Friday, March 12, 2010

Sports-linked investment products

I've been looking around for term deposit rates after realizing that Spanish mutual funds were a recipe for US tax code disaster.

I encountered a very peculiar kind of deposit... the sports-linked term deposit. For example, Banesto offers a 1 year deposit that pays 3%. Unless Spain wins the World Cup, in which case you get 4%.

Asking around the office, it seemed like everyone had some kind of sports-linked bank account... one guy was getting a bonus every time his favorite player scored, another got better interest if Sevilla got a certain number of points... the possibilities seemed limitless.


This blog makes a funny point that by refusing to take out insurance against Spain winning, the Banesto is actually betting that Spain will lose. Current odds put Spain at 20% chance, so if Banesto doesn't buy insurance, it is betting that the actual chance is lower. Of course, Banesto spins it that they are being loyal by not betting against Spain. This isn't really true, since in order to hedge its bets, Banesto would need to bet for Spain, not against it.

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