Inflation outrageous in Zimbabwe

By Jane Sutton-Redner
We think we have economic woes … imagine living in Zimbabwe.

Top, today's Zimbabwean bill. Below, from 2007.

Top, today's Zimbabwean bill. Below, from 2007.

When Kari Costanza and Jon Warren were there two years ago for the Spring 2008 magazine, 200,000 Zimbabwean dollars were worth about one U.S. dime. Then a few weeks ago, our colleague, Andrea Peer, was traveling in Southern Africa, and at the Johannesburg airport, she was given a Zimbabwean bill worth 50 trillion dollars—13 zeros! And apparently it isn’t even enough to buy a loaf of bread.

Please keep children and families in Zimbabwe in your prayers.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Inflation outrageous in Zimbabwe

  1. My daughter Mandy and I were in Zimbabwe in the summer of 2006. Even then you had to go through an ATM line about three times to get a 3″ stack of bills, each one I think printed at a face value of $50,000; and when you were done you had a grand total of something like US$35.

    I saved a small roll of bills just for a novelty and have been giving them out as prizes for kids’ games. (Imagine how excited they are when they discover they have won a fifty thousand dollars! Tee-hee.)

    But the kicker is, someone noticed, sometime after we got back, the fine print printed right on the face of the bill itself. It says: “Not valid after December 31, 2006.”

    Yes, they have a built-in expiration date!

  2. Ryan Smith

    Larry,

    That is correct. You’ll see in the picture above that the $200,000 bill expired on June 30, 2008. The new currency is notable because it didn’t print with an expiration date. However, that didn’t stop the inflation, and now the government has declared all Zimbabwean currency to be void, and the official currency is the US dollar.

    More details than you’d ever care to know are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwean_dollar

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