The dollar's loss is Europe's gain
My colleague Brandon Tucker has written a smart piece on why European golfers should get the most out of their euros by heading to the States to take advantage of the pathetic value of the U.S. dollar right now.
Personally, it’s tough living in Europe and watching the U.S. dollar go down the toilet.
I can remember, back in 2002, when there was pretty much rough parity between the dollar and the European Union’s newfangled currency, the euro. It was a joy to buy train tickets and meals in places like Italy and France and put the calculator away. I can also remember when the British pound was worth roughly $1.50 - also an easy exchange rate to calculate (my father tells stories of living in London when I was a kid and the pound was down to about $1.16 or so). Today a pound is worth $2.
Of course, currencies weaken and then strengthen - but there seems to be something rather perverse, and unrelenting, about the dollar’s refusal to rebound. Pretty steadily since 2005, the greenback has lost ground to major world currencies - and even to the world’s lesser currencies. Take the Czech Republic’s korony.
When I moved to Prague at the beginning of 2005, 25 Czech crowns were worth a dollar, more or less. This was a giddying reality in a city - and country - where beer cost 22 crowns, and you find dinner offerings for less than 100 crowns. That 100 crowns was my benchmark: I knew it equaled roughly $4. Today, 100 crowns translates to closer to $5; $1 will only buy you 20 Czech crowns (of course, the beer is still ridiculously cheap).
Europeans are proud of their euro, and rightly so. It’s easily the world’s strongest currency, and it has considerably more daily users than the good ‘ole dollar. European leaders are pushing for the euro to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, an idea I support.
So, yeah, it’s an expensive time living here in Europe. The daily necessities are creeping up the price ladder. But the flip side of the euro coin is that this is the time for Europeans to head to the U.S., where they can get a lot of deals. In the market for those new clubs? Head to Myrtle Beach, S.C., as Tucker writes.
For now, this is the reality. The dollar will rebound one day. Can 2008 come soon enough?
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