The Euro and the Dollar

PARIS: Oskar Lafontaine's resignation has only brought a brief respite to the Euro. Its weakness will now continue. If things keep going as they are going, the Euro will soon stand at a value of less than one euro to the dollar. This is a threshold fraught with symbolism: within just a few short months of its birth the "strong" euro that its architects seemed to prophecy will have transformed itself into a weak euro.

All sorts of old wounds will inevitably open up if the euro falls so far so soon. Many European inferiority complexes toward America, which the advent of the euro were supposed to banish forever, could easily reappear. In Paris, the suggestion is growing that Washington must be made to stabilize exchange rates between the main currencies, in particular the euro/dollar exchange rate.

Replace the euro with the French franc, and the dollar with the DM, and the discussion evokes a strong feeling of déjŕ vu. So one must now again repeat some old truths that many Europeans seem to be deliberately forgetting. Just as the strong franc, the so-called franc fort of the 1990s, did not imply an economically strong France, a strong euro should not be equated with an powerfully growing Europe. The exchange rate is a price, not a score in the last game of the World Cup. Like all other prices, it must sometimes increase, sometimes decrease, according to market demands.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.