Thursday, February 18, 2010


I suppose it is cheaper than going to Macau for the weekend...

Burnt by stocks,
betrayed by bonds and mauled by currencies, Japanese households are
being encouraged to take one last financial punt on the only asset
with any credibility left: cherry blossom.

Potential savers at Ikeda Bank are being enticed to bet on the precise
date in March that the cherry trees in Osaka will burst into bloom — a
moment that marks the start of spring.

Depositors who guess correctly — the current thinking is that blossom
day will be sometime between March 23 and 28 — will receive the
princely return of 0.87 per cent on their one-year fixed-term
deposits. For those who do not, a still generous yield of 0.39 per
cent will be given as a consolation prize.

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