Welcome to the International Bank of Raymond

Over a decade ago, one of my colleagues (whom I'll call "Ralph" for the purpose of this discussion) told me that he briefly ran an international bank.

Well, not really.

Ralph's first roommate was another Microsoft employee, somewhat of the stereotypical computer nerd in the sense that he could write code like a maniac but didn't have a good grasp on mundane life skills like, say, cashing paychecks (this was the days before direct deposit), paying bills, or opening glass doors before walking through. Ralph helped out his roommate by managing his finances for him, depositing his roommate's paychecks, paying his bills, loaning him cash (which he didn't have since he forgot to cash his paychecks). Opening doors, on the other hand, was still his own problem.

In exchange for this high level of personal finance management, Ralph charged a "generous" service fee, calling himself The International Bank of Ralph or IBOR. (Pronounced eye-bore.)

This is all a rather lengthy lead-in to the story of the International Bank of Raymond, which rather confusingly also goes by the name IBOR. But the International Bank of Raymond is a much more customer-oriented bank than the International Bank of Ralph. For example, a friend of mine wanted to buy a Suburban, and after negotiating with his wife, they arrived at the following agreement: He could get a Suburban, but only if it were yellow and cost no more than $5000. His wife figured these restrictions would delay the acquisition of the Suburban for a long time, possibly indefinitely. What she didn't count on, however, was that within a week, my friend would see a yellow Suburban with a For Sale sign in the parking lot of a local grocery store, with an asking price of... $5000! The owner asked to be paid in cash, and my friend didn't have that much money readily available, so he turned to the International Bank of Raymond. He borrowed $5000 from me to buy the Suburban (mind you, I don't keep that much cash on hand either, but I did have it readily available in a bank account), and then a week later, he repaid the loan.

Turnabout is fair play. My friend's wife wanted to take him on a surprise trip. Had she bought the airplane tickets herself, she would have risked her husband noticing it on her bank statement. To avoid this problem, she established a line of credit at the International Bank of Raymond: I bought the tickets for her, and she repaid me after they returned from their vacation.

How does one establish an account at the International Bank of Raymond? Well, first, you have to be a good personal friend of Raymond for several years...

Comments (24)
  1. Anonymous says:

    I guess reading your blog does not help to be elidgible for the IBoR. Athough by buying your book I have helped to establish the grounds for the line of credit :P:P:P

  2. Anonymous says:

    So the International Bank of Raymond is less. . . interesting?

  3. Anonymous says:

    On your commercials, are you required by law to point out that you are not FDIC-insured?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, what exactly did you teller?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds good, how do I start the application process?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering where the "International" part comes from.  No mention of currency trading or such.  Also, doesn’t sound like you take deposits.  But basically, you sound more like a payday lender, or a loan shark.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Raymond has good personal friends who currently live overseas? I don’t see how he would be a loan shark though, he didn’t mention charging them a punishing rate of interest.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hehe, seems we’re in the same business, Raymond :-) Just a few days ago a good friend called to ask me if I could keep a pretty sum on hand (about half a monthly salary) in case he needed it, and he knew the answer would be positive even before he asked :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    "…called to ask me if I could keep a pretty sum on hand (about half a monthly salary) in case he needed it"

    Half a month’s salary is "a pretty sum"?  I keep almost a month’s pay immediately available as a comfortable minimum monthly bank account balance, and even more in a savings account labelled "emergency fund" for if I need it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think he meant "a pretty sum" in the context of a loan.  I also keep about a month’s pay immediately accessible, but if somebody came to me and said "hey, can you set aside half a month’s pay for a loan to me?" I would view that as a sizable chunk of money to set aside for a loan.  $20 is one thing, $1000+ is something else.

  11. Dean Harding says:

    "How does one establish an account at the International Bank of Raymond? Well, first, you have to be a good personal friend of Raymond for several years…"

    Sounds easier than getting a loan from most banks these days, it would seem…

  12. Anonymous says:

    If you want your friends to stay friends, don’t do any business or money transactions with them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Any chance Ralph’s roommate to have been Raymond? :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    "he didn’t mention charging them a punishing rate of interest."

    They never do.  

    Thats only what you find out just before the knee-cappers arrive

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hmm.. Interesting…

    Is the bank completely computerized?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Any chance Ralph’s roommate to have been Raymond? :)

    I do remember him forgetting to cash 3 or 4 paychecks. Sort of made me jealous, since I can’t forget that much income and not feel it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Much better to run Dave’s Really Cheap Cars, we can make a yellow Suburban appear in your local parking lot with a $5K price tag just before your wife turns up there.  We charge a small commission on sales (equal to the difference between the cost of a Suburban + 10% and $5K), payable in cash at the time of delivery.

  18. Anonymous says:

    its an international bank, because he can have customers from other countries, let me show you:

    -Hi, can i haz 5000 dollarz ?

    Joke Joke :)


  19. Anonymous says:

    Raymond!  Baby!  How ya been!  It’s been too long!

  20. Anonymous says:

    dave: I read somewhere that everyone is supposed to keep 6 months’ salary on hand in a savings account or emergency fund in case of job loss, disability, etc.

    It’s not as easy as it sounds for everyone to actually do this.  People starting out in the workforce after college often have other priorities (spouses, children, a car, a house) and after that, it takes an extreme amount of discipline and a VERY long time to get this much money saved up.

    It would be nice, though…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Chevrolet Suburban….

    8.0 Litres engine displacement, and you americans are wondering why fuel gets precious…


  22. Keith Farmer says:


    trade in one of the spouses for a chance to pay off the college loan that’s probably been acquired :)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Who’s Raymond?

    Hehe, just kidding. :)

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think IBOR has some real estate investments as well, as I recall…

Comments are closed.