Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The overdraft and the English bank manager

While in England in the 60’s I was introduced to something we didn’t have in the States, the overdraft.

My bank manager called me in to discuss my account. I was spending a bit more than I deposited into the account every month. He questioned me about my expenses, Mrs. Fitzpatrick and why there were so many checks made out to her (she was the publican), my mortgage, what car I drove, (a Bentley and a Mini) my credit cards, my traveling, what restaurants we ate at and a whole bunch of other expenses.

I guess we were living a little high on the hog, (after all, it was London in the mid 60’s ).

He looked at me, over his glasses and said, very seriously

“ Mr. Birbil you are spending more than you earn.”

I told him, ”Its not that I spend more than I earn. I just do not earn enough.”

I asked to make a phone call to our financial director, who he knew, since the company banked there as well. I had been given a substantial raise that morning, which I did not tell him about. I made the call and requested a raise, the financial director screamed back at me that I had been given one this morning. I hung up and told the bank manager, that next month there would be 20% more in my account.

A very amazed bank manager looked at me and said, ”I love you Americans”.

Remember, there was a time when you could earn more, and not have to spend less.

1 comment:

  1. The 60's may have been the only time you could spend more on booze than you were earning and have the confidence it would work.

    Lehman Bros., Citibank, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must have used the Birbil economic model to guide them, but they didn't have the Birbil brilliance to pull it off. 3 cheers for Greg.