This new year brings us a bit of a memory: ten years ago we started using the euro bank notes. For many people in the Netherlands, this was a step back in terms of quality and design. And we also notices how prices were quickly moving up. At first all economists and the central bank heavily denied this, but later research (in 2005) showed that in the first year of the euro, inflation was 3,6%, of which 0,5% due to the introduction of the euro.
In their efforts to deny the experience of the public, economists coined the term: 'experienced-inflation' ('gevoelsinflatie') to outline a situation in which the perception of price rises differed from reality. This helped the economists at the ECB discover that price rises in regularly purchased items could lead to a consumer perception of inflation that was higher than their scientifically produced price-index basket. Again a demonstration of the fact that economic models need to incoporate bounded rationality rather than assume a rational consumer.
As for the future of the euro: many experts now predict its demise in 2012 and paint a gloomy picture. When listening to those 'experts' I have the impression that it's increasingly fashionable to doubt the future of the euro. And although the politicians last year didn't do their best to help out, I do think that the future may be less bleak. With the ECB lowering cash reserve ratio, widening it's collateral policy and throwing in almost unlimited amounts of liquidity the bazooka is already out there, but some fail to recognize it as such.
So I think those ugly euro-notes will remain in circulation for quite some time to come.