This is not the year for a Christmas shopping trip to New York.
On top of the fuel surcharge on the flight - some transatlantic air fares are double what they were a couple of years ago - the dollar has suddenly ceased to be a bargain.
Yesterday sterling slipped by another 1.7 cents to $1.72 - almost one per cent in a single trading session.
Anyone who went shopping last Christmas should have got at least $1.80 and the greenback languished around that level for much of this year. The legendary trendspotter Warren Buffett was reported to have taken a colossal bet that his nation?s currency had further to fall.
If so, just this once he got it heroically wrong.
There was a time when this kind of thing would have ranked as a currency crisis.
From sterling?s peak it amounts to an eight per cent devaluation. Even now, when the folk memory is fading of the Bank of England ?inter-vening? in the currency markets to prop up a reeling pound, it is an unsettling development.
Its first effect is to offset the promising decline in the price of oil - because oil is priced in dollars. It should help British exports to America and countries with currencies linked to the dollar. Less obviously, it is a timely boost, close to the year end, for the large number of British companies with American operations who report the profits in sterling.
It was all very well to grumble about the over-priced pound. But it was the weakness of the euro rather than the dollar that hurt British exporters - and the euro has been sinking again, making things worse.
This story is a strong dollar rather than a weak pound. The subtle whys and wherefores will emerge as it unfolds, but the underlying theme is clear. The Fed has been raising US interest rates month after month. Critically, it has done so without stalling the US economy.
There is nervous talk of the US housing market coming to grief - but so far no sign of anything of the sort.
An economy pampered for a long spell by credit based on an official rate of one per cent has proved singularly resilient to paying more than the rate of inflation for borrowed money.
Plainly that is now attracting mobile capital which cannot find this kind of resilience anywhere else in the developed world - though the Japanese stock market has had a terrific run.
The Bank of England?s ?Inflation Report? yesterday may have made things marginally worse for sterling. It was delphic as ever about the implications for British interest rates.
But charts showing inflation heading back below Gordon Brown?s two per cent target next year and this year?s growth down to a meagre 1.7 per cent clearly made any prospect of British interest rates going back up again even more remote than they were.
That doesn?t mean Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry can look forward with any confidence to the Bank heeding its plea for a cut next month. The chances are that nothing will happen for a while. Remember, this is the Bank that likes to be boring.