Here’s an excerpt from a CNBC interview with IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan, of IDA Ireland, Irelland’s industrial development agency. CNBC allegedly understands global economics. (Via the Irish Times):
CNBC: What has the weaker euro meant in terms of tourism?
Shanahan: So, I think, em, Ireland is a very globalised economy so we look to what is happening here as much as we do to what is happening in Europe and we look to what is happening in…
CNBC: You have pounds anyway don’t you still?
Shanahan: We have euros.
CNBC: You have euros in Ireland?
Shanahan: Yes. We have euros, which is eh…
CNBC: Why do you have euros in Ireland?
Shanahan: A strong recovery….
CNBC: Why do use euros in Ireland?
Shanhan: Why wouldn’t we have euros in Ireland?
CNBC: Huh. I’d use the pound.
Shanahan: We use euro.
CNBC: What about Scotland? I was using Scottish eh…
Shanahan: Scottish pounds.
CNBC: Scottish pounds.
Shanahan: They use Sterling.
CNBC: They use sterling?
Shanahan: They use sterling. But we use euro.
CNBC: What? Why would you do that?
Shanahan: Why wouldn’t we do that.
CNBC: Why didn’t Scotland? No wonder they wanted to break away.
Shanahan: They are part of the UK we are not.
CNBC: Aren’t you right next to er?
Shanahan: We are very close but entirely separate.
CNBC: It is sort of the same, same island isn’t it?
Shanhan: And in the North of Ireland they have sterling.
CNBC: They do?
Shanhan: And in the North of Ireland they use sterling.
CNBC: It is just too confusing…
Let’s begin with the first problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Ireland is its own country. He thinks it’s part of the United Kingdom. Go to Dublin (or if you don’t want to travel that far, go to an Irish-American bar in Boston) and say the Irish are really Brits, and see if you don’t get your ass stomped. Something about potatoes and famine.
The second problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Ireland is part of the eurozone. That’s the 18 countries that use the euro as their currency.
The third problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Scotland uses the British pound. He thinks it has it’s own currency. Scotland is part of the U.K. It’s like asking if residents of Louisville use the Kentucky dollar.
The fourth problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Northern Ireland isn’t in Ireland. It uses the pound because it’s part of the U.K. Being part of Britain is why people were getting blown up during “the Troubles.”
I realize the other interviewers on the set know their cohort is an idiot, but they let him go on, which makes them look stupid for not saying, “Dude. It’s another country. Like Canada isn’t part of the United States.”
(To which he probably would have responded, “But Canada uses the dollar.”)
Oh, and just to be clear. This isn’t confusing.
These are the people who go on TV every day and tell you how you should invest your money. You’d get better advice from a mattress.