September 3, 2012
Peter Vanham is a financial reporter and a Belgian fellow of the Pascal Decroos Fund for investigative journalism who is writing for The Inquirer this summer I felt sorry for the party organizers on that New Year's Eve of 2002, the night the euro was introduced. Everyone paid the entrance fee in Belgian francs. But the cashier had to give the change in euro. The poor man went crazy, unfamiliar as he was with the new currency. I went home with more money than I had coming in. I love the euro, I thought.
April 22, 2012 |
European debt problems have kept financial markets on edge during much of the last two years, but it is the debt problem in the United States that is far more likely to precipitate a global crisis. Recently, Lawrence Goodman, a former crisis-prevention analyst at the U.S. Treasury, sounded the alarm that investors balked at low coupon rates last year, forcing the Fed to buy "a stunning … 61 percent of the total net issuance of U.S. government debt. " His view that ballooning deficits and excessive debt put the U.S. economy and markets at risk for a sharp correction also explains why the recovery is so weak and why trillions of dollars remain sidelined.
February 7, 2012 |
TEHRAN, Iran - A trip to the store in Iran these days offers a crash course in life under Western economic sanctions. The prices of many imported goods - from South Korean refrigerators to Turkish crackers - can be double what they were last year. The money to buy them, meanwhile, has plunged in value against the U.S. dollar and other foreign currencies. But there are no apparent shortages for those still willing to buy. Chinese products fill gaps left by European businesses and others that have left Iran's consumer market following economic sanctions over Iran's refusal to rein in its nuclear program.
December 15, 2011 |
CHICAGO - If you need to pay a babysitter, send money to a kid in college, or reimburse a friend for lunch but don't have your checkbook or cash on hand, pick up your smartphone. An increasing number of banks are rushing to offer or enhance person-to-person money transfer services. In many instances, all you need to send money to someone is that person's mobile number or e-mail address. Person-to-person mobile payments are still in their infancy in the United States, with only 4 percent of Web-connected adults using them in 2010, according to a November report by Forrester Research Inc. More than half of all mobile person-to-person payment users conduct such transactions at least monthly, and interest has been growing in the last three years, Forrester said.
November 30, 2011 |
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Eurozone nations are calling for more International Monetary Fund resources to help out their embattled currency. The 17 eurozone finance ministers Tuesday agreed to seek new ways to increase the resources of the IMF through bilateral loans that could be used to protect EU nations facing financial trouble. The ministers also agreed on options to give the rescue fund more leverage power and build up its resources so it can help bigger troubled EU members such as Italy and Spain.
August 16, 2011
By Charles Rappleye With Congress and the White House at odds over the question of debt, it may be reassuring, even instructive, to consider that our nation was embroiled in a crisis over public debt at the very dawn of its history. In fact, the delegates' primary motive in convening the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was to sort out vexing questions of debt and taxes. The debt in question was owed by the American rebels to the governments of France and Holland, two key allies that had provided funds to support Washington's army.
July 26, 2011 |
JUBA, South Sudan - A Southern Sudanese official Monday accused northern Sudan of declaring "economic war" by issuing a new currency Sunday just weeks after the south's independence, a move that could leave the struggling new government with coffers full of useless currency. South Sudan began using its own currency nearly a week ago, after its July 9 independence. Both the new and old currencies are called pounds. Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the south's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement, said the northern-based Khartoum government violated an agreement to not introduce a new currency until six months after the south did. He said the move would cost the southern government at least $700 million - an added challenge as the new country begins delivering basic needs such as education, health services, water, and electricity to its more than eight million citizens.
May 5, 2011 |
This takes money laundering to a different level. Customs and Border Protection agents at Philadelphia International Airport seized more than $11,000 from a Jamaica-bound passenger on Saturday after he tried to hide the cash, stashing some of it in six boxes of Irish Spring Soap in his luggage, officials said today. There is no limit to how much cash can be brought in, or taken out, of the country, but travelers are required to declare amounts in excess of $10,000. The passenger was released and allowed to depart Saturday after agents returned $200 to him and seized the remaining $11,143 he was carrying.
February 19, 2011 |
Pride is Albert Pujols' chosen currency St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will almost assuredly become a free agent after this season. Depending on whom you listen to (Tom Verducci or Jon Heyman at SI.com, Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, Tim Brown at Yahoo), the Cards offered Pujols a deal for somewhere around $22 million a year for about eight to 10 years. That's $3 million less per season than the Phillies will be paying Ryan Howard to strike out every 31/2 plate appearances from 2012 until 2016.
April 6, 2008 |
If you're annoyed at paying $2 for a small bottle of water at an airport before taking off to Europe, think of Philadelphia native George Terhanian. At the Barcelona, Spain, airport last week, he paid $3.50. That's just one example of rising costs vacationers and business travelers face because of the sinking value of the U.S. dollar against the euro, the British pound and other currencies. Adding to the pain, higher oil prices are driving up international airfares. While some travelers have found a way to cope with the higher costs, the dollar's decline - it has set new record lows against the euro in recent months - and a slowing economy mean fewer business trips, vacations closer to home, or more careful spending for everyone headed abroad, travelers and industry officials say. "I don't meet the number of people I used to meet coming to Europe to do business," said Terhanian, who grew up in Germantown and now lives in London, running the European office of market-research firm Harris Interactive Inc. "They're holding many more conference calls.