There Is No Amero

I’ve received notes from readers asking if I’m bailing out of the U.S. dollar now that the amero is on the way.

Huh?

Turns out a story is making its way around the internet. A conservative radio host named Hal Turner, whose show ended on July 30 due to what he claims was extreme pressure from the federal government because he was “revealing information that they didn’t want the public to know,” put out the word that he’d received an amero from a rogue Treasury agent.

You’ve probably heard of the amero. It’s North America’s answer to the euro, which is the currency of the European Union.

Problem is, there’s no such thing as an amero. The concept was merely introduced in a 1999 paper titled The Case for the Amero:
The Economics and Politics of a North American Monetary Union
, written by Simon Fraser University Professor of Economics Herbert G. Grubel. From the executive summary:

The plan for a North American Monetary Union presented in this study is designed to include Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Under the proposed plan, bank notes and coins of the currency (tentatively called the “amero” ) will have “amero” symbols on one side and national emblems on the other to preserve important symbols of national identity. The conversion of existing currencies into the amero will take place at rates that leave unchanged each country’s real income, wealth, and international competitiveness at the time of conversion.

Notice that even if an amero were created, it would not impact the net worth of any of the three countries involved, nor of anybody living within the three countries. This should be obvious. The countries in the European Union were not willing to lose wealth in the switch, and didn’t. Why would Canada, the U.S., or Mexico be willing to do so? They wouldn’t. So, while there is no plan to ditch the dollar for the amero, even if there were such a plan it would not be cause for alarm. Your net worth would stay the same.

Mr. Turner, the radio host, ignored that last part of the amero idea. He is spreading the conspiracy theory that the U.S. government is secretly preparing for a sudden switch that will leave all dollars worthless and the economy accepting only ameros as currency. Such a move would instantly de-legitimize the government and leave the country in a state of chaos that would not benefit anybody. It’s absurd.

That doesn’t make it less appealing to the conspiracy crowd, upon whom Mr. Turner preys. He made his case in a video with a “real amero,” the one that he supposedly received from the rogue Treasury agent. It had a small “D” at the bottom of the face, indicating to Mr. Turner that it had been created at the Denver Mint. Here’s what the amero looked like:

Notice the telltale “D” at the bottom. Where did I obtain such a fine image of the secret amero received from the rogue Treasury agent? From a company called Designs Computed that designs commemorative coins and tokens, and sells its version of the amero pictured above as a curiosity. On the page that shows them, the company writes: “These private-issue fantasy pattern coins will be struck as an annual series, starting in the latter part of 2007.” It then goes on to show their denominations, diameters, and compositions and the images such as the one I showed above. The page is here.

Thus, it’s not terribly hard to see how Mr. Turner obtained his amero. It was not on its way to the China Development Bank as part of a shipment of 800 billion ameros that Mr. Turner supposedly found out about, “in preparation for the collapse of the United States dollar as currency.” I would love to see China’s reaction to receiving 800 billion amero in fake coins from the U.S. Treasury. Something tells me we’d hear about it from sources more reputable than Mr. Turner.

If I were going to pay off China with fake currency, I’d at least ship paper instead of coins to save on freight. Why not Monopoly money? Same difference.

So, no, I’m not buying amero with dollars. Even if I wanted to, I’d just be buying collectibles akin to Mardi Gras doubloons. In fact, I’m buying dollars with yen these days, as the yen has reached its highest level against the dollar in years, yet the dollar has appreciated against the euro and other currencies. More on that in last Wednesday’s article.

Just for kicks, here’s Mr. Turner’s ominous video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge2J2lNusJs]

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