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In Australia, Money Grows on Trees

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In 1989's Batman, Jack Nicholson as the Joker tried luring Gothamites to their deaths with bags of free money. Australia's online bank RaboDirect had a similar approach, but it was all a social experiment that didn't include hot air balloons filled with poison gas. For now.

In an effort to clue Australians in to the $4.7 billion they've lost by not keeping their funds in interest bearing accounts, RaboDirect conducted an experiment to see how aware Aussies are of money-making opportunities. The online bank covered a tree with actual five dollar bills and placed it in a high traffic area.

Come morning light, was there chaos? Children and invalids pushed to the ground? A run on local bars and gun shops?

Surprisingly, no. It was actually quite civil.According to RaboDirect:

Lost Opportunity
In the early stages, almost 100 people passed the tree without noticing that anything was different. Even when a group of joggers noticed, they were too busy to stop. The first groups who eventually stopped to interact couldn’t believe it. They inspected the notes and took pictures, but left empty handed.

Follow the Crowd
Only once one brave participant started taking the money, did momentum gather. Legitimised by the crowd, a wide spectrum of behaviour ensued.

Some took just one or two notes, satisfied by their modest and unexpected gains.

Consumed by the fantasy, a group of braver participants made the most of the opportunity by filling their pockets.

Employing Tools and Working Together
When the low hanging $5 notes were depleted, participants employed tools such as swinging coats and umbrellas, to help them reach higher branches. Teamwork also came into play as spectators formed human pyramids to reach the notes seemingly out of reach.

Perhaps the most comforting observation from the participants was that of altruism. Taller participants shared their earnings with shorter spectators, while one gentleman on identifying the undercover observation team, requested his money be donated to charity.

As heartwarming as it is to hear strangers working together in the face of riches and potential greed, folks hoping to see a cowl-covered Michael Keaton swooping down in a Batplane are left sorely disappointed.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.