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US$ at 0.71 Euro - trend down
Thread poster: Vito Smolej

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 21:01
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Sep 22, 2007

I am just curious - do American agencies show any feel for realities in your case or do they stick their heads in the sand and hope you are not noticing?

Do you say "no"? Or "you can do better than that"? Or "starting right now, I will charge my services in the same currency as my vegetables Joe mart and my Mr Shell do, in euros"?

30 days vs 60 days net is kiddie league in comparison to this question.

Please note that in Europe you have local offices of US corporations, charging the clients in euros and paying those down the food chain in US dollars - with some pretty pleasing results lately I would assume.

TiA

Vito


PS: ROTFL - Victoria is waking up too: US$ = 1.0000CAN - trend down as well

[Edited at 2007-09-22 19:32]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Welcome Sep 22, 2007

Welcome to the world's most widely circulating third-world currency, the US Dollar.

It's not worth much here, either.


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:01
English to Swedish
+ ...
What does 'http://www.financialtrader.com/Master_Portfolio.html' say? Sep 22, 2007

'We believe the dollar will depreciate further in its abysmal descent as a banana republic currency ...'

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:01
English to French
+ ...
The question Sep 22, 2007

The question here, my friends, is how many of us are taking action to protect our businesses agains this downward trend. I have asked that question, and so far, the community is mum (see: http://www.proz.com/post/675371#675371).

So far, it seems that most of us are afraid to lose clients. I take it they have all just decided to tough it out - after all, we're talking precious greenbacks!

Let's wait and see if anybody wakes up. Ermm... Matrix?

[Edited at 2007-09-22 21:38]


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Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Welcome to life in a developing country Sep 22, 2007

For years I've been criticized by compatriots for thinking in US/ bucks/ greenbacks. It can really distance you from the local population in terms of their daily struggles. I couldn't bother to think in Jamaican or Guyanese or pesos or whatever because of the devaluations. Now it looks as if I'll have to start thinking in euros or sterling!

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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Euro vs Dollar Sep 23, 2007

I am very happy since I live in the US now. I only have European clients, which pay in Euros, and I could never work for US agencies, which keep on offering me really poor tariffs for the combination English-Italian.

I have also to add, on the other side, that prices in the US are ways better than in Europe, for most of products and services, plus there is no VAT, even if there is a tax on sales (which changes depending on the States, but I believe can never be higher than the Italian 20% of VAT! Here in Nevada I pay 7.75% on sale prices). With the same amount of money I can buy many more things here in the US than where I was, in Italy.

To conclude, I don't think there is anything we can do about this, since economy is ruled by bigger and more powerful entities than any group of translators... We can only choose to work with clients that guarantee a better tariff.



[Modificato alle 2007-09-23 02:02]

[Modificato alle 2007-09-23 07:11]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 21:01
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"how many of us are taking action ..." Sep 23, 2007

.... to protect our businesses against this downward trend


The reference currencies come and go, not over the weekend, but they do. What stays - or what should stay - is business. It if it stops, we got R word written big across the sky.

For all the criticisms we may have about how Greenspan & Co have laughtered the greenback, the fact is we all happily joined the party. Inflation? Not in my backyard - we got US for that, they can cook books far better than we do. Manufacturing base, investments? Who cares. We're all into carry-over trades with the greenback.

So - back to our context - if we want to protect our businesses - keep them running under all circumstances, including US clients. I just hope that beyond the product called 24/7/365 shopper (and GM cars & Windows) US still has something more to offer.

Don't ask what US can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for US of A (as a lot of things, another import from US). Maybe I'll go and buy some movies on Amazon...


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:01
French to English
+ ...
What to do? Sep 23, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

The question here, my friends, is how many of us are taking action to protect our businesses agains this downward trend. I have asked that question, and so far, the community is mum (see: http://www.proz.com/post/675371#675371).



Viktoria,

Perhaps the reason that your thread has not had a slew of responses is that there is not that much each of us individually can do to protect our businesses. Independently, we can choose to bite the bullet, quote in our home currency, hike our rates and so on. I question whether that will have much of an impact on our individual businesses or on the profession as a whole.

Early this year, I had a slew of exchanges with a major US agency whom of course I cannot name. They seemed very keen on having me work with them and it appeared they had significant work to throw my way. But they required the following:
1. That I quote in USD
2. That I commit to a rate for a year.
3. That they pay in USD and I pay the forex charges
4. They would bill me 40 USD for the international wire (they also had Paypal fees if I chose to use that mode of payment).

I explained and demonstrated in detail how, given those parameters, at the end of the day, many projects for them would end up *costing* me money, and I said thanks, but not possible.

In 2001, 100 €= 100 USD
Now, 100€=165 USD

The profitability of US clients paying in USD for those of us in the Euro zone has been slipping for quite some time. It is now, in my eyes, at a totally unmanageable level.

Questions in my eyes that loom as even more critical include:
1. Will US clients start to favor local service providers, even for those projects where it is important to be translating into the language of the country in which one lives?
2. Will European clients start to favor US based service providers to either save money or increase their margin?
3. What impact would such trends have on the quality of translations overall?
4. Will the requirement for translations diminish along with a probable world-wide recession?
5. To what extent may this profession become a bit less globalized and what can we do individually to reposition ourselves as hands-on service providers to our clients (advantages of proximity etc..)
6. To what extent may this beginning situation (because the international economic situation will get worse before it gets better...) help to clarify THE translation market into the myriad of markets it really is?

Lots of questions to think about....and business plans to tweak

Patricia




[Edited at 2007-09-23 07:40]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:01
English to German
+ ...
Currency hedges Sep 23, 2007

I addressed the issue of currency risk exposure more than two years ago, at the ATA Financial Translation and Interpreting Conference in Jersey City. This included an example illustrating how one can hedge direct foreign exchange exposure, using currency futures or options.

It is possible to protect a small business against adverse effects of exchange rate fluctuations. That said, this requires sound business planning, including the ability to project future cash flows per currency.

It is also worth noting that you may be affected even if you invoice in your own base currency: given the current euro/US dollar rate, my prices will have become prohibitive for US clients.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 21:01
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Who's supposed to hedge?! Sep 23, 2007

It possible to protect a small business against adverse effects of exchange rate fluctuations.


I could put the dollar but that somehow misses the whole point, does it not? Should it not be the big ones, the agencies? Not just to defend themselves, but to defend the whole production line, including those rowing below the deck?

What Statue of Liberty has been saying to the world for some time, seems now to have mutated to: "Bring all your weak and lame brained, I will take them all for a ride..."


PS: not to mention cases where the client is in Munich, I am in Munich - and my side of the deal is in US dollars. As Church Lady used to say "Aint that speshal?"

[Edited at 2007-09-23 11:13]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:01
Flemish to English
+ ...
Works both ways. Sep 23, 2007

For those with savings, it is time to buy some dollars and sit on them until after the U.S.-elections in 2008. It is forbidden to discuss politics, but what effect would the election and politics of Mrs.Clinton or Mr.Obama have on the U.S.budget. When Mr.Clinton left office there was a budget surplus.
But hé, doesn't outsourcing to the U.S. becomes cheaper? We pay in USD to translators who charge in USD and pay for their daily needs in USD.

[Edited at 2007-09-23 12:51]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:01
English to German
+ ...
Please observe the scope of ProZ.com Sep 23, 2007


For those with savings, it is time to buy some dollars and sit on them until after the U.S.-elections in 2008.

Quite a risky speculation.

It is forbidden to discuss politics,

It is not, but ProZ.com is not the place to do so.
Once again, please see the definition of site scope. Thanks for adhering to it.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
The trend means nothing Sep 23, 2007

.. if things were so simple that you could extrapolate future prices from the trend of the last few months, we could all become millionares trading currency futures.

The fact is, no one knows what will happen from here. Any strategies we develop to protect ourselves must be general ones, rather than specific ones aimed at minimizing the effects of a weak dollar.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:01
Flemish to English
+ ...
Exchange rate is linked to economic policy Sep 23, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:


For those with savings, it is time to buy some dollars and sit on them until after the U.S.-elections in 2008.

Quite a risky speculation.

It is forbidden to discuss politics,

It is not, but ProZ.com is not the place to do so.
Once again, please see the definition of site scope. Thanks for adhering to it.

Best regards,
Ralf


I'll keep it in mind. However, the economic policy of the man in the White House (his Fed.Reserve chief) is one of the factors which influence the exchange rate of the greenback.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:01
English to German
+ ...
Please stay on topic Sep 23, 2007



I'll keep it in mind. However, the economic policy of the man in the White House (his Fed.Reserve chief) is one of the factors which influence the exchange rate of the greenback.

True, and once again: this is outside the scope of ProZ.com.
The topic posted deals with the response and strategies when faced with exchange rate fluctuations, not with the underlying causes. Thank you for staying on topic.

Ralf


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