For years, I have used the price of a Big Mac at McDonald’s as my benchmark for well-adjusted currency rates. I have always thought that if the price of a Big Mac was the same in the U.S. and in a foreign country that the exchange rates were more or less OK. If It cost more, there was probably a bad exchange and if it cost less, I’d be planning another trip.

Finally, The Economist has come up with a real Big Mac study that shows the relative cost of this McDonald’s mainstay across the world. There were some surprises to me, like the 19 percent premium for a Big Mac in Argentina. Who would of thought that a country rich with beef and with a 4-to-1 $ to Peso exchange would register such an expensive sandwich. Chile on the other hand, that is more expensive overall, registers with a bargain Big Mac costing a bit less than in the USA.

The UK where I find everything overpriced, Big Macs actually cost less than in the USA. And the biggest bargain burger comes from Hong Kong, China and Egypt. At least the analysis is something that everyone can identify with and it is fun.

Illustrations: Courtesy www.creditsesame.com/