UnNews:Too long, says Paul McCartney
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6 October 2006
Superstar Paul McCartney gave up trying to take all his money out of a cash machine on Thursday when a manager from HSBC Bank told him that it would take him about six years. A bank spokesperson explained that high prestige clients like Sir Paul are not subject to a daily limit on hole-in-the-wall cash machines. The ex-Beatle tried to take all his money out when lawyers told him that his new wife, who is now divorcing him, might be entitled to most of his savings under draconian British divorce laws. Sir Paul had been standing by the machine for about eight hours while lackeys piled his money into a waiting car. The bank had had to refill the machine sixteen times while Sir Paul's transaction proceeded. But a quick-thinking bank official calculated that to take out £857,000,000 in £10 notes at the rate the automatic teller machines operate would at take 6 years and 2 months, operating continuously day and night. When Sir Paul was told this, he was reported as saying "I only want the best for my daughter. And she deserves better than this. Everything - it's all taking too long." He then pressed the Cancel button on the machine and went home.
The UnNews science correspondent writes: Bank teller machines in the UK take about two seconds to dispense each note on average. The HSBC manager calculated that if the machine operates continuously at this rate then this equates to £300 per minute, which is £18,000 per hour, or £430,000 per day, or £158,000,000 per year. By this reckoning the total amount of time needed to remove £857,000,000 would actually only be around 5 years and 5 months. However, the manager was, as the article states, quick-thinking, and he realised that the machine would likely be out of order for about 12% of the time. This gave him his figure of 6 years and 2 months, which is probably realistic.