Tuesday, 23 December 2008

You think our currency is in trouble?

Just as a complete aside, remember the Zimbabwean economy, and its crazy inflation? A colleague at work has friends out there, and they dropped him a note detailing, amongst other things, their bill for one month's broadband connection to their home in Harare. This is for December, quoted in old (pre-August 2008's "redenomination" of the currency by a factor of 10,000,000,000!) Zimbabwe Dollars:

$1,512,484,799,972,590,080.00 !!

I reckon you might want that in words:
1 quintrillion
512 quadrillion
484 trillion
799 billion
972 million
590 thousand and
80 dollars (zero cents).

Can you imagine writing a cheque for that amount?!
For reference, the most that you can take out of a bank today is $500,000, about enough for a loaf of bread. In terms of the old rate of the above monthly bill, $500,000 current dollars is $500,000 * 10,000,000,000 = $5,000,000,000,000,000 or 5 quadrillion dollars.

I think I worked out what his monthly bill was using an online currency exchange site.. if you fancy having a go, put your guess in a comment on this post, I'll post my estimate later.

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