News Brendan Keenan

Thursday 8 December 2016

Brendan Keenan: Devaluation may be an answer to a problem we don't have

Published 16/08/2012 | 05:00

DEVALUATION? Don't make me laugh. Let me tell you what a devaluation was.

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That was when the president or prime minister came on the wireless to announce to you that your money would be worth something different in the morning than it was today. They were quite precise about it -- the value of a British or Irish pound changed from $2.80 to $2.40 in the case of Harold Wilson's 1967 devaluation.

Like bus conductors and vinyl records, that kind of devaluation is a thing of the past. There was a European version for a time, but it was generally much less exciting. European leaders would confer secretly and announce a new range for a troubled currency. Somehow, a new "band" of 2.5pc either way lacked the drama of a change to a fixed currency.

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