As the debt ceiling debate in the United States steers the economy towards potential collapse, it may be time for non-Americans to think about a vacation stateside, where their money will go a lot further than it did last year. A quick survey of five currencies that float against the dollar—the euro, the yen, the pound, the Swiss franc, and the Australian dollar—shows they’ll buy about 5 to 25 percent more dollars than they did a year ago.
The pound, euro, and yen have all gained between 5 and 10 percent against the dollar since a year ago, which could amount to some decent savings for travelers from Great Britain, the Eurozone, and Japan. But the Swiss franc and Australian dollar have done far better, rising about 24 and 19 percent respectively.
The Swiss franc is a typical haven during tough times and has risen in the face of the Eurozone debt crisis and Congressional waffling in the U.S. on just about anything that requires a vote. The Australian dollar is a different case entirely. It has spiked to its highest mark against he dollar since 1983, when the currency was allowed to float, thanks to an unexpected rise in inflation due to a shortage of bananas. Yes, bananas. February’s Cyclone Yasi decimated the crop in Northern Australia, sending banana prices up 470 percent.
Photo by caribb.