Many interest rates in the U.S. are close to zero and even negative in some parts of the world, like Japan.
Not unexpectedly, U.S. savings rates are also quite low as individuals ask themselves: “Why save a lot of money at a bank if I get no return?”
This situation has many commentators wringing their hands because low savings rates are a problem for many reasons.
Individuals who don’t save face spending their golden years of retirement in poverty, instead of plenty. In addition, people with no savings face financial problems and potential ruin when unexpected large expenses occur and cannot help out their children with large bills like college or a down payment on a first home.
In the absence of a rapid increase in interest rates, which appears unlikely, is there anything we can do to change this problem and get people to save more?
As odd as it may sound, gambling could be part of the answer. Continue reading