Finger up yer bum Banking

Much better today, thank you Doctor (can I put my clothes back on now nurse?) While drifting through the  tedious, brain-stuffed delirium of influenza, I thought about the current kerfuffle that's going on in the media here in Australia - The Banks. Surely it's the same all over the world at the moment.

Here in Oz we have a sort of toothless financial regulatory body called the Reserve Bank, which among other things concerning money I don't know about, sets interest rates for the nation. The Banks look at what they set and follow accordingly and they pretty much stay nicely in line. But this week the Commonwealth Bank, our biggest bank, set interest rates up further than most people felt was reasonable and the sheep bleated loudly. I say sheep because, well. That's what we are! (Not me of course. I'm more of a goat).

So many people and politicians complained loudly about the interest rate rise and how almost immediately the bank announced a record profit for the year. We really are a strange duality of a country. We love our capitalism but don't want to give up our safety blanket of socialism. But the thing is, no one has a gun against anyone's head making them stay at this or any other bank. Hence the sheep reference. If you don't like it. Leave.

And then of course the sheep bleat loudly that they can't possibly do that.  Where would they go? A building Society?  Yep. I made the change years ago and I've never been happier with the decision. Admittedly I didn't have a mortgage but these days that doesn't seem to matter. I went from Westpac, who I felt were charging me more fee's than what it was really necessary considering the piddly amount of money I banked with them, to the Greater Building Society.  For those not in Australia, this little Building Society began here in Newcastle and has slowly been building bigger and bigger. As part of their expansion. They shocked the advertising world last year by getting comedian, Jerry Seinfeld to be their celebrity spokesman.

A lot of folk, surprisingly to me at least, complained about having Seinfeld as the spokesman for this Building Society. `He wasn't Australian. What's wrong with our own celebrity's?' Ahhh, the joys of parochialism are unmatched when bedded with mediocrity.  I thought it was a stroke of genius. Good old fashioned advertising done really, well. It would have been perfect if they'd maybe let Seinfeld write the ads because they certainly weren't funny. But the shock of seeing an international star spruiking your local building society and the free publicity generated by it must have made it worth every cent they paid him.

And it wasn't `finger up your bum' advertising. That's what most ads are on TV.  It's like being rudely goosed while relaxing in front of the telly. A short jab designed to get your attention. It's not pleasurable and you wish it never happened but it's got your attention and it knows that it can make you do almost anything it wants now because you hate it so much and never want to feel it again. Go to a happy place, go to a happy place.

And the point of all this was? If your not happy. Do something about it and stop bothering me.