Zimbabwean Crisis: Z$100 Billion Note Won't Even Buy You Lunch

If you think the American economy is bad, take heart that it's nowhere near the ultra-super-hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, once one of the richest countries in Africa. The country's central bank has recently issued a Z$100 billion note (yes, Z$100,000,000,000).

So, what would a Z$100 billion note buy you? About two loaves of bread (it won't even get you lunch - you'd need at least Z$250 billion for lunch).

So far this year, the country ravaged by hyperinflation has been forced to print 100-million, 250-million and 500-million notes in rapid succession. All of them are now almost worthless.

It has become common now for Zimbabweans to talk of their daily expenses in trillions (one trillion is 12 zeros).

When John Robertson pinned a chart to the wall of office naming numbers up to twice as long, he says he "raised a bit of a laugh" from his colleagues.

But for many officials and accountants, a quadrillion - a million billion - is the number of the day.


Previously on Neatorama: The Zimbabwean Crisis

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Zimbabwe gets some food aid from the west (though Mugabe's thugs try to stop it reaching people who didn't vote for him). I suspect those who don't get aid rely on barter and other means to get food.

And some starve.
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i'm just wondering how they've managed to survive at all.. i mean, if they can't buy a loaf of bread after working a full day, how are these people still alive? how is zimbabwe not the land of rotting carcasses and disease? or is that the untold story? are we to assume that these people are just sitting around completely overwhelmed by their unpayable bills just waiting for the economy to sweep them off the land and start a-new? what is happening and what is being done?
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