Welcome readers to todays offering from The Philatelist. So slip on your smoking jacket, fill your pipe, take your first sip of your adult beverage, and sit back in your most comfortable chair. We have an interesting if somewhat familiar story to tell.
Todays stamp is Australian. I have been at this for over two months now so perhaps am overdo for a visit to Australia. This stamp bears somewhat of a resemblance to the USA Savings and Loan stamp from a few days ago. That is understandable. The two stamps are really sharing a purpose. They were issued at a time when bank deregulation was in the air. Change is always risky. So in a fairly young country to remind how long the institutions have been around along with symbols of security like a bank vault makes sense. What it also implies is that the people in charge of making the changes to the banking system know what they are doing.
This is where these stamps fail. Stamp issues are with us forever, mostly thanks to those of us in this hobby. People will still be talking about this stamp and the USA Savings and Loan stamp 100 years from now. With history people can better judge the actions the bankers and regulators and decide whether they acted wisely. Or not. Perhaps I am reading to much into it. Maybe will people will look at the stamps as artifacts of the styles of lock, perhaps not even realizing they are from earlier periods than the stamp.
The stamp today is issue A163, a four cent stamp issued by Australia on April 5th 1967. It celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Bank of New South Wales, the first bank in Australia. It was a single stamp issue. According to the Scott catalog, it is worth 25 cents used.
Banking started fairly late in Australia with a mixture of local banks and merchant banks formed in London in order to do business in Australia. The situation seemed to be similar to rural areas of the USA at the same time with a real lack of currency circulating in the early 19th century. Banks formed in Australia along two lines, Savings banks that took deposits from individuals and made mostly home mortgages and merchant banks that did not interact with the public.
In the 1950s and 1960s there was a move away from this with restrictions relaxed on how savings banks operated, They could now operate in the money market and set there own deposit rates. As in the USA, this indirectly lead to a runup in home values that greatly helped homeowners but made it more difficult for the next generations to stay where they are from, have a house and raise a family. I believe it is an untold story how much savings bank deregulation lead to the current situation where so many of our young adult offspring are renting unmarried in our bigger cities. I am certain that none of this was intended by the bankers and regulators of the day. They were just thinking about work arounds for the higher interest rates of that days market.
Well my drink is empty, so I will open up the conversation in the below comment section. Come again tomorrow for another story that can be learned from stamp collecting.