Thursday, 28 March 2013

09:45 – Amidst all the furor about Cyprus, few have commented on the real implications of the imposition of capital controls to prevent capital flight from Cypriot banks: the euro has been shattered as a common currency.

The fundamental characteristic of a common currency is that it can be spent anywhere within the common currency area and has the same value anywhere within the area. This is now officially no longer true of the euro. Euros in Cyprus are now worth much less than euros elsewhere in the eurozone because they cannot be spent freely, either in Cyprus or in the rest of the eurozone.

For the last three years, the eurocrats have been trying desperately to prevent the collapse of the euro. Now, at a single stroke, they themselves have destroyed it. The euro is a fiat currency, and like all fiat currencies has no inherent value. What apparent value it has exists only because people pretend that it has value. Without that pretense, the euro is worth literally only the paper it is printed on. By preventing Cypriots from spending their euros, the eurocrats have destroyed that pretense.

Barbara mentioned to me the other day that she’d been talking with Amy, one of the neighbor kids. Amy starts 9th grade next autumn, and told Barbara that she was taking all honors and AP courses next year, including biology. She’s very interested in science, and want to pursue a career in science or medical research.

The other day, I ran into her dad, Steve, while I was walking Colin and mentioned to him what Barbara had told me. He’s very pleased that Amy is doing well academically and plans to go on to major in science in college and grad school. I told him that if Amy wants to get a jump on next year’s science that we’d be happy to give her one of our biology kits, assuming he and Amy’s stepmother, Heather, approve.

Yesterday I was walking Colin when Amy got off the school bus. We talked and she said her dad approved, although Heather was a bit concerned because one of her own experiences in high school chemistry had resulted in an explosion. I suspect Heather isn’t really strongly opposed to Amy doing home science, since Heather herself is a licensed pyrotechnician. And, like nearly all sciency kids, Amy would love to blow things up.

So I gave Amy a copy of our biology lab book, and told her that, if her parents approved, Barbara and I would give her what she needed to do the lab sessions.