This problem was posed on Math StackExchange some time ago, but it did not garner any solutions there. I think that it is interesting enough to be posed here on Math Overflow, so here it goes.

Let $ \mathcal{A} $ be a unital Banach algebra over $ \mathbb{C} $, with $ \mathbf{1}_{\mathcal{A}} $ denoting the identity of $ \mathcal{A} $. For each $ a \in \mathcal{A} $, define the spectrum of $ a $ to be the following subset of $ \mathbb{C} $:

$$ {\sigma_{\mathcal{A}}}(a) \stackrel{\text{def}}{=} \lbrace \lambda \in \mathbb{C} ~|~ \text{$ a - \lambda \cdot \mathbf{1}_{\mathcal{A}} $ is not invertible} \rbrace. $$

With the aid of the Hahn-Banach Theorem and Liouville's Theorem from complex analysis, one can prove the well-known result that $ {\sigma_{\mathcal{A}}}(a) \neq \varnothing $ for every $ a \in \mathcal{A} $. All proofs that I have seen of this result use the Hahn-Banach Theorem in one way or another (a typical proof may be found in Walter Rudin's *Real and Complex Analysis*). Hence, a natural question to ask would be: Can we remove the dependence of this result on the Hahn-Banach Theorem? Is it a consequence of ZF only? Otherwise, if it is equivalent to some weak variant of the Axiom of Choice (possibly weaker than the Hahn-Banach Theorem itself), has anyone managed to construct a model of ZF containing a Banach algebra that has an element with empty spectrum?