As hyperinflation spiraled last year, Fidelity printed million-dollar notes, then 5-million, 10-million, 25-million, 50-million. This year, it has been forced to print 100-million, 250-million and 500-million notes in rapid succession, all now practically worthless. The highest denomination is now 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars (worth a U.S. dollar on the street).How did it get this bad? The Zimbabwean regime under Robert Mugabe just printed more money as they needed, to spend and spend, without actually earning it.
Despite the recent currency shortage, the Zimbabwean dollar has continued to slide against the U.S. dollar and shopkeepers are still increasing their prices steeply. The price of the state-owned Herald newspaper has leaped from 200,000 Zimbabwean dollars early this month to 25 billion now. Before the crunch, a beer at a bar in Harare, the capital, cost 15 billion Zimbabwean dollars. At 5 p.m. July 4, it cost 100 billion ($4 at the time) in the same bar.
An hour later, the price had gone up to 150 billion ($6).
Now, the country is running out of paper on which to print money. Interesting times ahead.
- The Observer (13 April 2008)
- SW Africa (15 July 2008)
You too could be a millionaire
On the way to becoming a billionaire
What a shame that all that money doesn't actually buy very much.
It is so cold. I'm achey in my bones and nearly didn't go to work today, but there is only me to do all this urgent stuff.
Emily came over tonight and I cooked pan friend Bass Grouper fillets and roasted fennel, beetroot and brussels sprouts. The fish was rubbery so it was probably better steamed.