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January 21, 2008
Zimbabwe unveils $10 million bill - Won't even buy a hamburger
There's inflation...and then there's what's happening in Zimbabwe:
Zimbabwe faces the world's highest official inflation of an estimated 25,000 per cent. Independent financial institutions say real inflation is closer to 150,000 per cent. There was a saying in the Weimar Republic during Germany's hyperinflation of the 1920's that you took your money to the store in a wheelbarrow and brought your purchases home in a basket. Zimbabwe has solved that dilemma by simply adding a few more zeroes to their worthless currency:
Acknowledging the inflation crisis, Gono said individuals would be allowed to withdraw an increased limit of 500 million Zimbabwe dollars (£100) in a single daily withdrawal, up from 50 million (£10).
The central bank of the southern African country has a issued a 10million Zimbabwe dollar note. The move increases the denomination of the nation's highest bank note more than tenfold. And that's if you can find the ingredients to even make a hamburger. Meat and bread are in very short supply.
Even so, a hamburger in an ordinary cafe in Zimbabwe costs 15 million Zimbabwe dollars.
At the official exchange rate, the $10 million note is worth 3 pounds - about $6.
Perhaps Zimbabwan dictator Robert Mugabe should change his economic policies. Executing shopkeepers isn't working out so good.