With the British pound at record lows against the Euro, I can’t wait to see my friend Harold.

When everyone around him is complaining – pensions dissolving before their eyes, payment for work in the UK dropping like a stone, rental income on a UK home going up in smoke – Harold is ever cheerful.

Why? Because his Euros are worth more.

Well, it’s true. Sell your house here in Spain (if you can) and take the money back to the UK, and even when the banks have had their pound of flesh in the form of exchange fees, you will have more British pounds than ever.  However, there are a few problems with this scenario.

Not the least is, you can’t sell your home. That’s a basic problem.

But, like me, Harold has no intention of ever going back to the UK. He has a home and a business here in Spain, and is well settled. Even the promise of a wonderful welcome from the UK Benefits system, and the British governments welcome back, wouldn’t tempt either of us.

So why am I looking forward to seeing Harold?

Because he is so cheerful about it. I’m fed up of everyone telling me how hard things are, home and abroad, and Harold’s upbeat view of things cheers me up.

So if you have something cheerful to tell me, shout it out. If you haven’t anything cheerful to say, in the words of our King, Por qué no te callas?”

¡Basta ya!

6 Responses to “Where did my Pound go?”

  • ELJEFE says:

    I recently had to transfer 7000 pounds sterling from my UK bank to my spanish bank. The exchange rate was a disaster. So in UK I purchased a Job Lot of clothing for the 7000 pounds, Brought it to Spain and sold the lot for 13,000 pounds in one month by breaking the lot into smaller lots.
    Now that’s what I call getting a good rate for your money.

  • Keith says:

    Sterling started last week under the headlines “the pound gets pounded”; One thing that was strikingly apparent is only the UK and US have expanded their money supply by over 100% in the past 18 months and both have interest rates at near zero.

    However as the week unfolded things started to improve for the beleaguered pound. UK unemployment data was better than expected with a low claimant count reported and the inflation data although weak, was not as weak as some predicted. As we moved into the week sterling continued to gain; a speech by Mervyn King did not highlight the need for further Quantitative Easing and the minutes from the last Bank of England meeting were more positive than anticipated with again no mention or reflection on expanding QE in the last meeting. The pound rallied against the euro on the lack of QE chatter and pushed up to 1.11- not bad considering it was trading at 1.06 on a few days earlier and talk of parity was in the air.

    It was not all plain sailing for Thursday and the tide started to turn on Thursday as retail sales data came in weaker than expected- this negative feedback from the consumer sector spoilt the mood and the pound dipped on the news. Later in the trading day it recovered its composure and remained steady above 1.10 against the euro as the market awaited the UK GDP data and the chance for the UK economy to show that it had finally exited the recession. When the data came in much weaker than expected at -0.4% month on month you could sense the disappointment in the market and sterling was once again beaten back down.

    Looking forward the pound will now in the short term come under renewed pressure and the “parity” headlines will undoubtedly arise once again; however the euro still appears grossly overvalued especially against the USD and if retracement occurs this will naturally allow sterling to push higher against the euro. The early November UK inflation report and the ensuing Monetary Policy meeting will be crucial for the pounds direction- with no further QE we could be seeing the lows now.

  • Actually, it is Harold who keeps me supplied with Mahou. I always go into English bars, and say, “give me a mooo, please”, and Harold knows how to translate that!

  • Rob says:

    ps Yes send Harold round to my local bar – I will buy him a Mahou…

  • Rob says:

    They say ‘Travel broadens the mind’ but actually living abroad (ie España) means this cliche needs a follow up – because living here really does open up your culture in so many ways. How best to write a cliche to say it ‘Living abroad improves your cultural horizons’ is my best attempt – what say you ?

  • Steve says:

    Harold sounds like my type of guy

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