June 10th, 2008

(no subject)

I'm beginning to think that escaping from Long Island is one of those things my friends who live there have to do to keep their sanity. It's consistent enough that even I can sense a trend.
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Now that's inflation.

In mid-May, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released their latest series of paper money, the Agro Cheque, in denominations of Z$5 billion, Z$25 billion and Z$50 billion. Charity Dhliwayo, acting bank governor, says they are intended for "our farmers, who, starting this year's marketing season, are receiving competitive prices for their produce".

Here's a photo of the Z$50 billion note, snagged from an eBay auction:

Zimbabwe's new fifty billion dollar note

(This note is currently worth less than US $50 at the market rate.)

From http://www.thewip.net/contributors/2008/05/zimbabwe_introduces_special_ba.html:
Like all Zimbabwean banknotes, the new notes are actually bearer's cheques with an expiration date. They expire at the end of the agricultural marketing season in December.

This becomes the fourth set of high denomination notes to be issued this year alone. The RBZ has had to constantly introduce new bills as hyperinflation in the country continues unabated.

Only a fortnight ago, the central bank introduced Z$250 million and Z$100 million notes. A Z$50 million and Z$10 million note were launched in April and January respectively, while Z$250,000, Z$750,000 and Z$1million notes were introduced in December of last year.

Zimbabwe is battling the world's highest inflation rate, currently at 355,000 percent. The high inflation rate has ravaged the value of any new notes within just a few weeks, a trend that has caused frequent cash shortages.