Several years after revealing the first one hundred trillion modern-day banknote and seeing its economy implode in a cloud of hyperinflationary smoke, Zimbabwe’s problems are back with a vengeance. And this time not even more currency destruction, as Zimbabwe does not actually have its own currency any more having largely shifted to foreign currencies primarily the USD and the ZAR – can help. The problem? The country is officially out of cash. From AFP: “After paying public workers’ salaries last week, the balance in cash-strapped Zimbabwe’s government public account stood at just $217, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Tuesday. “Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 (left) in government coffers,” Biti told journalists in the capital Harare, claiming some of them had healthier bank balances than the state. “The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”” Sadly not even the projected and quite hilarious 5% GDP growth of the now completely broke country, which can’t even create money out of thin air as there is nobody who will lend it even one penny, will do much if anything. (Here we will briefly ignore the fact that Zimbabwe’s net cash position is about $120,000,000,000,217.00 greater than that of the US)
The less than fun, for its citizens at least, details:
The move demolished investor confidence in the country, paralysed production, prompted international sanctions and scared off tourists.
Zimbabwe’s government has warned it does not have enough money to fund a constitutional referendum and elections expected this year.