What would you do with $100 billion? Buy a house? A car? Your own country? How about a loaf of bread. Zimbabwe recently released a new bank note to the tune of $100 billion, which, according to government officials, is not quite enough to pay for one loaf of bread. With an official inflation rate of 2.2 million percent since 1980, Zimbabwe’s inflation rate is by far the highest in the world. New high dollar bank notes are being introduced as a temporary solution to this long standing problem. These temporary notes are not meant to take the place of official currency. However, Zimbabwe has not had official currency since the temporary notes were introduced in 2003. As long as the inflation remains high, cash shortages will persist. Inflation is best combated by increasing production, but this has proved difficult for the country in recent years. With an expiration date of December 31, it seems that even this new $100 billion dollar bank note will soon become nothing more than pocket change, and a new larger bill will need to be introduced. So the next time you hear someone complain about the weak U.S. dollar, just remind them of all the billionaires in Zimbabwe who can’t afford a loaf of bread.
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