Saturday, August 09, 2008

Inflation's 12%, did you say?

Indian's are fretting about rising prices and the highest-ever inflation rates in a long, long time. But spare a thought for the Zimbabweans where inflation is so dramatic that by the time you finish reading this post, it would have probably gone up! It's a staggering nine million per cent a year! Yes, nine million! I, f***ing can't even imagine what's it must be like to live in such conditions with such a wacky rate of price increase. But I found my answer in this brilliant profile of Robert Mugabe by Peter Godwin in Vanity Fair. He describes it thus:

Everywhere in Zimbabwe there are long lines: lines for bread, lines for cooking oil, lines for maize meal (the staple food). Buying gasoline requires an array of byzantine procedures. Zimbabwe can now boast, if that is the word, the highest rate of inflation in history. As I write, it’s running at about nine million percent a year. How can I convey what it’s like to live with this kind of hyperinflation? Imagine that you’re out grocery shopping, and in the time it takes you to reach the checkout line, the prices of the items in your cart have all gone up. Golfers now pay for drinks before they tee off, because by the time they’ve completed 18 holes the bar prices will have risen. No one uses wallets for cash; mostly you carry around bags full of blocks of money secured by elastic bands. During my latest trip to the country, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued new, higher-denomination notes no fewer than three times in a period of two months, the last one being the 500-million-Zimbabwean-dollar note. At its introduction it was worth two U.S. dollars. Four weeks later, its value had fallen to five cents.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

6:17 PM  

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