Arts & Culture

Money Almost Completely Worthless In Zimbabwe

In case there was any confusion over whether or not Africa was fucked up beyond comprehension, the inflation rate in Zimbabwe has now reached 231,000,000 %. An inflation rate, or anything, of that magnitude is literally beyond comprehension, as in, … Read More

By / October 24, 2008

In case there was any confusion over whether or not Africa was fucked up beyond comprehension, the inflation rate in Zimbabwe has now reached 231,000,000 %. An inflation rate, or anything, of that magnitude is literally beyond comprehension, as in, I have no idea what that even means. Prices must be doubling every couple of seconds; by the time one can even take money out of their pocket to pay for something, the price would have already gone up. 231,000,000 isn’t a number, it’s a concept, like light years; I have no frame of reference for what 231 million of anything even is.

A chronological list of headlines on NewZimbabwe.com, which hails itself as "The best Zimbabwe news site on the world wide web," tells the story as it unfolded:

January. 2007: Zimbabwe’s inflation hits 1,593% March, 2007: RBZ rolls out $5 000 and $50 000 note April, 2007: Zimbabwe’s inflation races to 3,714 percent August, 2007: Zimbabwe’s inflation rockets to 7,634% August, 2007: RBZ unveils $200,000 dollar bill September, 2007: Zimbabwe’s inflation doubles to 14,850% October, 2007: How Zimbabwe Lost Control of Inflation

Flash forward and move on to the international press as I assume the NewZimbabwe.com staff has starved to death:

May, 2008: Zimbabwe Inflation Now Over 1 Million Percent (Boston.com) August, 2008: Zimbabwe Inflation Hits 11,200,000 Percent (CNN.com) October, 2008: Zimbabwe Inflation Hits 231 Million Percent (Telegraph)