readers, you know my opinion of ATM machines and their fees, so, please do not construe this posting as me condoning the destruction of ATM machines, but I am never surprised at what folks will do, just to not have to pay those “Not Your ATM” fees!

Blowing Up ATM Machines
In the Netherlands, criminals are stealing money from ATM machines by blowing them up (article in Dutch). First, they drill a hole in an ATM and fill it with some sort of gas. Then, they ignite the gas — from a safe distance — and clean up the money that flies all over the place after the ATM explodes.

Sounds crazy, but apparently there has been an increase in this type of attack recently. The banks’ countermeasure is to install air vents so that gas can’t build up inside the ATMs.

So just don’t use the darn things, don’t blow them up!!!!

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Loose Money Continues for the Holiday Season in Canada

The Bank of Canada yesterday announced that it is keeping its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent, as well, which should mean that the Big Banks should not be changing their rates (but then again, they are free to do as they please).

$50 notes/Coupures de 50 $

Big Pile of Loose Canadian Money

This means that loose money rates at the Banks should continue on for a while. The Bank’s commentaries were telling as usual:

Inflation has evolved broadly in line with the outlook in the October MPR. Both total and core inflation are expected to increase and return to 2 per cent over the course of the next 12 months as the economy gradually absorbs the current small degree of slack, the growth of labour compensation remains moderate and inflation expectations stay well-anchored.

That is a sensible opinion, from my point of view. They do go on to say however:

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. Over time, some modest withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus will likely be required, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target. The timing and degree of any such withdrawal will be weighed carefully against global and domestic developments, including the evolution of imbalances in the household sector.

In other words, we will be raising rates, some time, but we are not really sure when, but we will be watching closely to see if any kind of economic recovery heats the economy up.

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Don’t Pan for Gold in your Cat’s Litter Box

No matter how hard you shake or sift it, you know what you will have, and it isn’t Gold (unless your cat swallowed your Gold Ring or a Krugerrand).

I read that on Postsecret this week and thought it would be a fantastic title. I believe that is an excellent commentary on building up Debt for a better lifestyle, and speaking of interest rates:

Bank of Canada Rates Stay the Same in October 2012

Yes the Bank of Canada decided loose money in Canada is still a really good thing, so they continue on with their existing over night rate of 1.0%, for now. There really wasn’t a big reason to raise rates, since inflation looks under control, however, debt loads are not dropping much either, so there may be a pre-emptive strike by the Central Bank coming in the near future, if you are to believe some of their rhetoric lately.

Core inflation has been lower than expected in recent months, reflecting somewhat softer prices across a wide range of goods and services. Core inflation is expected to increase gradually over coming quarters, reaching 2 per cent by the middle of 2013 as the economy gradually absorbs the current small degree of slack, the growth of labour compensation remains moderate and inflation expectations stay well-anchored. Total CPI inflation has fallen noticeably below the 2 per cent target, as expected, and is projected to return to target by the end of 2013, somewhat later than previously anticipated.

$100 notes/Coupures de 100 $

Get Yer Loose Money, While it Lasts!!! Brown Notes Abound!

Lower than expected? Given the rest of the world’s economies are in the crapper, where would the inflation be coming from? If anything Canada could have a Deflationary period if the strength of the Canadian dollar is finally reflected in consumer goods (why is the Retail Price of all things still more expensive in Canada?).

As a parting threat the Bank of  Canada did say:

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. Over time, some modest withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus will likely be required, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target. The timing and degree of any such withdrawal will be weighed carefully against global and domestic developments, including the evolution of imbalances in the household sector.

So be warned, scary monetary policies may be coming soon! The Zombie Bank Rate Apocalypse might be around the corner! Think of the children!!!

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The Bank of Canada decided to keep their key overnight rate 1%, blah, blah, blah… you know the drill.

Things really don’t seem to be changing much this past little while do they?

Why are the rates staying the same? Here are some very good quotes from yesterday’s publication from the Bank of Canada:

“… The economic expansion in the United States continues at a gradual pace. Europe is in recession and its crisis, while contained, remains acute. In China and other major emerging economies, growth is decelerating somewhat more quickly than expected…”

OK, so the major markets of the world are not in very good shape, thus the danger of a massive spending spree (other than in China, where spending is slowing down), is not high.


“…In Canada, while global headwinds continue to restrain economic activity, underlying momentum remains at a pace roughly in line with the economy’s production potential. Economic growth is expected to pick up through 2013, with consumption and business investment continuing to be its principal drivers, reflecting very stimulative financial conditions. Business investment remains solid. There are tentative signs of slowing in household spending, although the household debt burden continues to rise….”

Global headwinds? I really love that turn of phrase, but more interestingly is the increase in household debt burden is now being spoken about by the central bank? Must be pretty bad, I guess?

Does this mean rates are going to stay down for now? I think so, but if there is an actual economic up turn in North America, all bets may be off.

Bank Rate (overnight) Since 2002, Pretty Low eh? And the Beat Goes On….

The graph stops at May, however, it is still the same as it was then, so you get the gist of things.

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Haven’t You Changed Banks Yet?

Have you at least threatened your current bank that you might leave if they don’t give you a better deal? Remember I have always said Don’t be Afraid to Make a Change, especially when it comes to your bank.

I must admit that I have not changed banks for a good long time (and given how much I have bitched about TD, you would almost think they might have asked me to go somewhere else), but I also have done my part to get better deals or to complain to get better service.

Right now, you have to work harder to get better deals from your bank, in the area of interest rates, because they are being a little more tight-fisted with credit, but if you don’t ask for a better deal I can give you a 100% guarantee that you will not get a better deal (OK, 99.9% maybe there is a bank that actually treats their current customers better but it isn’t very likely).

I also stand by the statement that if you are going to bargain with your current bank, you had better be willing to vote with your feet and move on, or your bank may not take much notice of you.

Here is an even easier scenario:

  1. Find a new bank that is willing to give you a better deal on your: Mortgage, Debt, Investments, or Services (hopefully more than one of those)
  2. Get them to put it all in writing for you (say you want it for your records).
  3. Go to your old bank with the document and say, “I want this, can you give it to me?”

You shouldn’t do this very often, but if you are fed up with your current bank, it is a good tactic, and if they refuse, simply walk back to the bank that offered you a better deal and say, “Make it So!”.

Michael James also pointed out that most of the time when you do a change to a different bank or financial institution most of the time the new bank will be willing to do most of the work for you (i.e. do the transfer leg work), all you need to do is remember which bills come out of which account auto-magically and you are laughing.

Sometimes a change is what you need, keep that in mind.

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