Saturday Humor: "High-Yield Savings"

Tyler Durden's picture

Frequent Zero Hedge contributor Mike Krieger sent this in: "Just got this in the mail. No, it's not meant to be a joke." Which is why it is unclear if one should laugh or cry at this fantastic offer for a "High-Yield" savings account...

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VD's picture

that really has been the joke for over 2 years! Barclays has same offer for 0.90%...

Millivanilli's picture

Over 4 trillion dollars in interest. has been lost after greenspit and his sucessor shalom bernank opted to suck the savings of America.


Bankers are ticks and we are bloodbags.

aint no fortunate son's picture

0.85%???? Looks terribly risky - I plan to stay with my local community bank where I'm getting a robust but very safe 0.49%, plus they serve fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the lobby - FREE!

CrazyCooter's picture

My safe deposit box pays 0%, isn't an unsecured personal loan to the bank, and doesn't have bail-in risks. Oh, and SAR's ... I don't have those filled out by bank employees when I want my money.

.85% sure is a shitty rate to risk all that ...



Iocosus's picture

Reread your safe deposit contract. It's safer in your mattress.

CrazyCooter's picture

Care to cite your specific concern?

Further, it is not possible for you to properly assess the risks associated with my matress.



Iocosus's picture

There are no guarantees your possessions are safe from fire or government confiscation, the latter the more probable of the two.

Further, it is not possible for you to properly assess the risks associated with my matress.

I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.



CrazyCooter's picture

I did my homework on this a while back. My consensus was that unless the rules change, the property in the box is mine and I am leasing the space. In the evevnt of a bank failure, I would have to go through a process with a government agency (e.g. the Treasury) to get the contents of the box. If the bank wanted to access my box, they would need a search warrant to drill it.


Most of this text does not appear in the actual Executive Order.[23] In fact, safe deposit boxes held by individuals were not forcibly searched or seized under the order and the few prosecutions that occurred in the 1930s for gold "hoarding" were executed under different statutes. One of the few such cases occurred in 1936, when a safe deposit box containing over 10,000 troy ounces (310 kg) of gold belonging to Zelik Josefowitz, who was not a U.S. citizen, was seized with a search warrant as part of a tax evasion prosecution.[24]

The U.S. Treasury came into possession of a large number of safe deposit boxes due to bank failures. During the 1930s, over 3,000 banks failed and the contents of their safe deposit boxes were remanded to the custody of the Treasury. If no one claimed the box, it remained in the possession of the Treasury. As of October 1981, there were 1,605 cardboard cartons in the basement of the Treasury, each carton containing the contents of one unclaimed safe deposit box.[25]

The lessor (i.e. the bank) is never responsible for the contents of the box, no more than a landlord is responsible for a tenants property in a rented apartment.

I did not rent a safe deposit box to protect myself from the government (or a bank fire). When the rules change, we all have to deal with that.

So, as I see it, my risks are the government throws out the rule of law and I become a bitch serf, at which point the contents of the safe deposit box are the least of my worries.




SWCroaker's picture

My understanding was the rules governing sd boxes were contractual, between you and your bank.  So each bank may be different.  Yours may be fine, mine may be a pos; there doesn't seem to be any overiding regulatory set of rules/protection regarding sd boxes.

CrazyCooter's picture

When I rented my mail safe deposit box, I did a lot of homework. I used BankRegData to determine the condition of the bank and went through the contract to ensure I wasn't signing away a first born child.

When I found a bank I liked, I printed all the reports to PDF (a feature of Foxit Reader - I don't use Adboe products anymore except the built in flash player that ships with Chrome). This conversation reminds me I need to check their numbers again to see if anything materially changed.

I am surprised to see so much hate for safe deposit boxes on this thread. It is unfortunate, because when used properly they are an excellent tool.



The Wisp's picture

one draw back is, when you die, any safe deposit box has to be audited in front of witnesses, with bank personnel involved etc. i am sure some things were not meant to be  ( found ) when it comes to paperwork and handing things over to your  kids or whoever.

also some past articles on  ZH said some contracts specifically stated no money or precious metals should be stored in them.

stormsailor's picture

with the history of the last 5 years fresh in your mind you think that a bank or the government will honor any contract that it suits them not to?   learning contract law and the u s constitution is an exercise in folly.

Papasmurf's picture

Theft from safe deposit boxes is more frequent than you might imagine.  Do a google search for "safe deposit theft".  Your posessions are not insured in the box, so if they're gone, they're gone.  If they're gone, you won't be able to prove what was in them because bank employee is not supposed to be there while you go through your bos.  Additionally, as others have mentioned, in the event of your death, your safe deposit box will be secured until it can be audited for the government.  In the event of a bank closure, and more are likely,  you won't be able to access your box.  There have also been screw-ups where banks thought they were not receiving lease payments, thought they sent notice,  and emptied the box and turned it over to the state as abandoned property.  You need to do more research on this. 

cynicalskeptic's picture

States are taking possession of contents from boxes deemed to be 'abandoned' on a regular basis - even when the box is current on payments and identification of the holder current and clear.


As far as DHS.....

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

holy shit.
I'm learning way WAY more from the comments tonight than the article.

tvdog's picture

At one time, I rented a safe deposit box at Wells Fargo. Every time I entered the box, they watched me like a hawk to see what I would put in it - there was no privacy whatever. I finally realized that they were planning to take anything I deposited, so I just closed the box. Nasty bank, nasty people.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

when properly used there is nothing in there worth stealing like gold, silver, ammo, etc.
That's PROPER USE of the deposit box by law.

To state this is to state the law, not a word of hate.

e2thex's picture

"...climbed up the water spout."

logicalman's picture

The big flaw in the 'contractual' is how 'highly' the banking system respects contracts.

It TSHTF you'll likely have to go to the bank with a backhoe, and fast, to get your hands on what's in 'your' box.

giggler321's picture

"My understanding was the rules governing sd boxes were contractual..."

Sure, everything's fine until the bank becomes insolvent openly and defaults, calls in liqidators.  So your contract is with a dead company, so what's the rules now?


Iocosus's picture

So, as I see it, my risks are the government throws out the rule of law and I become a bitch serf, at which point the contents of the safe deposit box are the least of my worries.

Your statement speaks of the future possibility, but we are presently deluded serfs.

PennilessPauper's picture

Re-read the "Patriot act" The Federal government can and have seized peoples safety deposit boxes with no warrent.

robertocarlos's picture

There are no bedbugs in his safe deposit box.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Lanternfish? I find that's a common problem.

LawsofPhysics's picture

I keep my own box in a secure location, I'd love to see any fucker try and "drill" it.

My god man, when fraud is the stutus quo, possession is the law.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Spend a couple thousand on a quality safe from Liberty safe co, and buy an alarm. sell an ounce and a half of gold, and you can get a great one. The safe will weigh close to 1000 pounds, and be bolted to the floor, and is fire proof for an hour. The alarm, which can be purchased with a battery backup, will make enough noise to drive anyone out, knowing the cops ae on their way, and those are the best safes most people can afford to buy, so it wont be pried open or broken into easily. There is your 'safe deposit box'

ThirdWorldDude's picture

I could've done that if I hadn't lost mine in a terrible boating accident...

jonjon831983's picture

"Not-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes: States Seize Citizens' Property to Balance Their Budgets"

May 12, 2008


""They figured the safety-deposit box was safer than keeping it under the mattress," Palmer said. "In the case of a lot of citizens, they were wrong, weren't they?""


"California law used to say property was unclaimed if the rightful owner had had no contact with the business for 15 years. But during various state budget crises, the waiting period was reduced to seven years, and then five, and then three. Legislators even tried for one year. Why? Because the state wanted to use that free money."



Seizing More Than Safe-Deposit Boxes


It's not just safe-deposit boxes. A British man went to retire and discovered the $4 million in U.S. stock he had been counting on had been seized and sold for $200,000 years earlier -- even though he was in touch with the company about other matters.


A Sacramento family lost out on railroad land rights their ancestors had owned for generations -- also sold off as unclaimed property.


"If I had hung onto it, I would be a millionaire, multimillionaire," said John Whitley. "But that didn't happen because we didn't get to hold it.""


"California's unclaimed property program was so out of control that, last year, the courts issued injunctions barring the state from seizing any more property until it made reforms. Since then, Chiang has taken several steps to try to clean up the program.


For example, the state now sends notices alerting citizens about unclaimed property before it is handed over to the state -- the only state to do so. Once unclaimed property is delivered to the state, it is now held for several months while the state tries to contact the owners, rather than it being immediately sold off or destroyed.


Which raises the question, in the Internet era, is anybody really lost anymore? California and other states are just beginning to make use of modern databases that can find most anyone in minutes. Unfortunately, California only uses those databases to search after it has already seized a citizen's property.


If California does get better at locating people, that could present another challenge. Remember, right now, the state spends the money."


"California is not the only state to come under fire for its handling of unclaimed property. In Delaware, unclaimed property is the third largest source of state revenue. Idaho recently passed an unprecedented law that says the state gets to keep unclaimed property permanently if the rightful owners don't claim it within 10 short years. And all 50 states pay private contractors 10 to 12 percent commissions to locate and seize accounts for them. It's an inherent conflict of interest: the more rightful owners are found, the less money the contractors make.

Of course, there are some states who handle their people's property with respect. Oregon never takes title to unclaimed property. Instead, it holds it in a perpetual trust fund.


Colorado uses the interest on its unclaimed property fund to pay for some state programs, but leaves the principal untouched.


Missouri, Iowa and Kansas make extra efforts to reunite people with their property –even setting up booths at state fairs to get the word out. The State of Maryland actively compares the names on unclaimed accounts with state income tax records. If it finds a match, the state simply cuts a check and sends it to the citizen."

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

the audacity & widespread activity shocks me.
The concept doesn't but then again I know we're on the cusp of watching the entire empire collapse.
When outright theft in the dark doesn't work anymore the outright theft will be at gun-point.

Mentaliusanything's picture

It cost $800 to get a floor safe made. Stainless Steel with sprag fins, concrete encased with 70 mpa concrete mixed with SS metal offcuts.It is triple walled, fire proof, flood proof and three levels of security to get into. It was built by a Chubb ex employee. Now Ive only got to remember where I encased it, what the code is and where the triple keys are hidden :)

RiverRoad's picture

If a bank is never responsible for the safety of your rented box, how is it that they are allowed to advertise these boxes as "safe deposit" boxes?  A misnomer then if there ever was one.  Apparently truth in advertising doesn't apply to banks.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

"Apparently truth in advertising doesn't apply to banks."

well SHEEEiiit. Better put that on the 6 o'clock news.

Never saw that comin'.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Then you didn't really do your homework at all.
The rules have changed.
It's called the Patriot Act. It's Law and that means your possessions aren't yours under decree of anyone PERMITTED under the Patriot Act to enforce it.

The rule of law was thrown out shortly after 2001 Sep 11th in the USA.

Any perception you have otherwise is simply a personal illusion.

Long-John-Silver's picture

Care to cite your specific concern?

When FDR demanded everyone turn in their Gold the only Gold they confiscated was located in Bank Safety Deposit Boxes.

zonkie's picture

No money is safe anywhere in any form. Period. The only money you can really be sure of not being lost is the money spent. So use it while you still have it and enjoy.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

what? I've assessed every risk of every mattress I've ever used.
Happens to be the one for gold isn't very water proof which is a shame considering how deep down it is.

Sudden Debt's picture

you're right. I used to store my silver and gold at a bank when I read the contract that said it's at risk of confiscation if the content goes against bank policies. No further details where in it but what when they decide that it's against their policy people should own gold and silver?
All they need to do is use a metals detector set to gold and silver and they know what's inside after 2 minutes.

CrazyCooter's picture

The article is about unsecured personal loans to the bank (i.e. cash deposits) and interest rates there on.



Papasmurf's picture

I don't believe you can detect gold and silver behind a steel box.  Explain the technology.

ThirdWorldDude's picture

They don't even need metal detectors Papasmurf. If a bank is suspicious of the contents in a SD-box, their usual technology is opening it with a master key. Afterwards you'll be told that the bank has lost your deposits in the safe (or if you happen to live in the bastion of freedom USSA, gov. dog's snatched your dough).

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

resonance with the atoms.
Each atom has a specific harmonic resonance.
It's not a "metal detector" per se though to be honest that which isn't metal doesn't work so well.
It will precisely detect which metals are present on each setting.
Copper, brass, steel, silver, gold, you name it - if the machine has a configuration for it.

Think of it like how your microwave oven is tuned to heat water molecules in your food, and various chemical compounds, but many are skipped, e.g., ceramic.

You know, that tuning can be changed but then it would be incredibly dangerous as the shielding on the door is set just for the ONE setting it's configured for.

Michigander's picture

The link:

The executive summary.


A Steve Quayle subscriber reported the two dozen gold Krugerrands he kept stored in his safety deposit box have been taken, in a bold swipe.  The Fifth Third Bank is located in Cincinnati, the site of the sanctioned theft.  After the confiscation, the bank manager sheepishly informed the man that a CIA agent was the culprit who cleaned out his supply of gold coins, but all the stored US dollar bills were left untouched in the safety box.  Recall broad warnings concerning the rules delineated within the Patriot Act, which forbids usage of bank safety boxes to hold coins, jewelry, or any metal items of wealth. Only documents, contracts, papers, photographs, and other non-metallic objects like a treasured scarf are permitted. They have finally struck, thefts sponsored by the US Government and its security agency overseers.  Expect the location of thefts to grow much wider, with more prevalent reports.

optimator's picture

He may not get to visit Germany, but I'm sure his gold will!

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

time to get Simon Black on the case, stat!

VD's picture

we all do realize that (private) banks are free to set whatever rates they want so when even a community bank bullshits you that that's the market interest rate it's exactly that: mendacity on 'community' level.

XitSam's picture

Has anyone been in a Well Fargo branch lately? They have Walmart style obnoxiously perky door greeters, free water and coffee. But the service is becomming less and less helpful.  

Beatscape's picture

My daughter was getting charged fees by WF just to transfer $$ between her WF savings and checking accounts and other obnouxious fees.  I implored her to close her accounts with WF and put her money in a local credit union, which she finally did aftger losing hundreds in less than a year in ridiculous fees to WF.  She is happier and wiser now.


NoDebt's picture

Don't get me started on Wells Fargo.

The obnoxious door greeters are like the mugger smiling and wishing you a nice day after he's stuck you up.

tvdog's picture

Back when I was dealing with them, Wells Fargo employees were all rude and nasty - muggers without the smile.