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When I started my first job after years of training in the options and future group at an investment bank in Germany I was confronted with my first phone call right after I was given a little tour and presentation of the department. I think they call it “ins kalte Wasser werfen” (being thrown into cold water). I was of course very nervous after I was asked by somebody whose name I did not understand “Was macht denn der Dollar heute?” (What is the dollar doing today?) Since I had absolutely no idea where the dollar was that day or where to look for it on all the screens in front of me I replied “Der Dollar? Ach, mal rauf und mal runter” (The dollar? Well, sometimes up, sometimes down). I also learned in that situation that investors apparently do not have a lot of humor or patience. I was however the center of all conversations within my new team that day.
Years later and numerous gray hairs later I am still confronted with the question of what the dollar is doing these days, not against the good old Deutschmark anymore but against the Euro that we use since the beginning of the new millennium. The company I work for is also dependent on the Wechselkurs (Exchange rate) even though the hektischen Tage (hectic days) of the banking world are over. When I started going to college in the US in 2001 the Wechselkurs was .90 EUR/USD which meant I got 90 American cents for my hard earned Euro. That of course also made my tuition a lot more expensive than what is would have been today. Since then we have come a long way and after almost hitting 1.70, the Euro in 2008, the Euro is slowly declining and close under 1.37 USD today.
In den Nachrichten (in the news) the reason for the weaker Euro is our good friend Greece who is suffering from another economical crisis these days. The Wirtschaftskrise (economical crisis) shows effects throughout the Europäische Union (European Union). Not everybody is of course too said about a weaker Euro right now, especially the majority of the German industry who is heavily dependant on the export side of the business and has to compete with higher Lohnkosten (labor cost) anyway.
So I would like to ask you for your opinion: Is the dollar stronger or is the Euro weaker? Are you personally affected by the exchange rate in any way and was macht eigentlich der Dollar heute?
ins kalte Wasser werfen – to be thrown into cold water
Was macht denn der Dollar heute? – What is the dollar doing today?
Ach, mal rauf und mal runter – Well, sometimes up, sometimes down
hektisch – hectic
Der Tag – the day
Der Wechselkurs – the exchange rate
Die Nachrichten – the news
Die Wirtschaft – the economy
Die Krise – the crisis
Die Wirtschaftskrise – the economical crisis
Die Europäische Union – the European Union (EU)
Die Lohnkosten – the labor cost
eigentlich – actually