Posted by: rbbadger | June 30, 2010

Watch those serial numbers!

The euro is an interesting creation.  For travellers in continental Europe, it is a blessing, as one need not to worry about exchanging cash each time one visits a new country in the Eurozone.  Thus, one could buy and sell with the same money in Frankfurt that one uses in Lisbon.  The notes and coins are issued by the member banks.  With the financial crisis gripping Greece, Portugal, Spain, and maybe Italy, some are wanting to exchange euro notes issued by those countries’ central banks for those issued by Germany, France, or other more fiscally responsible nations.

In the 1840s in the USA, dollar notes from different regions of the country traded at different values.  This could well happen in Europe, especially since some in Germany are showing a marked reluctance to accept euro notes issued by the Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, or Italian central banks.  If you share those fears, Ian Cowie shows how you might want to hold onto Euro notes with serial numbers beginning with X, N, P, L, U, and Z.  He also tells you why you may wish to avoid Euro notes with serial numbers beginning with F,G,M,S,T, or Y.  You can access his article by clicking here.

In a related article, Charles Moore writes on how “bad political schemes are usually given up only when they have been tested literally to destruction”.  You can read it by clicking here

The German people have painful memories of what inflation can do.  I have heard of a number of Germans keeping a supply of Deutschemarks at home, ready for in the event that Germany withdraws from the euro and resumes its national currency once more or if something really bad happens to the value of the euro.  The Deutsche Bundesbank will exchange old national cash for euros for an indefinite period.  To see what Germany’s old money looked like, click here.  As an aside, it is interesting to note who Germany has put on its currency.  It includes the mathematician Carl Gauss, the pianist Clara Schumann (wife of composer Robert Schumann), and authors Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.  Our money in the USA generally features politicians.

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