Friday, March 14, 2008

If You Think The Yankee Dollar Is On It's Knees, Try Zimbabwe

As the story previous, this picked up from a hard copy edition.

In most parts of the world, a man carrying around this many millions of dollars might be thought to be rich beyond his wildest dreams.

Not, however, in Zimbabwe where an inflation rate of 100,500 per cent has brought a level of poverty beyond the long-suffering citizens' worst nightmares.

As Zimbabwe slips further into economic collapse under the leadership of Robert Mugabe, ordinary citizens carry around bags of 100,000 and 200,000 notes bundled together in bricks to pay for the most basic of items.

In shops and businesses, electronic counting machines are as important as strong shoulders where £50 weighs in at nearly 40lb of the local currency.

It is common to see high denomination notes littering the streets, while businesses are reluctant to accept cheques or credit cards because by the time the amounts clear the system traders stand to lose significant amounts of money.

Banks are limiting the amount customers can withdraw each day because the central bank cannot print enough new notes to meet demand.more

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