Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Starving Billionaires

With the rate of inflation at 100,000% that's the state of affairs in Zimbabwe. Recently, the Zimbabwean reserve bank put out a $50 Million currency note. I wonder if the Zimbabwean central bankers are pushing "cost-push" theories like their Sri Lankan counterparts. "Oil is expensive you see, you'll have to pay 16 Million for that bread". Now with the 50 Million note , at least carrying cash will be easier. Just ask this littler chap.

The country has a black market for US Dollars, a (black)market-led dollarization of sorts. Something I think should be allowed to happen elsewhere, legally.

There might now be hope so, here's what Morgan Tsvangirai, the man who should be Zimbabwe's next president said recently in a WSJ article:
Today, Zimbabwe ranks last out of the 141 countries surveyed by the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom in the World report. According to 2007 World Bank estimates, it takes 96 days to start a business in Zimbabwe. It takes only two days in Australia. Waiting for necessary licenses takes 952 days in Zimbabwe, but only 34 days in South Korea. Registering property in Zimbabwe costs an astonishing 25% of the property's value. In the United States, it costs only 0.5%. [link]
At least someone there gets it. Hope might be short lived though, power transfers from dictators are never smooth.

[bank note link via reason, WSJ quote via division of labor]

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