We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

50,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwe dollars

Andy Janes has just bought one of these:


He paid £1.70. Not bad. But how many pounds will such a thing cost in a few years time?

Have a nice weekend.

20 comments to 50,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwe dollars

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    I’d guess around £50,000,000,000,000.

  • Jeff

    I bought two 100 trillion dollar notes for like 8 USD on eBay last winter. The vast majority of the cost was shipping (from China, if I remember right).

    I thought they’d be cool to show to people. I quickly learned that my idea of cool varies from my friends and family by a wide margin.

  • Alsadius

    Probably less than one pound – the novelty will wear off as soon as some other third-world shithole goes hyperinflationary and we forget Zimbabwe.

    (Yes, I know what point you were trying to make. I just disagree.)

  • I brought some Transnistrian roubles back from Transnistria. They are good, as they will always win a “strangest currency” contest for people who are into that kind of thing.

  • newrouter

    scientific notation would have cut ink cost but at that point who cares

  • doug galecawitz

    got myself a 100 trillion zimbabwe dollar. my company deals with the company that manufactures them.

  • BigFire

    This is precisely what Tea Party is trying to avert here in America. Not sure if the OWS crowds actually understand it.

  • jim

    UK will have to reintroduce the farthing to answer that question

  • Greg

    Are that a famous rock formation or something, or does their money have a pile of crap on it?

  • James

    £1.70? Seems the Zim dollar has increased in value since I bought my Z$50 trillion note for £1.50!

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    A sterling example of how a government can make an expensive, high tech product like high-grade paper, absolutely worthless.

  • Laird

    Not “absolutely worthless”, DC: worth precisely £1.70.

    And I submit that a scrap of “high-grade paper” of this size without that government printing on it would be worth substantially less. (Of course, its value is due solely to its novelty and the entertainment it provides, not anything intrinsic to either the paper or the ink.)

  • Alisa

    Indeed, Laird. What I’d like to know is what this bill can actually buy in Zimbabwe.

  • Evil Otto

    So what’s the problem? We get two of these, and we can shore up Social Security in the US for generations, and a few more can fix all the other unfunded liabilities, with plenty left over to fix the infrastructure. A couple more can bail out Greece and solve many of the other financial problems in Europe.

    And then, then we can buy everyone ponies.

    You guys make economics sound so complicated. Michael Moore says there’s plenty of money out there. Turns out he was right!

  • Edward

    Time to take out a nice big fixed-rate mortgage, I think.

  • Andrew Duffin

    @doug: “my company deals with the company that manufactures them.”

    In what currency do they invoice their customer and in what manner are they paid?

    Just wondering.

  • Fraser Orr

    You can buy your own here: http://www.templetoncollectibles.com/ for only a few bucks. Don’t know if they ship to the UK.

    (I’m not affiliated, bla, bla, bla.)

  • Paul Marks

    Comrade Bob (of Zimbabwe) is much attacked – but, actually, he is simply taking the policies of the intellectual elite to their “logical conclusion”.

    Marxism (and Comrade Bob is a lifelong Marxism) is (it its philophical base – not in its pretense of being an historical and economic theory) just taking the doctrine of Social Justice to its conclusion (to each according to their needs – from each according to the abilities).

    It is not the fault of Comrade Bob if ignorant people say they want “Social Justice” and then react with horror as he tries to establish it (by the only means it can be established – mass murder, terror, endless confisctations…..)

    “But what about the inflation…..”

    From P. Straffa onwards there have been efforts to combine Marxism and Keynesianism (indeed Keynes himself was not radically out of sympathy with either Marxism or National Socialism – he liked the economic collectivism of both, although he disliked other aspects).

    But even Keynesianism on its own (without Marxism) advises that the way to deal with economic problems is “monetary and fiscal stimulus”.

    I.E. – have the government produce more money, and spent it.

    Are people denying that Zimbabwe has had economic problems?

    It clearly has – and Comrade Bob has reacted in the way that the popular “Nobel Price” winners (Stiglitz, Krugman and so on – their disputes are really less important than their points of agreement) would suggest.

    Produce more money and spend it.

    So both on “Social Justice” and on “monetary and fiscal stimulus” there is no real difference between Comrade Bob and the international intellectual elite.

    Nothing for Ed Miliband or his late father to disagree with.

    And nothing much for David Cameron (who uses much of the same language – and got much the same education) to disagree with either.

    As economic problems get worse (around the world), the elite will respond in the way Comrade Bob already has.

  • I hope this isn’t seen as too spammy, but I also sell these on my website zimbabwedollars.net(Link) at pretty competitive prices and I ship worldwide without charging an arm and a leg.

    As mentioned, these things do make great gifts for the right person.

    You can use the cupon code “samizdata” during checkout for a 10% discount.