The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'euro'
As Greece's economic problems raise fears of a possible collapse of the Euro, or even the end of the ambitious single currency, financial commentators are already publishing advice on how to profit from it:
Two: Buy the US dollar. Sure, it has its own problems. The US budget and trade deficits are huge. Wall Street is under attack from populist, crusading politicians. Its share of the global economy is in long-term decline. But with the euro gone, it would be the only serious reserve currency - at least until China decides to take on that role. Without any competition, the dollar would only strengthen.
Seven: Buy airlines. For a few years, the “new drachma” would make the Iraqi dinar look like a haven of stability. It would plunge, and wealthy northern Europeans would be taking three or four holidays a year on Greek islands. That would be great for the companies that fly tourists there. Add in the weakness of the new Portuguese escudo, Spanish peseta and Italian lira, and the guys at Airbus will be working nightshifts to keep up with the demand for new planes to get everyone to the beaches.Other advice is to buy into German bonds, the pound (though what about other non-Eurozone currencies such as the various Scandinavian ones?) and Italian shares (Italy's apparently likely to prosper in a post-Euro world), whilst avoiding Spanish banking shares and anything to do with Belgium (in a post-Euro world, it's merely "a small place where you can buy some nice chocolate and change trains").
Good news for British traditionalists today; the EU has abandoned its effort to make Britain go metric. Britain had been given an exemption from the requirement to standardise on metric measurements in 1995, though this was due to expire this year, with miles and pints to be banished from view. Though, with a fierce display of tutting, the Daily Mail-reading little-Englanders gave Johnny Foreigner what for, and he fled with his tail between his legs, leaving Britain to its ancient systems of measurement in perpetuity.
Those aghast at the surrender of modernity to tradition for its own sake, though, need not despair; the law still requires metric measurements to be displayed alongside the traditional ones, and the traditional measurements are defined in terms of the metric ones (a pint, for example, is legally set at 568ml; cursory inspection of a pint glass at any pub will demonstrate this).
Another British tradition, however, was not so lucky; the EU has voted to abolish Britain's right to opt out of the EU's maximum working-hour limits. The Tories, employer groups and the New Labour nomenklatura are, of course, outraged (though the Labour rank and file are, by all accounts, quite pleased), predicting a collapse of productivity and the surrender of the Calvinist work ethic that made Britain great. However, given that the maximum EU working limits prescribe a 48-hour week, averaged over some nine weeks, this doesn't hold water, unless one is running a Dickensian sweatshop.
Finally, the pound's value has recently plummeted, to the point where a pound is rapidly approaching one euro. Which has caused some commentators to suggest that maybe Britain joining the euro is not such a bad idea. Which may be the case; certainly, the traditionalist argument for retaining the pound doesn't hold much water, given that the modern decimal pound is a dollar/euro-style decimal currency which replaced the ancient pound in 1971; the difference between it and, say, the Australian dollar (another currency hewn from pounds, shillings and pence at about the same time) is that Britain decided to name its new currency after the old one. Britain joining the euro would make things easier for those travelling to/from or trading with continental Europe (or, indeed, Ireland). The question which has most bearing on the pros and cons of the euro is whether Britain's monetary policy being fixed to the Eurozone would help or harm the British economy; this is a question I'm not qualified to answer.