Thursday, April 22, 2010

EU Monopoly Money

In preparing for a trip to Europe, I recently exchange some dollars for what looks like Monopoly money. (It's helpful to have some of the local currency in hand when arriving in country.) Unfortunately, the euro currently trades for about 1.35 dollars, so it cost me a lot more than Monopoly money.

(But I suppose this is preferable to a time in 1994 when I withdrew 250,000 rubles from a bank and traveled halfway across Moscow to buy a train ticket to Berlin.)

While the euro bills are more colorful than the U.S. Federal Reserve notes we use as paper money, they strike me as bland and sterile. Their faces show arches, and the the backs show bridges, but not any of any recognizable historical or cultural significance. They look like currency designed by bureaucrats--an accurate reflection (and condemnation) of the European Union as a whole. The only thing marginally clever about the euro bills is that the different denominations come in different sizes, which helps the visually impaired to distinguish among them, but that has long been common practice outside North America.

I'm told that many Europeans dislike their euro bills. A friend's German mother considers them a crime against culture. Of course, that may be have something to do with her beloved Germany giving up the Deutsche mark.

I think a case could be made that the euro bills constitute a crime (or at least a misdemeanor) against humanity, but them I'm a long-time eurosceptic--not exactly an unbiased observer.

On a Tangent
Drudge has posted a picture of the new $100 bill along with hyperlinked captions that it "Looks European" and "Might as Well Be a Euro."

I just don't see it. The picture of Benjamin Franklin on the front makes it definitely American, not European, although he was much admired in Europe. As if that weren't enough, the "American symbols of freedom, including phrases from the Declaration of Independence," on the back would give EU bureaucrats and politicians a massive case of heartburn.


U.S. government press release

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