Saturday, January 17, 2009
Every time you look away from Zimbabwe for more than a week or two, you come back to find that they've added a bunch more zeros to their currency.
After lopping off a serious number of naughts, not long ago, according to this AFP report, many of them are now back in the new $100 trillion bank note.
[Note: The best I could find was the $100 billion note. If anyone can locate a picture of the new, larger denomination bill, I'll be happy to put it up.]
It would be a lot funnier if not for the humanitarian crisis that continues amid the political turmoil of the Robert Mugabe regime and recent elections.
Zimbabwe unveils $100 trillion banknoteIt's now much sadder than it is funny, though, how could an inflation rate of almost 90 sextillion percent not give you a chuckle?
HARARE (AFP) – Zimbabwe unveiled a 100 trillion dollar note Friday in the latest grim measure of its staggering economic collapse, heightening the urgency of a new round of unity talks set for next week.
Veteran leader Robert Mugabe and opposition chief Morgan Tsvangirai are set to hold talks Monday with key regional leaders in a bid to salvage a four-month-old unity accord, which has yet to be implemented.
The stalemate over disputed elections last year has only fuelled the economic and humanitarian crisis that has impoverished the country, leaving nearly half the population dependent on food aid as a cholera epidemic sweeps the country.
The Reserve Bank announced in the government mouthpiece Herald newspaper a series of trillion-dollar denominations to keep pace with hyperinflation that has left the once-dynamic economy in tatters.
The new 100,000,000,000,000 Zim-dollar bill would have been worth about 300 US dollars (225 euros) at Thursday's exchange rate on the informal market, where most currency trading now takes place, but the value of the local currency erodes dramatically every day.
The move came just one week after the bank released a series of billion-dollar notes, which already are not worth enough for workers to withdraw their monthly salaries.
Inflation was last reported at 231 million percent in July, but the Washington think-tank Cato Institute has estimated it now at 89.7 sextillion percent -- a figure expressed with 21 zeroes.