Friday, September 21, 2007

On par.

The Canadian dollar reached parity with its U.S. counterpart yesterday, a development that currency market-watchers and ordinary consumers have been expecting for months. For a very sober Canadian perspective on the implications of loonie-greenback parity, take a look at what Steven Chase has to say in today's edition of the Globe and Mail.

Remembering a time not so long ago when the value of the loonie almost seemed to be fixed in the range of sixty to seventy U.S. cents, I find it hard to get used to the idea of parity. The high value of Canadian currency is certainly going to hit me in the pocket when I buy books from Canada - something I do relatively frequently, as a reader with a particular fondness for Canadian history and literature. Although there's only a limited incentive for them to do so, I hope Canadian publishers and booksellers show mercy on their customers by adjusting their prices downward to reflect the growing difference between the sticker price and the actual value (if there is such a thing) of their merchandise. At the same time, I must admit that I've always cringed when I hear other U.S. citizens boast about how far greenbacks go in Canada or about how "cheap" Canadian goods and services are for people with U.S. dollars. At the risk of indulging in a little schadenfreude, I'm amused to see that the shoe is finally on the other foot. I doubt it will last, but I hope that Canadian consumers enjoy it while they can. AMDG.


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