Hello Sophie

16 09 2008
Hello Sophie,
Let me know what I can do – have some 100 billion dollar notes that I can scan but remember they are only worth 10 of the NEW dollars! I have plenty of the NEW 500 dollar notes that are worth 5,000,000,000,000 of the old which I can also scan if you like. The reality is that very little changes hands for Zimbabwe dollars these days (but I can find you an old invoice I printed for a customer where the value ran off the page) – most people use a hard currency like the US or the South African rand (pounds and euros are not very popular). You are only legally allowed to draw 500 dollars (about one US$) in cash from the bank and yes, it is often just one note (!!!) which is pretty much useless though there are loads of very long queues outside the banks. I’m not sure what they do with the money.
I got in 500 000 of the new dollars the week before last but with such a huge disparity between the cash for cash rate (it was 200 to one US then) and the cash for a bank transfer rate (it was 25000 to one US) nobody really wanted to change cash when they could get so much more for a transfer even if the did have to queue for it. By the time I did manage to change it the rate was 550:1 which was quite a substantial loss. What the hell, I needed to buy fertilizer and crop chemicals. The lady who was serving me asked how I was going to pay. I said; US. Then I asked if they still accepted Zimbabwe dollars. No, she said, I was just thinking of a polite way to tell you. The transfer rate is now upwards of 40000 to one US but it’s all very quite out there. Nobody trusts Bob and I think they are all just waiting to see what is going to happen next.
You might think that with cash money in such short supply it would be worth more but nobody wants it – they’d rather use real money!
Try this one: I have 500,000 Zim dollars in my corporate bank account which if I were to transfer it for cash would get me 10 US dollars. If I could get it out and change it for cash (that’s why I put in fictitious wage requisitions every week) it would be worth 1,000 US dollars!
I am reliably informed that our inflation of 10,000,000% is the highest in history. The Weimar Republic didn’t even come close.
(Resending – last attempt crashed AND I paid my ISP in fuel coupons – hey it’s an ASSET isn’t it?)



2 responses

17 09 2008
Big Blister

I hope Sophie is smarter than I am because I still can’t follow all those machinations….

19 09 2008

It helps to live here…

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