a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Just who’s talking about threats to the Euro?

Posted on the January 27th, 2010

After I found the Der Spiegel article today, describing the migraine that Greece and its money woes are giving to the European Union leadership (previous post), I scanned more headlines at the newspaper’s website. I found this from earlier this week: “European Union Sees Threats to the Euro.”

The brief article paints an ominous future ahead this year for the Euro monetary system, predicting that the currency may continue its recent several-weeks slide downward against the dollar:

“…the euro stands at $1.41 and many analysts are now warning that it may be in for a long slide. Some are even concerned that the cohesiveness of the euro zone might be endangered altogether — with the European Union itself chief among the worry-warts.”

If I’d read this in a USA newspaper rather than an European one, I might take it with a grain or two of salt. Why? Because, having now inhabited both the two continents, and regularly followed the major news media of each, I’ve come to expect a predictable dose of media bias when one is reporting on the other. It’s been quite a slap to my rosy idealism of all fair and balanced, etc.

But this Euro gloom and doom is coming from a major German newspaper. Not to mention that the article is sourcing a recent report from the internal EU agency, Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. So these baleful sounds have substance. Such as:

The report… went on to voice concern that differences among euro zone countries “jeopardize confidence in the euro and threatens the cohesiveness of the euro area.”

Financial turmoil in Greece is of particular concern, with the country running a public sector deficit of 12.7 percent in 2009, more than four times higher than the three percent target called for by European Union rules. But there are several other problem children within the 16-member euro zone, including Spain, Ireland and Portugal, with Italy also raising eyebrows.

Worrisome, definitely.

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Dollar versus Euro: an inside look

Posted on the April 30th, 2008

Yesterday, Germany’s Der Spiegel (SPIEGEL ONLINE International) ran a fascinating piece about the hows and whys, and what’s yet to come in the ongoing, lopsided relationship between the dollar and the euro.

Writing about the Federal Reserve in the U.S. and the European Central Bank, Christian Reiermann offers a snapshot comparison of the two men in charge of them, and a history of how the contrasting philosophies of the two institutions came to be (“KEEP CALM AND DON’T PANIC” April 29,2008).

The article’s intro:

Never before have the central banks of the United States and Europe pursued such divergent strategies when it comes to dealing with a financial crisis. The increased value of the euro against the dollar reveals which strategy is working.

Reiermann writes in clear, straightforward prose that illuminates a subject that’s often presented — at least for mere mortals –as if it’s organic chemistry poorly translated from the original Swahili. Grazie!

Read more here.

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