CNBC Squawkbox presenter Joe Kernen ran into a bit of confusion yesterday, while talking to Martin Shanahan of IDA Ireland. There was a bit confusion over what currency Ireland uses (the euro, for 15 years) and whether Ireland is part of the UK (it hasn’t been, for 93 years).
The fun starts at about 6:55 in the video below, when co-host Becky Quick asked what a slightly weaker euro has done to Irish tourism.
Joe Kernen: You have pounds anyway, don’t you still?
Martin Shanahan: We have euros.
JK: You have euros in Ireland? Why do you have euros in Ireland?
MT: Why wouldn’t we have euros?
JK: I’d use the pound.
Just for reference, Ireland entered the euro in 1999. So it’s been a while. The exchange went on, and Kernen continued to show a not-quite nuanced understanding of Ireland’s history. Quick and co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin sat there in silence, doubtless wishing that the earth would open up and eat them:
JK: What about Scotland? I was using Scottish… er…
MT: Scottish pounds. They use sterling. But we use euro.
MT: Why wouldn’t we do that?
JK: Why didn’t Scotland?
MT: Well they’re part of the UK, and we’re not.
Kernen goes on express his astonishment that Northern Ireland (still part of the UK) uses sterling, saying that “you guys gotta get it together”. You can see the full video here – skip to 6.55 for the good bits.
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