I had a practical interest in the international currency exchanges at an early age. When I was 10, my allowance came in US dollars, but the all the places I wanted to spend it at only accepted Deutsche Marks. I had discovered that my one US dollar would get me much more in my hometown village of Eichenzell than it would get me at the US dollar store at the base exchange at Downs Barracks in Fulda. That was the start of an understanding that would lead me to the thrills of the black market rates of the East German Marks when we went to Berlin, the generous exchange rate with Venezuelan Bolivars in the late 90s, and the joys of cheap Euro-denominated vacations in 2001.
But everything comes at a price, no? I had an inkling this was coming, as my last trip back to England was pretty expensive. But I wasn’t entirely prepared for this:
The euro rose to an all-time high against the yen and traded near a record versus the dollar on prospects the European Central Bank will signal plans to raise its benchmark interest rate at least once more this year.
[ . . . ]
The pound was near a 26-year high against the dollar on speculation the Bank of England will raise rates today.
[The Euro] was at $1.3614 against the dollar from $1.3613 yesterday and an all-time high $1.3681 reached on April 27.
[ . . . ]
The pound traded at $2.0152 after touching $2.0207 yesterday, the most since June 1981.
If you’re an American reading this, and don’t know why this matters to you, let me help – it means that it looks like you’re living on a soon to be third world currency.