Wednesday, Aug. 05, 2009

Inflation Nation

To deal with hyperinflation that reached the ludicrous level of 231 million % and saw the price for a loaf of bread hit 300 billion Zimbabwean dollars, Zimbabwe's newly formed unity government — including bitter opponents President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai — issued a $100 trillion note in early January. (One hundred trillion, by the way, is a 1 with 14 zeroes — making the note the highest denomination in the world.)

Just weeks later, however, the leaders decided to back-burner the hugely devalued Zimbabwean dollar and began allowing people to do business in other currencies. The move managed to curb inflation for several months until a small uptick in July. One hopes some of those $100 trillion notes didn't get spent all in one place.