Zimbabwe's crazy inflation is being put out of its misery with the country's official switch to using U.S. dollars. Only now can the old denominations--quadrillion dollar bills!--appreciate in value due to their oddness and humor value.
On online auction site eBay, a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note is a collector's item fetching up to $35, a small fortune compared with the 40 U.S. cents on offer from the central bank as it seeks to officially bury the worthless currency.
The unloved Zimbabwean dollar, ravaged by hyperinflation that peaked at 500 billion percent in 2008, ceased to be legal tender on Friday as the southern African country switches fully to the U.S. dollar. … "I think this is a waste of time. I would rather sell the money to tourists," said Shadreck Gutuza, a former currency trader who now buys and sells used cars from Japan.
Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe unleashed a storm of brutal, genocidal violence after losing the 2008 elections -- and now we know that it was funded by western hedge-funds and banks, led by Och-Ziff Capital Management, the largest publicly traded fund, with assistance from Blackrock, GLG Partners, and Credit Suisse, who raised $100M for Mugabe's weapons and torture-chambers in exchange for a sweetheart deal on the country's platinum mines. Read the rest
A Zimbabwean senator named Morgan Femai from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has given a bizarre, misogynist speech at an African HIV/AIDS conference in which he proposes that his county's AIDS health emergency can be solved by mandating that women must be ugly and unbathed, and be subject to genital mutilation. He also gave an interview in which he stated that "Women have got more moisture in their organs as compared to men so there is need to research on how to deal with that moisture because it is conducive for bacteria breeding. There should be a way to suck out that moisture."
“What I propose it that the government should come up with a law that compels women to have their heads clean-shaven like what the Apostolic sects do,” said Femai, when speaking to a parliamentary HIV awareness workshop in the central city of Kadoma on Friday, according to Nehanda Radio.
“They should also not bath because that is what has caused all these problems,” said Femai, who added that if women dressed in shabby clothes and were uglier, then men would not drawn to have sex with them.
Femai also proposed that Zimbabwean women should be circumsized.
Which means, fundamentally, that the law and the doings of government will become copyrighted, and not freely distributable to the governed. Versions of this are already law in many commonwealth countries, and it sucks here; Zimbabwe's version is even more extreme than the versions that we in the UK and Canada labour under.
Veritas, a local lawyers grouping, blasted the changes as inimical to democracy.Read the rest
"The amendment proposed by clause 16 of the Bill will violate Section 20 of the Constitution, will be inimical to transparent government, human rights and the rule of law, and will be contrary to best practice in the southern African region," Veritas said.
"Amending the Copyright and Neighbouring Act has serious implications for the rights of citizens to freely access and distribute legislation, notices and other material in the Government Gazette, court judgments and certain public registers. It is important that such information should remain in the public domain." Section 10 of the current Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act does not subject certain public documents to copyright such as official texts or statutes; official texts of judicial proceedings and decisions (judgments); notices and material published in the Government Gazette and the contents of official registers.
The cumulative devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar was such that a stack of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (26 zeros) two dollar bills (if they were printed) in the peak hyperinflation would have be needed to equal in value what a single original Zimbabwe two-dollar bill of 1978 had been worth. Such a pile of bills literally would be light years high, stretching from the Earth to the Andromeda Galaxy.Shadowstats' John Williams: Prepare For The Hyperinflationary Great Depression (via Kottke) Previously:Economy will get a lot worse -- The Economist - Boing Boing Poring over inflation with the Consumer Price Index in hand ... Mudflation: inflation in virtual worlds - Boing Boing Stiglitz: America's double-standard on economic crises infuriates ... Zimbabwe currency on eBay - Boing Boing Zimbabwean $100 trillion note - Boing Boing $134.5 BILLION worth of US bonds seized from smugglers at Swiss ... Slate's readers submit photos about the recession - Boing Boing Zimbabwean $100 trillion note - Boing Boing Zimbabwean billboards from trillion dollar notes - Boing Boing Read the rest