Saturday, September 22, 2007

Canada Is Giddy About the Loonie

From the Wall Street Journal Online:

With the Canadian dollar surging against the U.S. greenback, Robert Katzman is dealing with situations they don't teach in Economics 101.

The owner of five strip clubs in Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, says American dancers are heading to Canada to earn the strengthened Canadian currency, and Canadian customers are heading to Detroit because their dollars go further there. He's fighting back by advertising more in the U.S. and offering free limo service to get Detroit men to visit his Windsor clubs.

But like most Canadians, Mr. Katzman is brimming with national pride. "We're feeling for the first time like we've caught up to our big brother," says Mr. Katzman.

After 31 years of playing second fiddle, the Canadian loonie, so-called because of the bird on the dollar coin, overtook the U.S. greenback this week. A nation that has long been the butt of jokes from its neighbor to the south puffed out its chest and grinned.

At the start of the year, one U.S. dollar bought 1.166 Canadian dollars. Late Friday in New York, it bought just 1.0008 -- a slide of 14%. On Thursday, the two currencies hit parity for the first time since 1976. In January of 2002, the U.S. currency touched its recent high against the loonie, with one dollar buying 1.6143 Canadian dollars....MORE