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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Zimbabwe's hyperinflation

The firm that helped produce currency for the German hyperinflation is helping produce currency in Zimbabwe's hyperinflation. Just as arms dealers love wars...

Though I would ask: Why should a counterfeiter work on the Zimbabwean currency? The seignorage value is low. If counterfeiters are a reduced threat, then the government could probably get away with printing on ordinary paper.


  1. Call these firms Economic Undertakers - making money on death!

    I lived in Harare for a year just as things were turning for the worse. I've seen gas stations weighing money (Zim then ran out of ink to print currencies, $500 being the then highest denomination, and didn't have fx to import ink) and price of pizza change between you getting into the queue and reaching the counter.

    Every economic and social theory can tested with Zimbabwe as subject.


  2. Would you be able to get photographs of gas stations weighing money!?

    You have seen this?

  3. Thanks Ajay, for pointing to the Botswana v Zimbabwe comparison - very interesting.
    I used a very old Nikon manual camera while I was in Zim (digital cameras never made it beyond customs. Soldiers would even "confiscate" unworn T-shirts in passenger's bags!). It is etched in my mind the sight of a young man "guarding" cash in gas stations with notes swelling upto his calves.
    I have preserved some Z$5, Z$10 notes - locals told me that in 1990 those were enough to buy provisions for a month.
    I was wondering - is there any evidence of an African country coming out from an economic/social/political crisis?



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