Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zimbabwe to Introduce 100-Billion-Dollar Note

On last Saturday, I was shocked because the central bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new 100-billion-dollar bank note in a bid to tackle rampant cash shortages, grappling with a record 2.2 million percent inflation. The new note will go into circulation joining about half a dozen new high denomination notes already issued this year. The bank had said in a statement cited by state media.

Zimbabwe's chronic economic crisis has left mass shortages of basic goods in shops and at least 80 percent of the population living below the poverty threshold. The independent economists believe the official inflation figure is grossly understated, estimating it could be running between 10 million and 15 million percent.

In January, a 10-million-dollar note was issued, then a 50-million-dollar note in April. In May, notes for 100 million and 250 million dollars were issued, swiftly followed by those for five billion, 25 billion and 50 billion. Zimbabwe, the southern African nation, currently gripped by a post-election crisis, has been ravaged by hyperinflation that shot up from 165,000 percent in February to 2.2 million in June.

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