Only joking

by on December 20, 2011 at 1:26 am in Economics, History | Permalink

Nothing to see here, move on people…

Safaripark Beekse Bergen, near the Dutch town of Tilburg, boasts nine lions, 13 giraffes and a herd of almost 30 zebra. But this month the theme park reported sightings of an even more remarkable beast – a previously extinct specie, the Dutch guilder.

Thousands of guilders flooded into the park’s cash registers after it announced it would accept the former national currency for one weekend, in a promotion tied to the European Council summit earlier this month. At the ticket booth, thrifty locals dug into their coats to produce faded Fl 10 bills and jingling coins.

The guilder sale was a “comical stunt” to take advantage of the commotion around the euro, said a spokeswoman for the safari park’s parent company, Libema. But the promotion also tapped into the Dutch public’s widespread disillusionment with the euro and nostalgia for their old currency.

The FT link is here.

1 JSK December 20, 2011 at 5:03 am

Nah, no nostalgia: cheap-ass dutch (pardon me: i mean thrifty or frugal) trying to get something (a trip to the zoo) for nothing (old pieces of metal).

2 Andrew' December 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

Or smart zookeeper trimming some hedges.

3 Jacob December 20, 2011 at 10:50 am


4 dearieme December 20, 2011 at 6:49 am

I got rid of all my guilders but still have quite a stock of Belgian Francs. I hope someone does a similar promotion for selling Belgian chips and beer. Very good stuff indeed.

5 Rahul December 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Try the monks. The beer’s great too.

6 Jamie_NYC December 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

The coins were very beautiful, I remember collecting them as a kid. I hope they come back…

7 Andreas Moser December 26, 2011 at 4:44 am

For your collecting purposes, they don’t need to become legal tender again.

I’d rather have the Euro than collectors’ happy.

8 JWatts December 20, 2011 at 9:23 am

Are the Dutch guilder’s still generally accepted currency? Can the zoo convert them to Euro’s? Or is this just a discount offer or free day?

9 Douglas Knight December 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

The central bank accepts bills but not coins.

10 clayton December 20, 2011 at 9:27 am

I actually think the conclusion is the opposite from what is implied. If this signaled real weakness with the Euro, wouldn’t those holders of remnant guilders prefer to hold on to them until the guilder is again the national currency, instead of trading them for a free trip to a crappy safari park?

11 John Schilling December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

I rather doubt the average Dutchman has enough guilders buried under the sofa seats to materially change his circumstances even in the event of a tenfold price runup. But, given the right circumstances, enough to make a symbolic display of his fiscal nationalism.

It may not be the profit-maximizing stragey in a purely monetary sense, but it is emotionally rewarding. And unlike a certain group of Bostonians who didn’t get to drink any tea, this group at least got a trip to the zoo as well.

12 Bernard Guerrero December 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

That sounds about right. Formally irrational but low cost & emotionally satisfying.

13 jk December 20, 2011 at 11:28 am
14 spencer December 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

If you are bearish on the Euro you would hold on to your Guilder, not spend them as they are doing.

Gresham’s law.

15 JWatts December 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Or perhaps you should try to get people to offer them to you instead of taking the Euro. Which is what the zoo is doing of course.

16 Seth C December 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

At an antiques fair in Paris a week or two ago, I saw one stall that advertised that they sold their wares for francs. I should have stopped in to ask what the exchange rate was, and whether the francs were also going to be sold as antiques.

17 Andreas Moser December 26, 2011 at 4:43 am

I still have hundreds of French Francs which I forgot to exchange in time. 🙁

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