In Case you Want to See What Hyperinflation Looks Like…

…take a look over at the BBC:  Zimbabwe dollars phased out.

Zimbabwe is phasing out its local currency, the central bank says, formalising a multi-currency system introduced during hyper-inflation.

Foreign currencies like the US dollar and South African rand have been used for most transactions since 2009.

Local dollars are not used except high-denomination notes sold as souvenirs.

But from Monday, Zimbabweans can exchange bank accounts of up to 175 quadrillion (175,000,000,000,000,000) Zimbabwean dollars for five US dollars.

Higher balances will be exchanged at a rate of Z$35 quadrillion to US$1.


FILED UNDER: Africa, Economics and Business, Quick Takes, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    The joy of fiat currency. The only question is should we move to the gold standard, sea shells or beads?

  2. Pinky says:

    @Ron Beasley: Gold, shells, and beads don’t have any inherent value either.

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    @Pinky: So true, you can’t eat any of them.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Of course Republicans have been warning of this happening in the US for years….doh, wrong again, Republicans.

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    To not become Zimbabwe:

    Don’t allow what amounts to a civil war which destroys your productive base.

    Don’t lose control of tax collection, because this is how you unprint.

    Don’t print when there isn’t enough stuff to buy.

    Don’t be ruled by Robert Mugabe.

  6. @Ben Wolf: All good advice.

  7. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: you just chafed because it’s an afican nation that can’t figure out that printing money just doesn’t work sometimes?!

  8. @bill: Shame that they didn’t take that lesson from the Confederate States of America.