Is there an International "Euro" on the Horizon?

The article http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mexchangerates.html got me thinking about how much of a pain it was to travel around Europe until the Euro showed up. I traveled extensively in the 80’s and 90’s on business and always came back with a fist full of “finkles” (my favorite ficticous currency). I kept the various “finkles” in separate envelopes at home and used them on the next trip across the big swamp. Colorful? Yes. A pain? Yes.

Now the Euro is king of currency in Europe. My latest traveling has been much easier for just that reason…though I suppose we did loose some local color in the bargain.

Now the big question: is there an International “Euro” on the horizon? Boy wouldn’t that be great. I suppose it would be managed by the International Monetary Fund or UN or some other group. I’m sure that someone in high places has thought about this before. What’s the scoop?

Who knows, we might take one small step closer to a world community.

Thanks, John

The dollar will be replaced by the Euro on the day the last Republican dies.

Maybe the USD (United States Dollar $) is the defacto “International Euro”… much to the ire and shagrin of US bashers everywhere.

Yeah, I have a big collection of finkles including some bills from the former USSR that seem to have been printed on Kleenex and of course feature Lenin most prominently. Also have a few 1 kopeck coins, about the size of a collar button.

US Dollars are probably the international euro at the moment (French readers can grind their teeth now…stop!) Certainly were in Moscow in 1990s. Payment accepted in dollars, cigarettes, or bushels of rubles. Cab drivers would not accept rubles. Best way to catch a cab in Moscow or St. Petersburg was to stick out a camera; showed you were a tourist.

In the early 1980s I worked in the treasury department of a major worldwide pharmaceutical manufacturer. These were the people who advised the entire company what to do with money. The company had big business in South American countries including Argentina and Brazil, which gave the analysts lots of grief. Hourly reviews of the long-term market, the spot market, even bank loans. The departments avowed goal was to get payment terms as long as possible (ie 6 months) in the hope that the currency value would plummet in the meantime.

Meanwhile, the same company was sitting on the doorstep of people who owed them money.

We are getting a bit far afield when we speak of hyper inflation and bills with more zeros than sense…but I have one anecdote about Israel back in the 70’s and the average citizen’s response.

My former boss was born and raised in Israel and claims that they would invest off shore in USD and/or invest in bus tokens. The USD had a good rate of return and the bus tokens would always buy a bus trip…even years in the future. I guess that bus tokens were used instead of Israeli cash. Go figure.

Compared to the european situation, there is very little need for an “International Euro” to replace the dollar.

Europe is a collection of small countries all bunched up together. Most of them are about the size of an average US state. All of Europe would probably fit in the US east of the Mississippi. In Europe, you could travel only a short distance and be in another country, and so have the hassle of dealing with another currency. Even worse for businesses selling across borders, or hiring employees who live in one country to work in another, etc. The Euro eliminates those problems, so is a great convenience in Europe.

But the US covers the width of an entire continent, and with only a couple of neighboring countries. And the US Dollar is accepted readily in both those countries. So there is little perceived need for another currency. How far would a Topeka, Kansas resident have to travel before they ran into a shop that wouldn’t accept a US Dollar?

<< And the US Dollar is accepted readily in both those countries >>
Cough, cough, cough. I think that you and most Canadians would have vastly different views of what the word “accepted” means.

My experience has been that the US$ is widely and eagerly accepted in Canada.

Things can get a bit more complicated when the subject of an exchange rate is broached.

Let’s not forget that currencies don’t exist solely for the convenience of tourists. While the euro makes life easy for people zipping around Germany, France, Italy, etc (done that and got a ton of finkles), it obliges every country to have an identical exchange rate and interest rate. They suffer mightily as a result, with high unemployment and tension between the central bank and the national govts wanting to run budget deficits. Flexibility is important. A global currency is a long way off. The Swedes are smart!

We gain some comfort from the continued inability of Americans to spell.

Canadian shopkeepers will gladly accept US Dollars (at a really bad exchange rate screwing the US tourist).

Coins are accepted at face value (really, really bad exchange rate).

Compare with the following paragraph:

While the dollar makes life easy for people zipping around Ohio, Iowa, Montana, etc (done that and got a ton of finkles), it obliges every state to have an identical exchange rate and interest rate. They suffer mightily as a result, with high unemployment and tension between the federal bank and the state govts wanting to run budget deficits. Flexibility is important.

Given that all of Europe is about comparable in size to the United States, in area and population, and presumably in “size of the economy”, however one measures that, how are the two situations different? Would it be better to go back to separate currencies for each state?

I don’t think there is a “global euro” anywhere near the horizon. As t-bonhan pointed out, the U.S. internal marked is big enough to sustain its own currency for a long time yet.
On the other hand, we could see some sort of other “regional euros” in the future. Not soon – the troubles Europe has been having show that this is not an easy process – but there ARE positive aspects to the idea.
For instance, the concept of a common Mercosur (Brazil/Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay) currency has been floated a number of times. At this point, no one thinks it will come anytime soon… but still the idea keeps coming back. Maybe in a couple decades, the region will be mature enough to tackle this seriously.
Other regional markets could potentially go that way, in time. But it will be a very long process.

“We gain some comfort from the continued inability of Americans to spell.”

Glad we can be of comfort to you. So the tally for now is:

  1. Defense Dept., funded by taxpayers like CEMX86SD, provides AndrewT a convenient, instantaneous forum for airing his gripes against Uncle Sam and his nieces and nephews.

  2. Posts on said forum featuring improper spelling from hapless Yanks comfort AndrewT.

How is “irony” spelled in Oz?

Dare I hope, in my lifetime?
:smiley:

The Defense Dept funds the SDMB?
:rolleyes:

<< The Defense Dept funds the SDMB? >>

Cecil would be delighted to receive millions from Defense, but so far he hasn’t even got one cent in tribute.

WHAT is a bus token? He may have been thinking of pay-phone tokens. I can’t remember actually using them as currency much - we actually did use money… (but I was a child then, so I may have missed something). Anyway, those babies are long gone and hard to find (both the tokens, and the phones - everyone has cell).
In other words - sounds pretty much bunk to me. And I lived through it.

No, the DoD created the concept of the IP network, known also as an “internet” (small i), pretty much equivalent to what we now call an intranet - which in time led to the creation of the “Internet” (capital I) as we know it

What really sucks is when you’re six years old, it’s the second week of school, and you can’t buy lunch because the lady says your quarter is Canadian.

Sounds good to me!:smiley: