Re: A good read, Volume 12, Number 13, April 03 - April 09, 2006
Saving currency and investing are still relatively new ideas in Slovakia.
In the past, currency devaluations and fluctuations often disuaded average people from investing. Currency would be converted to durable goods (cars, appliances, etc) or real estate and NOT put into a bank or invested with brokerage firms. The strong crown and new 401K style accounts have started to reverse this trend, but to really spur investment by the middle classes, a hard currency like the Euro is the only answer. It will make everything from money market accounts to Euro denominated bonds and stocks that pay dividends in Euros much more attractive. Conceivably, it will allow Slovaks to invest their money with investment houses in other countries as opposed to just Slovak banks, giving Slovaks better returns with much lower fees.
The basic difference in our world views is that you see short term pain in the Euro conversion and I see long term opportunity for average Slovaks. You (and many Slovaks for that matter) tend to view the issue through the lens of consumption and I see it in terms of long-term savings and investment.