Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Many Europeans have been quite smug about the Euro's recent gain against the US Dollar. One such person posted this over at Super Frenchie's site, last week.

After only 5 years in circulation Eurodollar cash is now more popular than yankdollars!

It's true. Five years and this currency that is built for and by almost an entire continent, has caught fire and is seriously challenging the USD for "most stable currency on the planet" honors. But with that title and the popularity that ensues, comes a great responsibility and to some degree, burden.

Here is an article by the WSJ, Euro's Surge Poses Risks. It was written over a month ago, but I still recommend reading it.

Now, I have to say that I am not an economist, I do not play one on TV, and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But, I do know that this is something that Europeans can either get overly exalted about, or they can accept the challenge with passion, responsibility, and determination to do the right thing.

Europe has had every opportunity to do this many years before, but their nationalism and their proud spirits have driven them to fight with each other for centuries, even millienia. When I think about an entire continent with almost double the population, it should come as no surprise that the Europeans currency should be challenging the USD. I would expect nothing less, that is, if they are united. The EU has about 500 million people while the US has about 300 million. So, there is no good reason that Europe shouldn't be able to outproduce or outperform America, on that basis alone.

But as an admonishment to my European friends, I wouldn't get too excited too quickly. The Euro may very well take over as the leading world currency, but that will not mean that you are home free. With that "bragging right" comes much responsibility to not screw it up. Just let the EU become more bureaucratic than it already is, and it can all get shaky, real fast. Not only that, if both the US and Europe really want to have a valid perspective, all they need to do is look back a ways and they will see a currency known as the Chinese Yuan, in hot pursuit.

It's good to be the king, but it makes you a target. The goal of the child's game "King Of The Hill" is to knock "the king" off and thus you become "the king". And there are always more of them, than there are of you.


Greg said...

The Europeans have been pushing strong currency policies for at least 20 years. Now, they have a common strong euro policy. That's real nice and good for pride and all, but it does make things more expensive for consumers and it makes it harder for European exporters. Although it makes it easier for them to take a vacation to NYC or the Grand Canyon.

A low dollar isn't exactly a concern right now considering our massive trade imbalance. Plus, it's nice to be able to mortgage my house at 6%. Try doing that in France or Germany.

superfrenchie said...

Hi LA:

Some interesting charts and figures here.