Sunday, August 7, 2011

Banks could build brands in recession by truly caring

The economy is in chaos; people speak about a second recession; my savings are shrinking and we are all starting to worry again. Damn!
It´s a wake up call for the deaf... We have been over consuming for a long time now, and refused to act mature and responsible. Instead, we´ve been spending, spending, spending like mad.
Just look at this:  
- Household debt in Australia grew twice as fast as the value of household assets over the last 18 years. The ratio of household debt to assets has doubled from 9% to 19%. (ABS)
- Only 33 % of 31-36 year old Australians have started to prepare for retirement. In the US, 68 % of 31-36 year olds say they have already started preparing.
How do we get out of it all...? Is there a cure for stupidity? Can people who have learned to live on their credit card ever get used to restrictions again? In a world where the "buy me" messages are hypnotising us into poverty, it´s a cultural issue that need to be solved on a level above the individual. We might stress and press people into sticking to a budget, but I think we need to realise they are drug addicts - addicted to shopping - and as in every case of addiction the brain is not in charge of their decisions. I guess the government, charity organisation like the UN could take responsibility for creating a healthy culture. I also believe banks and insurance companies can be useful in guiding people into a new life style.
Today, banks love to arrange little courses where we can learn more about money, but the problem is not lack of information. The economic situation the world is in right now is caused by a virus that needs to be healed not by one on their own, but on a broader scale.
It´s an opportunity for banks to do something real, something different, and really change the way things work. Save the world :)

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