When I was doing a crossword puzzle some time ago, one of the clues was "an awful purple dinosaur". It didn't take a second for the penny to drop and "Barney" to come up in flashing purple lights. Well, now, if I came across the same clue today, I'd have to think a bit longer. Why? Because Zim now has its own purple dinosaur - the new Z$50,000 note!
Our very own boot-licking gideon gono (holder of a doctorate, no less - but what in, is anyone's guess), Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, this week unveiled a long-promised and much- trumpeted new issue of currency - one solitary Z$50,000 note! Well, not exactly ......... It's just another of those very Zimbabwean oddities - another "bearer cheque". And that? Well, it's sort of a bank note, but it isn't. It's legal tender, but only for a limited time - it has an expiry date! The Z$50,000 bearer cheque expires on 31st December 2006. It joins the (very slowly) growing list of bearer cheques - Z$5,000, Z$10,000 and Z$20,000.
Now this is from a government and a Reserve Bank that claim they are in control of the country and the country's finances. Yeah right! So, if you're in control of the situation mr gono, why didn't inflation slow right down by the end of 2005 as you predicted (to an unbelieving public)? Why do you have to you introduce new currency notes at all? It seems to me that the public has more financial savvy than you!
Another question mr gono - seeing as you've got a firm grasp on the financial situation - why do you insist on producing "bearer cheques" instead of genuine currency? Then again, why produce "bearer cheques" in useless denominations? Okay - it is useful to be able to buy a loaf of bread (at Z$45,000 a loaf) with only one note, or even a bottle of beer (Z$50,000 each), but what if you want to pay for a tank of petrol? That's a normal enough thing isn't it? Okay, so you it's hypothetical in Zim - big deal! A forty litre tank will cost you about Z$6 million to fill at the going black market rate of Z$150,000 per litre. That means you will need 120 of Zim's largest note to pay for it! Now you can understand the problem of any one who wants to pay their workers in cash, or do a cash deal on a second washing machine, or a car or .......the mind boggles! We need a Z$500,000 note - at least - to help people in the street turn Zim's cash bottleneck into a cash flow again. A Z$1,000,000 note would probably be better!
Seeing as you really do not seem to get the picture, mr gono, can I try and put it a bit more simply for you? If a Z$20,000 bearer cheque is worth nothing, two and a half nothings is still nothing!
[tags]Zimbabwe, currency, economy, money, bearer cheques, Gideon Gono, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe[/tags]