The Ten Million Dollar Note!
Today, Friday, the world's highest denominated bank note went into circulation. It's worth a cool ten million dollars, and guess where it's valid. Yes, right. It could only happen in Zimbabwe.
The one-million dollar (click picture for bigger image) note has been expected here for weeks. It's appeared too, together with the five million and the ten million. And the streets of Harare and Bulawayo are now crowded with modern millionaires, who have no more money but considerably less unwieldly wallets.
And what will these millionaires buy with their ten million dollar note? Not a lot, is the short answer. The black market rate for ten million Zimbabwe dollars today is about four dollars US. So your ten million will get you perhaps five loaves of bread, or six pints of milk. Hamburger and chips, however, at a local cafe, will be out of reach, at 15 million.
The new note is valid from January 1 this year only until June 30, but by then, with inflation now officially at 25,000 per cent and actually at 150,000 per cent, it won't be worth much anyway.
Who do we Zimbabweans thank for such financial largesse? The note is signed by Dr. G Gono, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Thanks a lot, Gideon.