The Euro has been suffering lately. Compared to a year ago it is 13% weaker against Sterling. It is down 18% from two years ago, 22% from five years ago and it is down almost 30% compared to the end of 2008, when it approached parity with the pound. The slide had been gradual, until January this year when a perfect storm of events all occurred in the same month and it has weakened by around 8% against Sterling in the past three months alone.
So, what has caused this exactly? It is hard to know where to start! The Greek elections, on the 25th of January, saw a party elected that at the time of writing was doing a very convincing job of threatening to default on its enormous loans, which could lead to the much talked about 'Grexit' from the Eurozone.
The Swiss National Bank shocked the financial markets just 10 days prior to the Greek election when it removed its currency peg to the Euro, sending the value of the Swiss Franc soaring in the process.
In between both of these events, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it will embark on a quantitative easing, or bond buying, programme to the tune of at least €1trn over the next 12-18 months. Exactly why the ECB waited so many years to do this is anybody's guess. The Eurozone's inflation rate has been falling since late 2011 and has been below 1% since October 2013. It finally fell into outright deflation (-0.2%) in December 2014, forcing the ECB to act.