Saigon April 1975
All of this hullabaloo about the Canadian $ at historical highs ($1.15 by Hallowe'en...) has had me thinking about helicopters lately.
The last time the dollar was this high, it was Afro's, bell bottoms, platform shoes, wide ties and the BeeGees The pundits crow. (guilty, but I despised disco). Gerald Ford (Republican) was President. The pundits crow. Then I thought, yeah, and the US was bogged down in a war against "insurgents" in Vietnam, and was doing it's damnedest to get out (and did in 1975). And Nixon was later impeached (though not in relation to the Vietnam debacle). To be fair, it was LB Johnson - a Democrat - who started it.
The Vietnam war was initiated on false "intelligence" - related to the US blowing up it's own ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. And it was against the heathen communists that threatened the American way of life. The Can $ was trading at $1.014*. They used helicopters to evacuate Saigon.
Today, the US is bogged down in an unpopular war in Iraq (going after the heathen Al-Qaeda that threaten the American way of life). Another war against "insurgents". Another war initiated on false "intelligence". People are calling for Bush's impeachment. It's Metrosexuals (or is it something else now?), latte frappuccino low-fat bourgeois biscotti, miniature dogs, and scooters. Bush is a Republican. There are also those who say that 9/11 was a false flag operation - just like the Gulf of Tonkin. They will use helicopters to evacuate Baghdad.
Going back to the high before that, we are in 1959 - when the Can $ traded at $1.042*. Wow! The US was bogged down in a Cold War and arms race with China and the USSR. Around this time, Canada bought it's first Sea King helicopters. It was duck tails, straight-leg chinos, The Big Bopper, and some jazz on the fringes. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, was president.
The high before that was in 1952 - when the Can $ traded at $1.021*. The US was in the middle of another war that they could not win in Korea. The Korean War was the first war that the US used helicopters in a meaningful way. There was no culture to speak of - beyond Mom and apple pie. OK, big bands. Whatever. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, won the presidency (though Truman - a Democrat started the war).
Interestingly, the Can $ was high against most other currencies during those periods as well. It has actually fallen a long way since then. Mind you, that data* is going back to early post- WWII, so a lot of the European nations (and Asian nations) were still in tatters, and rebuilding. and heavily in debt to boot.
In conclusion, helicopters and Republicans are good for the Canadian dollar. So are untenable wars embroiling the US.
One last thing about helicopters. Don't they call Ben Bernanke Helicopter Ben?
*Historical Foreign Exchange data from fx.sauder.ubc.ca
Article comparing Vietnam War to Iraq War.