More on Currencies
After a recent trip to China, the topic of currencies and exchange remains present in my mind. I thought I was living in the country where you get the best bang for your buck (Argentina). But it turns out that your dollars and euros will go MUCH farther in China than in Argentina. There are of course lifestyle tradeoffs (like no good Argentine wine) but that is another topic... The peso to dollar rate has dropped to 3.02 to 1 today according to yahoo finance. Accordingly, the Yuan (or Riminbi) to the dollar is at about 6.8 to 1. So what can you buy in each place? In China: Chinese food for 4 people at a neighborhood restaurant for 10 dollars TOTAL, knock-off brand name clothing and accessories for 10% of what they cost in the US, subway rides for 60 US cents. In Argentina: Great steak dinner with wine at a neighborhood restaurant for 12-15 dollars per person, leather goods for 50% of what they cost in the US, subway rides for 30 US cents. There are other tradeoffs of course like ridiculous pollution, information censorship and the hardest language in the world to learn. But things in China have changed immensely from when I was there the last time in 1994. Back then it was a 3rd world country with very few stop lights, animals in streets and extreme disorganization. Now it rivals the US in its modernity. And compared to Argentina, its like night and day. Suffice it to say, I would have a very hard time living in China even if I spoke the language. A wonderful place to shop and see history, though.