Friday, February 20, 2009

Zimbabwean numbers

A calculation made in November 2008 reckoned that hyperinflation was such in Zimbabwe that prices doubled every day. However, it hadn't reached the Hungarian record reached in July 1946 when prices doubled every 16 hours. The actual Zimbabwean inflation rate was estimated to be 89.7 sextillion per cent and the exchange rate to the US$ had soared to 12.6 trillion.. Large numbers are complicated by the fact that while everybody agrees that 1 million has 6 zeros after the one, some people believe that 1 billion is 1000 million whereas others think it is one million million and this throws out all subsequent large numbers. Anyway, 1 sextillion is 10 to the power of either 21 or 36, depending on which camp you fall in. Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was mocked in November when he closed the stock exchange because traders had used fraudulent cheques totalling "60 hexillion" Zim dollars to buy shares. It was assumed he meant "sextillion" but unclear which definition of the word he was using. Anyway the stock exchange reopened yesterday and all listed shares have been redenominated in US$, thereby eliminating the problems of zeros at a stroke.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:57 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

I can't imagine a fraudulent cheque was worth any less than a real one in this situation. Rather like counterfeit notes in Germany in the Great Inflation, it didn't matter as long as you got rid of them as soon as possible.

12:59 pm  
Blogger Mopsa said...

I can only count to 100.

10:02 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

The numbers that upset me most from Zimbabwe are the killings. I don't know how those who survive manage to get by, I really don't.

10:19 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Thank you for that Anon - good for Buffini!

That's true, KL

Hi Mopsa - hope the Empress has arrived safely.

You are right Ellee - it's sickening.

8:40 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm like Mopsa!

10:56 pm  

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