The United States dollar fell to record lows in the world's foreign exchange markets on Tuesday (15 August).
CU ZOOM OUT PULL BACK INT. British and U.S. flags to money market dealers at work in London (5 shots)
LV Tourists in London Bank.
CU Exchange Rate Board, showing U.S. dollars to the pound sterling PULL BACK TO Cashiers (2 shots)
GV Trevi Fountain in Rome
GV AND SV Americans entering the American Express Bank (2 shots)
CU PAN FROM Giant Dollar Bill and Exchange Rate Board at bank entrance to tourists changing money.
CU Dollar being changed for lira (2 shots)
LV AND CU Tourists looking in shop windows (2 shots)
GV Tourists around Spanish steps in Rome.
SV Zoom into woman writing American exchange rate on board in Frankfurt, West Germany.
CU German Dealer Announcing latest trade exchange rate.
SV Exchange Rates on board
SV and GV Exchanges dealers on phones (3 shots)
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Background: The United States dollar fell to record lows in the world's foreign exchange markets on Tuesday (15 August). For the first time since march 1976, the pound sterling reached the two dollars mark at the beginning of trading and American tourists felt the pinch while on summer holiday in London, Rome and Frankfurt and elsewhere.
SYNOPSIS: The pound sterling traded at 2.0005 dollars on Tuesday morning for the first time since Britain's serious economic crisis in 1976. The pound's rise was caused by the fall of the dollar in recent days against all major currencies. American tourists, used to a foreign exchange advantage while on holiday in Europe, have been experiencing the full impact of the change. The Carter Administration has made little attempt so far to stop the dollar's slide.
In Rome, it's traditional for tourists to throw a few coins into the Trevi Fountain. It means they will be back. But many Americans say they cannot afford to come back.
American tourists are getting fewer Italian lira for their dollars this week than at any time in the past two years. And tourists rates are always below the official bank rates. In the past, it has always been the Italian lira that has been the target of currency fluctuations, but it too has risen against the dollar.
While American tourists looked for bargains in Rome, their President Jimmy Carter said that rising prices in the United States are the main enemy of Americans and that inflation robs them of the buying power of their hard earned wages.
In Frankfurt, West Germany the Deutsche Mark continued to rise against the dollar for the fourth time in five days. Speculation in the market suggested that the dollar was to fall even further before it levelled off.
The West German Central Bank intervened and the dollar staged a mild recovery. But the United States economy has a long way to go before American tourists obtain the rates of exchange they have enjoyed in the past.