CHOICE membership

Money for nothing – the business of delay in banking



@postulative . Thank you for such a wonderful posting, covering all the sorts of things which I feel about the issues involved too. Very well done. I am sorry that I am unable to provide any informed commentary; but very strongly support all that you have written here.


Thank you for your kind words, @ray15.

I should point out that @TheBBG and @draughtrider have each contributed more to this thread than I. Both clearly did their research before opening their mouths - something I do only when it cannot possibly be avoided - and so their educated contributions are more worthy of your generosity of spirit. Having admitted to this, I will of course happily accept any accolades that you care to direct my way :grin:.

@TheBBG and @draughtrider, please feel free to approach me if you would like to share in some reflected glory :wink:. Wait - not too close!


Now I have found something else that may be relevant to your scam reference. Following down the rabbit-hole from Richard Pryor’s performance in Superman III, I learned that apparently there is something called ‘salami slicing’. It has been around for as long as coins have been minted, but the link provides some modern-day, US-centric examples.


As well you should. (Plus a few characters =20+)


Ha!! I first started programming in FORTRAN in 1965 at UNSW. Did a bit of COBOL and BASIC too. Blasted shame I was too busy with other non-programming projects in the late nineties. Nobody offered me a summer mansion - unfortunately!!!


Hi @postulative

You may be right, in that I am concatenating fact and fiction :confused: , though I don’t remember the story of Superman III.

I had vague memories of it happening in Australia, but can not find a reference after my quick search. I did find a similar reference from America of people skimming off small amounts:


US residents also have problems with their phone bills. Apparently all sorts of ‘third-party’ charges can be put onto the US phone bill (if the customer accepts that charge, in most cases). Unfortunately I cannot quickly find any specific references, but the following scams would work in Australia (the last on this list is an Australian story):

We all probably know about the second one, but the first is terrifying - while the third is simply shoddy work by telcos.

I often respond to people who ask for permission to record a call, or state that the call is being recorded, by similarly asking for my own permission. You would be amazed by the number of legitimate company representatives who sputter and get totally confused by that request, or by a request that a copy of any recording be sent to me. (I have never received such a recording, despite the rep’s agreement.)

Going back to your earlier comment, @meltam, you are absolutely correct in that banks are running the same kind of ‘low value/high volume’ scam with our money. Any time a large business has control of your money for a day or more, you can bet that they are using it to make more money. Individually it may be insignificant, and so complaints about this behaviour are generally dismissed as petty; but when you are dealing with millions or billions of dollars, you are earning significant money that morally if not legally belongs to your customers.

It may seem petty for customers to complain about half a cent here and there - but while the money is important to your customers it is not the main point. The point is that you are acting immorally, and in doing so you are both taking money from people who in some cases are already your most disadvantaged customers, and setting expectations for behaviour in your company. While many recent ‘slippery slopes’ arguments have been totally lacking in logic or evidence, there is plenty of evidence that serious criminal behaviour often starts with just some petty ‘bending’ of ‘rules’. And plenty of evidence that ethical behaviour comes from leaders - we do what they do, not what they say.

I am sorry to hear that you missed out on some of those mansion opportunities, @harps - presumably you heard about the demand, though?


I would be very surprised if any bank (or any commercial business) was using Fortran back in the day. Say what you will about Cobol, programmers used to, but it was a breeze to format output in Cobol, a nightmare in Fortran. As programming languages, they targeted different users. It would have been fun to try matrix operations in Cobol.


Yes, you can get a same day transfer for around $30-35. All banks can do it but only 2 have actually offered it to me. The greater irony to me is that they charge the same amount for a “telegraphic transfer” which can take up to 3 days to hit the recipient account (if in oz) and requires your physical presence at a branch. “Telegraphic transfer”! They’re not using telegraphs. There are many so called “internet” accounts in which you can deposit up to 7 figures, but to withdraw more than $20k, you have to go to a branch and pay $30-35 for a tt. The absolute worst offender of the majors is ANZ which has the $20k limit and very few branches so you have to waste an hour or more. But it’s a few extra bucks for the bank and it’s legal. Delayed eft’s aren’t as common as they used to be in my experience. But there are certain banks I’d never put a tfr thru on Fri. Anyway, bottom line is, if I were a bank I’d take advantage too.


The banks place your money on the SHORT TERM MONEY MARKET and earn income on your funds!


Would you be a masochist or sadist or both? :smiley: :smiley:


… I’d reckon anyone who’s spent their career in IT (or EDP as we called it) is by definition ‘both’ :slight_smile:


I was going to say that Wizardry was written in Cobol, but I double-checked and it was actually Pascal. Oh well, close enough.


Wow. One thing in history - other than university course assignments - was written in Pascal … heh heh …


About three years of my life have been lost to Wizardry V (Heart of the Maelstrom, in case you had forgotten). Eventually I rang the company hotline in Canada, and they were kind enough to send me a map (which I have since lost, along with the game and box :disappointed:). Sir Tech made some amazing, incredible games! I do at least have Wizardries VI to VIII on Steam, and The Ultimate Wizardry Archives on a CD, containing I through VII along with Wizardry Gold.

I wonder how they’ll go on Windows 10, when I decide it’s time? Of course, getting hold of maps and cheats is a LOT easier now than it was in the days of the first several Wizardries. And if you have ever played Wizardry, you will understand why one might want to cheat - just a little - here and there.


Hiya @postulative

Sorry for the off topic post but hopefully the advice is helpful.

If any won’t/don’t run on Win 10 just set up a virtual machine, with say XP on it, and load your games there. Works a treat for older software. You can also maximise the the screen space to get the best possible view of the game as well. Try for example Oracle’s VM Virtual Box from:


I could not agree more, if you make a mistake with a utility’s payment they slug you with a $15 fee for being late with your payment and it could be down to the 3 day wait for “processing” from the banks. I recently paid the Commonwealth bank $2 short on my credit card bill by pressing the wrong button on my iPhone and they slugged me $180 in interest charges for that month because I had not paid the full amount, I have to wait 5 working days for a refund because they decided a customer of 25 years could be excused for the mistake but make sure you don’t do it again.


Agreed this is something of a scam, but the notion of available funds within two hours will never eventuate unless the RBA change the rules for reserve requirements of the Banks. Essentially the RBA require sufficient reserves held by the banks to undertake the daily clearing arrangements. If Banks hold insufficient reserves the RBA provides the shortfall and charges the Banks a penalty. Naturally the Banks need to avoid this penalty if at all possible and we understand that while electronic transactions are immediate, they also create a difficulty for the Banks to be sure of their respective reserve positions. To ensure clearance they arrange overnight interbanking arrangements between themselves to cover any shortfall in their individual reserve requirements. This jostling around of funds does take time, but anything in excess of 24 hours is a rort. It won’t change unless the RBA gives the Banks 24 hours grace and one would well ask why wouldn’t they, considering the currency is fiat and so the RBA can cover any shortfall with a keystroke. Essentially there is no physical cash movement or shortage of currency as the Government is the sole issuer of the fiat. Unfortunately, the Banks play on this and make hay while the RBA waddles around in the twentieth century where gold or exchange rates were pegged. It’s pure ideology in action and bears no relationship to the monetary capacity of a sovereign currency issuer. The same deal applies with respect to this idiotic pursuit of a balanced federal budget rather then seeking to target full employment which after all is the remit of Government/s but that’s another part of the puzzle. Suggest you google Modern Monetary Theory to understand how the Banks actually operate in this century. Hope that helps.


Thanks for the explanation about RBA and funds clearance.

I completely agree about the LNP Government’s lack of understanding in it’s approach to the budget.

I can not fathom why they juxtapose the national budget with a household budget. There is absolutely no basis for comparison. Only a Federal Government can print money as needed; just as the American Government has been for years. They don’t like anyone else breaching their monopoly on printing money.

When I studied economics at uni, they were reliant on the Latin phrase “Ceteris paribus” which translates to the phrase “all other things being equal” or “other things held constant” or "all else unchanged. In other words, only one variable could be changed at a time. Unfortunately, this is not how it works in the real world.

Therefore, it is folly to listen to economists who think that they can predict and control the economy. The GFC, the minerals boom and bust, and the RBA’s inability to control the level of the A$ are testament to economists’ lack of control. The Federal Government can respond to macro-economic changes, but they can not predict or control them because of the almost unlimited variables involved in a macro-economy.

This is why I agree that it behoves governments to look after their people. Provide full employment. Then money circulates, the economy grows, and the country prospers.


Is this the cue for me to come in and bash economics as a discipline? Thanks for the lead-in :wink:.

I have a bit of an issue with economics being worthy of a :no_bell: award - it wasn’t on the original list, and should never have been added. Certainly not as a ‘science’! (The award is officially The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, implying that economic theory and science have some valid relationship other than the tools and occasionally methods they use.)

Not only does economics rely upon ‘all else being equal’, it also relies on infinity. Basic economics assumes that there is infinite supply and/or infinite demand, while everyone in a market has ‘perfect knowledge’.

With this basis of unreality, we end up with claims that giving more money to rich people will help poor people (supply side economics), and the idea that governments should never interfere in the market (unless my bank is going belly-up with my money).

The Liberal Party, along with the British Conservatives and US Republicans, have sold their souls to this form of reckless vandalism and the opportunity to ignore humanity because… ‘science’ has provided an excuse for greed. The Labor Party and their equivalents elsewhere are far too tied to the same principles for the good of the country, the planet, and people.

Underlying all of these economic theories, turning again to infinity, is that ‘infinite supply’. Anyone with a year 10 certificate can tell you that’s garbage, but it remains the idea upon which the modern economy is built! And so we are destroying our planet’s raw resources at an ever-increasing rate, in the hope that someone will come along with a miracle before the bill comes due :hourglass:!

(And don’t get me started on the damage that prioritising low interest rates inflicts upon the poorest in our society :poop:.)