Even Counterfeiters Are Giving Up On The Euro [testosteronepit]

My first experience with a physical euro was mid-December 2001 when I travelled to Europe for preliminary discussions with potential partners for the startup I ended up launching later that year. First stop: Germany. Bank showcases were filled with euro feel-good agitprop. Euro bills and coins would enter circulation on January 1, and this was part of the long-running campaign to persuade Germans to surrender their Deutsche marks. People had some apprehensions, and some wanted to retain the D-Mark, but my business contacts were gleeful: the euro would become the dominant reserve currency in the world; oil would be priced in it.

To celebrate this unique moment in history, I entered a Deutsche Bank branch and bought several euro Starter Packs, as they were called in good German. The clear plastic pouches cost DM 20 and contained all denominations of euro coins. I handed them out as souvenirs when I came home. Here is the one I kept:



The following year, the euro was in every Eurozone wallet. OK, people were bitching. Things had gotten more expensive. Little but highly visible things. Merchants rounded up. An espresso in Germany might have cost DM 3 but then sold for €2, instead of €1.50 as it should have.

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