Old 06-15-2015, 07:47 AM   #1
bob_denard
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Default Money for nothing in Zimbabwe


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HARARE — Zimbabwe's central bank has announced that residents can exchange banknotes from its old currency, which collapsed and was discarded six years ago amid runaway inflation, for American dollars.

But 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars — that's right, $100,000,000,000,000 — will fetch only 40 US cents, the equivalent of 13.50 baht.

That's a fraction of what collectors on eBay and elswehere have been paying for the notes with numerous zeroes, given their novelty value.

Zimbabwe in 2009 abandoned its currency for a system dominated by the US dollar and the South African rand after inflation hit 230 million percent — that's right, 230,000,000%. Back then, even street hawkers refused to accept the $100-trillion Zimbabwean notes that were in circulation.

Starting from Monday, the stacks of bills that Zimbabweans still have in their possession can be exchanged for US dollars. The offer is part of what the central bank says is an overdue plan to phase out the currency entirely.

Some people in Harare, the capital, said they disposed of their Zimbabwean dollars long ago.

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