Best Experienced With: Men Without Hats; Pop Goes The World
(please right click the link below to open the suggested background music for this evening’s treatise. The little dancing thingies should dance to the song and you are really only cheating yourself if you choose not to open the music. Silly rabbit)
You and three of your friends want to play in basketball tournament this weekend and your primary goal is to tear the first place trophy away from the team that has had it for the past forty years. Your only choice for a fifth player is Crackhead Bob. Crackhead Bob shoots a solid three point shot periodically and you need that fifth player. Your team and the tournament both have a rock solid “no drugs” policy.
You allow Crackhead Bob to be your fifth in the tournament and your team advances through the first four rounds and into the semifinals. Some of the success is from Crackhead Bob’s three point prowess. Crackhead Bob continues to smoke crack between games and some of the crack is supplied by the trainer of the team that has won the past forty years.
Before the first semifinal game, Crackhead Bob gets caught with the glass pipe and shows up on an episode of COPS for years because he tries to run from the police. You never want to run from the police. The police have helicopters and they are sober. You will always lose when you run from the police. Your team throws your collective hands into the air and screams “how could this happen”? “We certainly did not know this was going on and would have intervened had we known.” “Heck we would have had a special on Intervention where we sat around Crackhead Bob and read him letters.”
Crackhead Bob is Greece, your basketball team is the Euro countries, and I’m the guy holding the camera for the COPS crew because that’s my dream job.
This Athens meltdown is about as surprising as Crackhead Bob getting caught with the glass pipe and a handful of rocks. Greece has never, ever met the requirements set forth by the European Union, nor have they ever intended to. They spend as freely as my ex wife and no one in the EU said a thing until the slide began. Then whose fault was it that Greece is tanking the Euro? The winning team! The team that has been winning this currency power race since the Korean War ended.
The EU is blaming Goldman Sachs for some of this? Greece has never been within 30 percentage points of the debt ceiling and all of a sudden and it’s some insidious United States plot? That’s like Crackhead Bob getting caught on COPS and saying he was holding the glass pipe for an imaginary friend.
You took us on and you lost, Euro. In fact, you lost twice at this stage of the game because that rolling three month exchange rate of 1 to 1.35 means the United States can become a serious net exporter to your countries. Oops. Didn’t see that coming while you turned a blind eye to Greece, did you?
Throughout the 1990’s I worked for a subsidiary of a privately held German surgical manufacturer. Being privately held, we were able to hold all profits until the German Mark slipped a bit. We then timed the repatriotization of the profits until the exchange rate was favorable for the Mark. When it was 4:1, we held profits until it slipped to 2:1 and doubled the parent corporation’s US profits.
Worked for a publicly held company in the 2000’s where we manufactured products on an OEM basis in Europe. The $:E rate was roughly 1:1 when we signed our contract, then as Greece and the other Crackhead Bob countries jumped on that Euro bandwagon it slipped significantly.
We have skipped the business lessons for a bit. Here’s what we have all learned from Greece and the EU:
- Absent the ability to hedge against a currency, always have a safe harbor clause in your contract and a bracket around each currency.
- Don’t let Crackhead Bob on your hoop team, regardless of your need or his three point abilities.
- Rules are there for a reason. Follow the rules.
- If you are a net exporter of goods in The United States, make hay right now. You have a 35% advantage on cost for the time being. Sell to those that embraced Crackhead Bob and all of his faults.
- Never start a land war in Southeast Asia (this is running theme)
- People and things never change. This is a running business and personal theme.
- Learn the Rhumba. You can never, ever go wrong with the Rhumba!
The Mind of Mully
Every time I wonder
Where the world went wrong
End up lying on my face on the floor
Going ringy, ringy ding dong…..
And every time I wonder where the world is right? I’m drunk in some disco….dancing all night! To Joe P.’s “Yes, Girl”. With glow sticks!