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Just in time for the 111th Congress ...

Zimbabwe to Produce First $100 Trillion Note

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwe's central bank says it will soon introduce a 100 trillion dollar note as the once prosperous country battles to keep pace with hyperinflation that has caused many to abandon the country's currency.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the new notes that includes 50 trillion, 20 trillion and 10 trillion would be released for the "convenience of the public," according to statement released Thursday.

"In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of bank notes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the 10 trillion Zimbabwe dollar," the bank said in its announcement.

Wow! Everybody's rich! Except ... sadly, no:

The new 100 trillion dollar bill would be worth about $300 in U.S. currency. A loaf of bread in Zimbabwe now costs about 300 billion Zimbabwean dollars -- and like most commodities, the price increases every day.

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe introduced a 50 billion dollar bill as the country battles to fight cash shortages stemming from the world's highest inflation rate. The official rate was 231 million percent as of July.

The currency is in free fall, forcing traders to peg their prices to international currency to hedge against losses. The Zimbabwean dollar is facing extinction, with most traders now accepting other countries' notes, claiming that they import their products.

In 1934, The Federal Reserve ordered the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce 42,000 Gold Certificates with the denomination of $100,000, bearing the portrait of Woodrow Wilson. The Wilson Gold Certificate is the largest denomination of currency ever produced by the United States, and was used exclusively in private circulation between Federal Reserve banks.

Today, though, one has to wonder if it would not be prudent for the Federal Reserve to produce a new $1 billion Treasury Bond Certificate, perhaps bearing the portrait of The One seated on top of a huge mountain of government debt. The back of the bill could have a group portrait of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson, and perhaps a few smiling Chinese investors. The bills could be circulated between The Federal Reserve, Wall Street investment banks, and the Big 3 automakers (although I would suspect that the ones headed for Detroit would mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again).

We're not in economic freefall -- yet. But the insatiable desire of our government to spend money, and simply print more when they seem to be running out, could very well lead to a repeat of the runaway inflation of the 1970's, in which case a $100,000 bill might eventually be common-place. President Obama is reportedly poised to call on all Americans to be "responsible." I hope that goes for the government as well, but I'm not holding my breath.


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Comments (11)

Compare and contrast:... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Compare and contrast:

Obama: "responsibility"

Bush: "shopping"

I got one in change this mo... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

I got one in change this morning at Krispy Kreme.

Bush didn't want people to ... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Bush didn't want people to become frozen with fear like OBL wanted. Letting a terrorist disrupt our lives is the worst thing we could do. That would mean that they won by disrupting commerce. In our economy and the worlds, for that matter, nothing happens unless something is sold.

MichaelI dont know... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Michael

I dont know how much you know about economics, but think back to the 80s, if you can and think of the damage Reagan and Bush Senior did to the economy. The deficits, both trade and budget were out of control. Under Clinton's watch, the economy recovered considerably. It became undone Bush's watch. Obama is minutes away from inauguration, and inspite of being the Chosen, I doubt he is going to fix the sub prime crisis anytime soon.

I bet you could sell some o... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I bet you could sell some of those notes as novelties on Ebay for more than they are worth.

Joe, I have only one word f... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Joe, I have only one word for you: Sweaters

As in Carters call for Americans to wear them instead of heating their homes in order to be "responsible" as he almost single-handedly destroyed our economy. Which Reagan and Bush Senior salvaged and returned to prosperity, btw.

Liberals no longer know the real meaning of responsibility.

Joe:I dont know... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Joe:

I dont know how much you know about economics [but allow to demonstrate the depth of my ignorance]...

Corrected an omission.

Inflation is surely in our ... (Below threshold)

Inflation is surely in our future now that fiscal conservatism is dead. You'll be using your worthless $1 bills to start fires.
http://www.rightklik.net/

Joe - "Under Clinton's ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Joe - "Under Clinton's watch, the economy recovered considerably. It became undone Bush's watch.

Um... gee is there something missing here?

Like how Clinton was pushed at near kicking and screaming level, to accede to many of the issues contained within the Republican led Contract with America that included welfare reform, term limits, tougher crime laws, and a balanced budget law.

Whatever Joe, while you're living in LaLaLand also consider the 52 consecutive months of job growth under Bush, from September 2003 to December 2007.

Joe = selective memory infused with an acute case of BDS.

The next four years will be... (Below threshold)
John S:

The next four years will be "interesting times." First expect a year or two of a deflationary spiral -- much like 1931-1932. If you're one of the lucky ones who don't lose their job you can expect a 10 to 20 percent wage cut. (That's already begun at hundreds of companies across the U.S.) Then in 2011, as President Obama is pushing his 3rd trillion dollar "stimulus" through Congress, three years of printing money will backfire into triple digit inflation.

Prepare to do a lot of bartering... and walking.

For those who want to know ... (Below threshold)
ikkonoishi:

For those who want to know where the $100,000 bill image was posted. It came from
myinvestingblog.com/money-hacks-carnival-18-the-history-of-money/. Hotlinks aren't nice although that site has some weird ad system that adds links to each section of the article.




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