Subject: Re: Re: US Dollars vs. Euros
OK, Ziners, Adding more to the long discussion on currency and conversion:

Outfits that change currency are going to make money on it. There are two ways for them to make money: charge a fee, use an exchange rate favorable to them, or both.

Some places brag they charge no fee, but they will make a profit, you can be sure of that, so look carefully at the exchange rate and know what the official rate is. You can get this from for the interbank rate or, for the most official rate of all,

Other places will tell you they give you the official rate, but there is no true official rate except for a few cases where one country sets its exchange rate to that of another, such as Panama's Balboa being equal to an American dollar.

Currency exchange rates are a free market matter. Even that New York Federal Reserve site is just reporting the latest transactions, not setting the rate. That means your currency dealer can be a bit evasive, so again know the latest best rates.

If, in fact, the dealer does price at the interbank rate he will invariably be charging a fee.

If you do want to change currency at a dealer choose according to your needs. If you have a lot of money to convert and the dealer charges a fixed fee and gives a good rate, use him. If you have only a little money to change, go to a no-fee dealer and swallow the lousy exchange rate. In other words, look at the overall cost, fees plus exchange rate.

The best exchange I ever made was about eight years ago when we were still living at San Francisco. I let it be known among our friends that we wanted to get some UK pounds. One friend turned up an acquaintance who had 500 pounds to sell, left over after several years after the death of her father who had them. We made a deal for me to buy them at the Federal Reserve rate (which is reported in most newspapers). She was pretty disappointed that the value of the pound had dropped since her father had first acquired them.

Regards, DAVE HATUNEN Tucson Arizona, out where the cacti grow