Monday, December 7, 2009

A 100 Trillion Dollar Zimbabwe Bill

Previously on this blog I have looked at the extent of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe and as well as recent progress (i.e. the defacto dollarization of the economy) the country has made in overcoming this problem. I bring this up because today one of my former students gave me the following Zimbabwe bill dated 2008 (click on pictures to enlarge):

Yes, this a 100 trillion dollar note with fourteen zeros. Note that the bill apparently has several anti-counterfeiting measures like the golden bird statue on the right front. That is surprising; surely the opportunity cost of counterfeiting this bill far exceeded any benefit. Just how worthless is this currency now? Below is a picture that answers this question succinctly (click on picture to enlarge):


  1. When did they switch from bearer bonds back to notes?

    What you might also like to explain to students is who prints that money and who supplies the computer programs for the printing. A German and Austrian company respectively.

    The personal intervention of Angela Merkel went a long way to stopping the supply of paper and forcing the dollarization which has mixed benefits. Inflation is down but the ordinary person who has no access to USD is in real trouble.

  2. I dont know where Zimbabwe stacks up in the hyperinflation stakes. Steve Hanke had a paper which put Hungary's 1946 inflation as the hyper-ist ever - prices doubled every 15 hours.