Re: first day of the euro

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 19:21:50 MST

Amara Graps wrote:
> From: Eugene Leitl (, Tue Jan 01 2002
> >Way too much holography and gloss. The 50 is printed in pink metallic.
> I hope that you saved some 10DM bills. It might be some time before we
> see again a famous mathematician on a common currency.
> Someone should be videotaping people's expressions at the ATMs. Their
> look of wonder and curiosity as they pick up their new money is
> great.

You know, I get the same thing here whenever I pay for something with
Sacagawea dollar coins. The cashier/waitress/bartender, etc almost
always gape and grin at these odd, gold colored coins, saying "What's
this?", despite the fact that the coins have been in public for a coupla
years already.

I wouldn't mind the reintroduction of larger denominations in coins,
since inflation certainly makes them more useful now. I recall the
wondrous days of childhood when grandpa would do his little slieght of
hand, pulling a silver dollar out of my ear to give to me, when a dollar
was worth something (three and a half gallons of gasoline, in fact).
Today, while my nephew certainly enjoys finding 'free money' of pennies
and nickels on the laundryroom floor, he does object to being paid "just
a buck" for chores doing actual work. A trip to watch airplanes at the
airport is more valuable, though.

As for the idea of introducing new money for it's own sake: not a good
idea intrinsically (just look at those unfortunates in Argentina who now
have to get by on worthless 'Argentinos' since there aren't enough pesos
to go around.) Money is nothing but a symbol of trust. Regularly
replacing one type of money with another would corrode that trust and
thus lead to hyperinflation. The US dollar is the de facto world
currency partly because it has changed so little over time. Visual
stability implies security and therefore trust.

I don't expect the Euro to seriously challenge the US Dollar for
dominance as the world currency, partly because it is so new, partly
because there are different flavors for each member country, and mostly
because it is dependent upon 12 central bank systems instead of one.
Furthermore, while many countries around the world peg their own
currencies to the dollar for stability, few will be encouraged to do the
same with the Euro, because Europe still has far more baggage re
imperialism and colonialism than the US ever had, and the Free Trade
Area of the Americas will always be larger than the EU can ever be.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:32 MST