European Central Bank.

Very quietly and almost unnoticed by financial media in US , the  has reached an important milestone – 10 year anniversary. The ECB came into being June 1, 1998, as 11 European countries drew closer to merging their currencies. The Euro was launched on Jan. 1, 1999 on financial markets, and Euro notes and coins were introduced on January 1, 2002. The bank now controls monetary policy for 15 Euro countries.


Bank’s creation followed Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the single Euro currency .The treaty mandates fighting inflation as the ECB’s main priority, and so far members of the rate-setting governing council have stayed firmly with that message. This stance has been been somewhat criticized lately. There are claims that this policy has pushed the Euro to high, potentially hurting European exporters.


Just how steadfast has ECB been in fulfilling its primary objective? The bank has kept its key rate at 4 percent since June 2007 to fight inflation that hit a record high of 3.6 percent in March and again in May, well above its stated goal of around 2 percent. Bank’s actions are not in line with other central banks, namely Bank of England, and U.S. Federal Reserve, which have been cutting their respective benchmarks.


This 10 year anniversary is certainly a success story, but not without some difficulties. European Central Bank has seen the Euro plunged from initial EUR-USD valuation of about 1.2000 to 0.8200 in 2000. Since then, however, the currency has enjoyed a steady rise to a recent high of 1.6000. Almost double from the bottom. Truly a rare feat in among major currencies.


Today it may seem strange, but Euro and ECB success was not a forgone conclusion at the beginning. There were many voices both within Europe and outside which not only questioned a wisdom of single currency, but predicted that the monetary union wouldn’t last five years, much less ten. Europe’s Central Bank has managed to clear away the doubts that surrounded the Euro at the beginning 10 years ago. Also, officials state that common currency and Bank’s policies have added 15 million new jobs in the last six years by making trade and travel easier.


What is next? Well, as it looks right, ECB is sure to be around for at least 10 more years. It is almost certain that additional countries will join Euro zone. Slovakia, Hungary, Check Republic, Poland and others, pending outcome of national referendums and meeting inclusion requirements. Poland will likely have the biggest impact, as it is home to 40 million people and fast growing economy.


Following latest officials remarks, there is general belief that ECB will join the ranks of other central banks and start slushing interest rates. That is expected to strengthen the dollar , which is “uncomfortably weak”, and bring down costs of commodities, mainly oil, the biggest single cause for inflation in Euro zone. Once again in line with Bank’s main role.


We are sure to be influenced by European Central Bank decisions for many years to come. Happy birthday!


Mike P. Kulej is a Chief Forex Strategist for Spectrum Forex LLC. He specializes in mechanical trading systems as explained on . Spectrum Forex LLC offers numerous services to individual traders. With questions and comments e-mail him at



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Seaworld San Diego Review

As someone who was born and raised in San Diego, I can tell you, when visiting Southern California, a visit to Sea World in San Diego is a must. Particularly if you are touring together with your kids or a friend, you can see there is only a few places as enjoyable as a visit to the Sea World San Diego theme park.

Animal Sights:

You will find tons of interactive points of interest that let you interact with the numerous sea animals…dolphins, rays, whales and other fish and animals. For example, one in every of my favorites is the Forbidden Reef area. Here you can touch. feed and pet Bat Rays. For someone who has never been up close to such marvelous creatures, it’s a truly unique experience. Also you may go below the aquarium and watch moray eels in their mysterious underwater caverns.

Stop by the dolphin interaction program, where you may find out all about the dolphins and have a great deal of enjoyment with these loving and clever mammals.

No trip to Sea World in San Diego is complete without seeing Shamu the killer whale! Watch as he and his trainers perform marvelous feats and tricks to astound you, the one you love, and kids. You’ll by no means see such surprise and delight in your family members faces as they see and experience the performance. Who knew that these wild animals could be so smart! Bear in mind although, for those who sit really close, expect to get a bit moist!

In the event you love aquariums, you will not find a higher one than the world of the sea aquarium. The aquarium complex is in depth and immerse…virtually as if you had been scuba diving amongst all the fish, anemones, star fish and different sea creatures.

Park rides and enjoyment:

The Journey to Atlantis water experience is sort of a mixture between a roller coaster and a boat. Watch out for the 60 foot plummet on the falls, but you’ll have a ball braving all the twists and turns.

In the center of Sea World San Diego is the Skytower. The scene of San Diego, Mission Bay and the surrounding areas is actually quite beautiful as you journey nearly 300 feet into the sky. You may get a real sense of the true fantastic beauty of San Diego!

Don’t forget Shipwreck Rapids either. This attraction features a trip through river rapids, underground caverns and by dropping cargo nets around a tropical island as you travel along in your circular inner tube raft that seats eight.

Places to eat!

If you’re hungry for a snack. The sweet Treats at Pineapple Pete’s Island Eats is your place. Featuring smoothies, iced cappuccinos, and numerous ice creams, its one tasty shop in Sea World San Diego.

Catch a fast eat among all of the artifacts at the Shipwreck Reef Cafe or the Coconut Bay Cafe. Or if you happen to like, the Seaport Market has a deli with scrumptious breakfast, lunch and dinner fare.

For some really superb eating, check out the Calypso Bay Smokehouse. Dad will not give you the option to resist the smoked ribs, chicken, barbecue and more.

I have simply touched upon some of the points of interest, rides and eating at Sea World San Diego. There’s much more to see and do, including beluga whales, sharks, and even more shows, so plan on a full day of your trip.

Admissions will set you back around 60 to 70 dollars per person, and extra for parking, not to mention the other costs related to journey, however there are special deals to be found.