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Too hard to count

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Inflation is one of those things I just can’t keep track of any more. Steve Hanke at the Cato Institute reckoned it was around 52 trillion – but that was over 10 days ago. Last week our office got a shock when the Old Mutual Implied Rate went from around USD1 = ZWD 3 billion on Wednesday to 28 billion on Thursday 163 billion on Friday. Granted, as they say on their website, “The Old Mutual Implied Rate (OMIR) is a broad unofficial proxy for the value of the Zimbabwe Dollar to the US$ based on the relative values of shares on the London and Zimbabwe Stock Exchanges.” I don’t know anyone who’s actually doing transfers at that rate. So on Saturday, when a friend of mine asked me what the transfer rate to the US was, I could honestly say, “somewhere between 250 million and 163 billion.” But this short video – shown recently at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival – sums up inflation better than any figure I’ve seen so far.

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