Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Last year, I mentioned some of the most inflationary economies in world history in posts here and here. What started the discussion (as it often does) was an e-mail, in this case from Steven Kreuch, telling me that production at Ghana's gold mines had been cut in half by the government so that there would be enough electricity to power the nation's television sets to watch Ghana in the World Cup.

That led in about five different directions and wound up in a discussion about hyperinflation, which led to post-WWI Germany and Serbia/Yugoslavia in 1993-1994 (thanks to information sent by reader Milos Miljkovic).

So when I saw this story about Zimbabwe yesterday, I wanted to share it, and here's an excerpt:
Zimbabwe's official inflation is 4,500% but independent economists and retailers say it is really above 11,000% and picking up speed. The black market rate for the Zimbabwean dollar has slumped, from Z$160,000 to the pound last week to more than Z$400,000. It collapsed further yesterday, tumbling to more than Z$300,000 to the dollar.

...Golfers pay for drinks before they set off on their round, because the price will have gone up by the time they have finished the 18th hole. One Zimbabwean was recently told by a pension company that it would no longer send him statements as his fund was worth less than the price of a stamp.

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