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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Zimbabwe Introduces $100 Billion Banknotes

With inflation spiralling out of control, Zimbabwe has introduced a $100 billion note (CNN has a photo of a $500 million note). $100 billion is the equivalent to one U.S. dollar and is enough to buy four oranges.

The official inflation rate is currently at official inflation rate now at 2.2 million percent although it is likely to be a lot higher.

According to Wikipedia, Hungary suffered the highest rate of hyperinflation ever recorded shortly after the Second World War. The value of the Pengő was doubling every 15 hours and in mid-1946 the 100,000,000,000,000,000,000* (100 quintillion) Pengő banknote was issued - the highest denomination banknote ever issued. a one sextillion Pengő was also printed but was never issued.

100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 quintillion) Pengő

By the end of July 1946 one U.S. dollar was worth 460 octillion Pengő (460 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000)! To stabilise the economy a new currency was introduced - the Forint. One Forint was worth 400 octillion Pengő.

Related: Other examples of hyperinflation.

* - This is a quintillion as defined by the US (also used by the UN). A British quintillion would be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000


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