Sunday, January 18, 2009

Zimbabwe: Who Wants To Be A Trillionaire?

BBC NEWS -- On Tuesday, a 50 billion Zimbabwean dollar note was issued (see above), less than a month after a Z$500m bill was released. Prices can double every day, and food and fuel - for those without US dollars - are in short supply. Now Zimbabwe is introducing a new Z$100 trillion note, currently worth about US$30. Other notes in trillion-dollar denominations of 10, 20 and 50 are also being released to help Zimbabweans cope with hyperinflation.

However, the dollarization of the economy means that few products are available in the local currency.

BBC NEWS -- Increasingly it is only US dollars that are accepted in Zimbabwe's shops. Gas stations are among those now turning away people who offer fistfuls of local currency (see picture below). Even water bills - for what little clean water there is - have to be paid in hard US cash. And bread is now a dollar commodity in many parts of the country. John Makombe, professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe, estimates that 80% of the population here has no access to US dollar bills.

HT: Greg Mankiw


At 1/18/2009 4:47 PM, Blogger QT said...

We may be experiencing a global financial crisis but Zimbabweans are trying to survive financial catastrophe. The misery in the country is truly appalling and the territory in non-strategic ensuring that the carbuncle Mugabe will remain in power for the forseeable future.

At 1/18/2009 6:29 PM, Blogger Brad Evans said...

I remember the Zimbabwe government was having trouble buying printing ink and paper to make the money itself. Their currency was in so much trouble that no one outside Zimbabwe would accept it in payment.

At 1/19/2009 2:12 PM, Blogger Plamen said...

A good use for Zimbabwean currency.

At 1/19/2009 6:05 PM, Blogger BlogDog said...

Zimbabweans could probably make a few bucks selling those insane bills on eBay to curiosity seekers. I'd buy one for a dollar or so. But just one.

And I'm no longer making my joke about "all the billionaires Mugabe has created." That joke has passed its unsell by date.


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