Magazine article American Banker

'A Woman Comes into the Bank, and She Asks ...'

Magazine article American Banker

'A Woman Comes into the Bank, and She Asks ...'

Article excerpt

In the classes I teach and the speeches I give, I often use humor to make a point. (I also just like to get a laugh). Years later people tell me, "I don't remember anything you talked about, but I remember your jokes."

Here is one.

A woman comes into the bank, and she asks, "What do you charge for a loan?"

"Five percent," the banker says.

"That's ridiculous," the woman says. "The bank across the street only wants 4%."

"Then why didn't you go there?"

"They were out of money."

"Oh, when we are out of money we only charge 2%."

This next one illustrates the difference between buying stock, for which you pay only a one-time commission, and a mutual fund or some other managed investment, a gift that keeps giving -- to the manager.

A man's father dies in the old country. The man wires his brother there that he will pay all the funeral expenses.

The bill is $10,000; it is paid immediately.

But the next month another bill comes in, for $15. Ditto the month after that.

When the third $15 invoice arrives, the man calls his brother. "What is going on?" he asks.

"We buried Dad in a rented suit."

The next story is true.

There used to be terrific demand for safe-deposit boxes at a branch of Manufacturers Hanover (now part of Chase) a block from the beach at Coney Island, the old Brooklyn resort area. For several dollars a year you could rent a box, take it to a private room, and change for the beach.

But the sandy mess people made changing back at the end of the day was a nightmare for the bank.

The branch used to close at 4 p.m. sharp. One day a particularly sloppy lady, one of the worst offenders, showed up at 4:01.

"I want my clothes," she screamed through the locked doors. "I can't go home on the subway in my bathing suit."

The manager let her in -- but made her close her account and give up the box. …

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