Zombie pandemic would cause a financial meltdown

By Staff | June 26, 2013 | Last updated on June 26, 2013
2 min read

Audiences are flocking to theatres to enjoy the fictitious effects of World War Z. But if a zombie pandemic happened in real life, how would it affect the banking industry?

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“With its close ties to the economy, the banking industry would be one of the areas most heavily affected,” says Elyssa Kirkham, contributor to GoBankingRates.com. “Problems within the banking industry would also have the potential to cause the most disruption to [everyone’s daily] routines and quality of life.”

And a lack of foresight could affect the banking industry’s ability to react, says the IMF.

“Preparations by large complex financial institutions, key retail banks and the authorities themselves will need to be robust,” the IMF warns.

Read: How did Gatsby get so rich?

Here are some of the morbid details:

  • Banks would be understaffed as many employees will be quarantined — either due to self-imposed or mandated reasons — making it difficult to access money or obtain financial services;
  • Debit and credit cards would lose value as understaffing at banks could prevent the secure processing of payments;
  • There would be a high demand for cash since it’d be the only form of secure, easily transferable payment for necessary goods and services such as water, food and shelter; and
  • Spending would be limited to necessities since the demand for hard currency and a lack of bank access would affect personal finances.

In terms of overall economic impact, a report from Trust for America’s Health found a flu pandemic has the potential to cause a U.S. GDP loss of over 5.5% ($765 billion, adjusted for inflation).

Read: Another crisis coming: LSE professor

While real life zombie attack seems like a story fit only for the movies, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. To survive, keep emergency cash on-hand and store food ahead of time. And, of course, steer clear of zombies.

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.