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Zimbabwe Hyperinflation to Set World Record Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Fri, Nov 14, 2008, 02:45 pm

Inflation levels are on pace at 13.2 billion percent a month and could surpass an all-time record within weeks. The most recent figures put the nation’s annual rate at 516 quintillion percent – 516 followed by 18 zeros – overtaking Yugoslavia in 1994 and placing it behind only Hungary in 1946.

The Daily Telegraph of London reports that, “with goods unavailable and official statistics widely distrusted, the Cato Institute in Washington calculated the figures based on exchange rate movements and market data.”

Hungary in post World War II, monthly inflation reached 12,950,000,000,000,000 percent with prices doubling every 15.5 hours – Zimbabwean prices are currently doubling every 1.3 days.

The most notorious hyperinflation, Weimar, Germany in 1923, is in a distant fourth place, at 29,525 percent a month with prices doubling every 3.7 days.

The consequences are appalling for ordinary Zimbabweans and they must spend the money as soon as they get it before losing its value. Yet, the dysfunctional economy reveals that goods are in desperately short supply, and they need to spend hours foraging to find things to buy.

Consequently, there comes a point where the inflation rate makes little practical difference. Supermarkets in Harare are only accepting U.S. dollars and South African rands, leaving many Zimbabweans without access to foreign currency in very dire straits.

According to the Telegraph, the latest official figure for inflation in Zimbabwe – dating back to July – is 231 million percent a year. Robert Mugabe’s government blames foreign sanctions for the economic turmoil.

An expert believes that the only way to halt the rise was to abolish the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which plays a vital role for the regime.

To read the entire article from the Daily Telegraph of London, link here:

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written by Steve Heath , November 14, 2008

29 nations have suffered hyper-inflation in the last century. We stand to be one of the next. It may be beyond our control. The Global economic summit this weekend could very well result in a chain of events that sets hyper-inflation in motion. It may take several months. We have some very serious problems, which require solutions that are not being put forward by either party. I hope people start realizing this. It's too late to stop the pain and consequeces. It is never too late to start preparing for the aftermath.

Hyper-inflation may or may not be in the cards. It depends on how we respond to this crisis. We need to realize that things will never be the same-at least not in the next decadeor so, maybe in our lifetimes. We are entering a new era. The present world financial system, which is based on U.S. dollar supremacy is over. I hope Obama understands this. If not, I hope Republicans begin to understand this. We have a serious period of readjustment in which we need to start the process of getting back to financial responsibility and sanity.

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