It’s important to find the right way to say it

What is the significance of “all countries whose names begin with the letter ‘M'”?

I was, in a former life, a currency trader, and a pretty successful one if I do say so myself. And, like most currency traders — which is to say, like most people who go broke if they are not right, an incentive which rather wonderfully concentrates the mind — my reaction to the introduction of the Euro was, “Are these people insane?” But of course they weren’t insane; they were politicians, which means that if the were wrong it wouldn’t be themselves who went broke, but the people they were claming to serve.

So I, and a lot of other people, have been saying for a long time that the Euro was a really terrible idea. But it’s one thing to say it, and another thing to really capture the imagination.

I think most people can grasp the idea that if you have two countries with wildly different cultures and economies, it’s a bad idea to make them share the same fiat currency. Well, the helpful folks at the Atlantic decided to run regression analyses to quantify how similar (or dissimilar) the Euro countries are — and to compare that to various other collections of countries. So what are some of the combinations of countries that are more suited to share a single currency than are the Euro countries?

  • The countries that used to make up the Soviet Union.
  • The countries that used to make up the Ottoman Empire (including Turkey and Greece).
  • All countries on Earth whose territory is crossed by the 5th parallel north latitude.
  • All countries on Earth whose names begin with the letter ‘M’.

Helmut Kohl: man of genius.

And you wonder why the PIIGS are royally hosed.

The whole chart, including several other collections of countries that would be better off sharing a single currency than are the Euro countries, can be found here.

HT: Tim Worstall.

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