By Mark Frauenfelder at 12:38 pm Wed, Jul 30, 2008
Mugabe should just print trillion dollar bills and sell them directly on eBay. This $100,000,000,000 note is up to AU$87 with eleven bids.
Zimbabwe Banknotes on eBay
For some odd reason I’m hearing Dr Evil’s voice in my head as I read “One hundred BILLION dollars”.
Hey, that’s one way out of the currency crisis. $87 AU is WAY more than what that note is really worth.
I’ve got an old 200,000,000 mark note from the German currency crisis 80 years ago, but this sure tops it.
As of five days ago, it wouldn’t be enough to buy you lunch in Harare.
They should just use bundles of banknotes as currency based on their heat value. I’m sure they burn nicely in stoves, power plants, and fireplaces.
As of today (Wednesday, July 30, 15:45 ET), 1 US Dollar = 54,217,199,510 Zimbabwe Dollars according to Oanda.com.
So why don’t we just pass the hat and buy them a decent government?
Oh, right. We don’t have one to spare.
Given the projected FY2009 US budget deficit (which does not include the wars in Iraq and Afganastan, and other cleverly omitted large expenses) announced later this week, maybe we just need to collect a half-dozen of these and mail them to GWB!
Like others, “Dr. Evil’s voice…!
I can’t believe Mugabe isn’t ashamed to have something like this printed. Sheesh.
#4 – I like it. A currency’s value based on the BTUs it produces!
#7, #4 if that’s the case I declare Sodium (the metal, not Salt) to be the official currency of phillambia. Only trouble is, we’re an island nation…
The latest: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/30/world/main4306447.shtml. It seems that the new exchange is $10B old dollars for one new. Having to figure things out in billion and trillions was freaking out the computers and calculators.
#7: I can’t believe that you think Mugabe might have shame.
That CBS article is great. they said local retailers cut *six* zeroes off of all prices, so their cash registers still work.
They also said stacks of 10M bills litter the streets. the homeless wont pick them up. they DO use them for toilet paper, because its cheaper.
I still have a 10,000 zim note from my trip there — less than a year ago. At the time, it was worth about 5 cents US (less by the time I left.)
The kicker? That was the legal maximum I could take out of the country in currency.
Ah hyperinflation… good thing the USA doesn’t just expand its money supply to cover its trillions in war debts… oh wait.
(But rising prices of commodities such as gold, food, and oil are “mysterious” according to “economists” in mass-media.)
What’s sad is that Mugabe’s supporters STILL haven’t figured out that he’s the problem not the solution. Sort of like the 17 people in the US who still support President Bush.
Mugabe’s supporters have food and guns. Mugabe’s opponents have neither. It’s not really a matter of political choice. Morgan Tsavangirai won the general election.
Sort of like the 17 people in the US who still support President Bush.
There’s less of them, so they ride the shorter bus.
The kicker? That was the legal maximum I could take out of the country in currency.
i.e. price controls on the exchange rate.
“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Mao.
I notice it has an /expiration date/.
It would be comical if it were not so tragic, and yet my brain continues to chant The Greatest Hits of Mike Myers’ most famous catchphrases:
One hundred BILLION …
GET IN MAH BELLEH …
@unusual – thanks for the link. Here’s the historical trend over the last week:
60% inflation per week!! That’s 0.3% per hour!! That means that a USD$10 lunch inflates Z$451,000 every second you wait!
They still have a way to go to beat the post-WW II hyperinflation currency of Hungary. My husband bought one of the notes, which was 100 million billion pengÅ‘…and the Hungarian hyperinflation trend (with currency photos) is documented at Wikipedia.
Alas, the note only shows 100 million in decimal…but the “b-pengÅ‘” stood for “billion.”
Good to know this isnâ€™t massively tasteless or anything ;)
its currently worth 1.94 AUS $. shows there is still plenty of ebay suckers. in a month they will be almost giving them away
So, let’s say everything in The Zim finally rights itself and the economy gets back on track and all is wonderful – even in thirty to forty years. Wouldn’t it be a plus to have that extra $100,000,000,000? Or is the economy so effed now that there’re all of these sorts of notes flooding the market?
Zimbabwe announced that it is knocking 10 zeros off its currency:
I’d give it three months before those zeros make it back onto the new note series…
I wonder if those South African surgeons that operated on the Mugabe swine really understand or care how many they sentenced to death by not cutting his throat on the table?
Many African currencies have not been through a revaluation phase in decades, so they have a ridiculous amount of zeroes at the end. Given that many of these nations (and, therefore, their economies) have been around for less than 50 years, this is one of those things you might just expect.
Ghana, for example, just lopped off 4 zeroes from their money (actually, without devaluing it) ostensibly to make trade easier. The problem now is keeping track of prices offered in the street markets. Did you mean 1 cedi or 10,000 cedis?
Let’s not forget how the World Bank/IMF set the stage for the kinds of situations we are seeing in developing nations right now. Sure, it’s funny, but there are real people behind all those zeroes.
Ironically, the CAPTCHA for this comment is “$100,000″.
I’d love to get a good source for these notes. I’d buy many thousands of $100-and-up notes then swim in them, Scrooge MdDuck style.
The other, better, alternative is to have a “billionaires’ party”: have your friends turn up in black tie with million dollar notes used as coasters, cigar lighters, sewn into fans, used to line hats etc. It’d be awesome.
Help me out? Can you break a hundred billion?
Andigopow a part of recovery from hyperinflation is always to issue a new currency worth tens or hundreds of times what the old currency was worth. So your note with lots of zeroes would stay worthless
firstly, Mugabe is meant to have tertiary stage syphillis and is clinically insane from the spirochetes in his spinal fluid.
Secondly he revalued the Z$ by knocking a few zeros off the value today, so a billion is now a million.
And thinks this is sound economic practice….see my first point.
Thirdly there will be no investment in Zimbabwe while Bob and the rest of the cronies in ZanuPF are in power, even if they pretend to share power with Morgan’s lot. Beacuase they seized billions of dollar, that’s US ones BTW, in property from it’s white owners, gave it away to his gaggle of war vets and expected them to feed the nation.
Theft of property is not looked on as a good bet by external investors.Who knows when Bob might blow a valce and keep your stuff.
Really he needs to pull an Amin and leg it to soem complicit state and spend his untold Zillions of Z$s.
Should be able to get a coffee, maybe even a grande.
That’s cool how the note has the issue date down to the actual date.
Here’s one of two bills I purchased on eBay years ago for $18:
the expiry date is just scary
Awesome! When I heard they were printing these, I wanted one. I just hope I don’t get scammed by a Nigerian.
Ahhhhh, the “New” bills are now being sold on eBay. Very pretty.
@ #7 MRBUG
Walter Jonh Williams “The Green Leopard Plague” deals with a more or less BTU based currency.
(Not exactly, but the full story is kind of spoliery :)
One of the best short SF, i read in the last years.
Wonder why all this currency is being sold on Australian EBay rather than the US site?
So, then, read this little gem about Zimbabwe running out of paper imports, and attempting to ramp up the country’s paper mill. And in order to do that they have to drill a hole bunch of new wells to get enough water. And this all assumes that the software they need to design and print each new bill doesn’t get the licence pulled.
It’s almost like reading the Onion – but more than a little scary because they don’t have to make this stuff up.
Now I see what the scam is about these Nigeria letters. They offer the million dollar pay-back in Zimbabwe dollars…
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