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A History of Zimbabwe hyperinflation October 28 2016

A History of Zimbabwe hyperinflation

When Zimbabwe was established as a republic in 1980, its new currency was stronger than the US dollar. Throughout the '80s Zimbabwe enjoyed a fairly healthy economy despite some governmental instability under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe. Economic and political unrest increased in the 1990s and early 2000s as Mugabe implemented a number of questionable land reforms and monetary practices. Corruption was widespread. Wars motivated by greed were fueled by unrestrained printing of money.

The public began to lose faith in the Zimbabwean Dollar, which underwent triple-digit inflation rates every year from 2000-2005. In 2006 the inflation rate was 1,281%, in 2007 it was 66,212% and by July 2008 it hit 231,150,888%. At the peak of Zimbabwe's inflation in November 2008, real prices doubled every 24 hours. A pencil, which might have cost one cent on November 1st, would have cost $10.7 million by November 30th.

This rampant inflation led to a printing of a large number of banknote denominations in an attempt to make transactions practical. In 2006 a new series of banknotes was printed to replace the previous notes which had reached denominations as high as Z$50,000. By 2008 this new series had grown to be so large in size that 10 zeros were slashed off for the next series of notes. By the end of 2008 this new series had grown to denominations reaching 100 Trillion dollars.

A 4th banknote series was attempted at the start of 2009, this time slashing 12 zeros from the previous edition. Shortly thereafter, the currency was officially abandoned.