frauenfelder at April 22nd, 2014 12:31 — #1
spunkytws at April 22nd, 2014 12:51 — #2
I've got an even better deal. There's this deposed prince from Cote d'Ivoire who's got $10 million locked up in a Nigerian bank account. He just needs someone to help him get it out, and he's offering to share 10% with anyone in the US who's willing to provide their bank account information for the transfer.
sjm at April 22nd, 2014 12:53 — #3
If you add shipping and handling, the price per dollar is pretty much the same… Plus the 100 trillion one is apparently the highest bill ever, and the 50 one only the second highest…
Note that the 100 trillion one includes 10 bills!
fr4nk at April 22nd, 2014 13:19 — #4
I love the "Rock Band"-like font. It adds to the gimmick value of the bills with ridiculously huge numbers.
brainspore at April 22nd, 2014 13:23 — #5
Yeah, but where are you going to find someone willing to lick 8.2 quadrillion stamps?
teleny23 at April 22nd, 2014 13:30 — #6
When Cory Doctorow talked about 'quadrillionaires' in the future, I don't think this was what he meant....
mister44 at April 22nd, 2014 13:34 — #7
Can someone please tell me the cultural significance of the stack of three rocks on their money? In all of Zimbabwe, couldn't they find something better to represent their nation than a stack of rocks? And don't get me wrong - I like rocks. But even from a geology viewpoint, it's not that interesting.
Evidently the image on the bills come from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balancing_Rocks
But I still don't understand why it was decided that was the main feature to put on the bills. (Come to Zimbabwe - we have stacked rocks!)
mister44 at April 22nd, 2014 13:38 — #8
OH - also another fun thing to collect are German stamps during the hyperinflation of their depression in the 20s. At one point they started to over print surcharges onto other stamps. I think the biggest I have is a 100 Million Marks.
chipandre at April 22nd, 2014 13:45 — #9
A couple years ago I bought a 100 trillion note on ebay on a whim. It lead to a couple months worth of haphazardly buying near-worthless paper currency from around the globe. It's an oddly satisfying way to spend very little money collecting something interesting.
crenquis at April 22nd, 2014 14:03 — #10
The significance of the mysterious 3 rocks? I think that only Ernie Bushmiller knows for sure...
spunkytws at April 22nd, 2014 14:03 — #11
I started collecting foreign coins just because I found them interesting, but was surprised at first by how cheap they often are. At flea markets or even coin shops where, say, a dime can go for ten bucks or more the foreign coins will often be consigned to a cardboard box and marked five for a dollar.
Sometimes I'll pull out something surprising and say to the dealer, "Do you know this one's worth more than a dollar?" And they'll shake the box at me and say, "Take a couple more."
One of my favorite surprises, though, is finding a South Korean 1000 won note tucked in a used copy of Catch-22.
jim_kirk at April 22nd, 2014 16:10 — #12
billstewart at April 22nd, 2014 16:21 — #13
Remember that those are the 2008-series Zimbabwe dollars, which had dropped 10 zeros off the 2006-series, which had itself dropped the more common three zeros off the original 1980 Z$, which had been worth about a pound. In 2009, Zimbabwe dropped another 12 zeros, leaving the new Z$ worth 10**-25 original Z$. As far as I can tell from Wikipedia, the largest banknote in the 2009 series was $500 - shortly after that, they allowed Zimbabweans to use foreign currency for domestic transactions, and basically abandoned their own currency.
A friend of mine refers to ZImbabwean currency as containing "homeopathic quantities of money", after so many 10x dilutions.
jborgardt at April 22nd, 2014 16:32 — #14
Though a thought for all those people who call "gold bugs" out in the open.
When Warren Buffet was writing in regards to investing in gold or real items for growth, there may have been some confusion.
Currency, ones like the dollar, and this Zimbabwe 'unit' are of the same premise. A piece of paper; of which perception of it's said worth is key.
Now, if your piece of paper starts to inflate like that Zimbabwe paper did, gold still retains it's value. Thus, the real reason why China, Russia, India, and many other countries are starting to buy massive amounts of physical gold; because others perceive it's worth.
Now take the US Dollar. Did you all know that the US Fed gave, to various banking institutions without the requirements to pay interest, 16,000,000,000,000 dollars (that's trillion) before the downslide of 2008?
Qualitative Easing may not be enough.
gellfex at April 22nd, 2014 18:36 — #15
But people worldwide still believe in the buck, which is why the inflation long predicted by the gold bugs hasn't arrived. Personally, I'm in real estate, as you can't live in or rent out gold.
engineer at April 22nd, 2014 18:48 — #16
It's interesting to examine the differences in Zimbabwe and it's neighbor, Botswana. Both became independent at around the same time and were then two of the poorest countries in the world. Today Zimbabwe is a total basketcase while Botswana's per capita GDP is approaching that of some parts of the US. Yes, poor parts of the US but nevertheless, an impressive result given what they had to start with.
Botswana is by no means an economic powerhouse with a high standard of living. AIDS is a huge problem, as is economic inequality but compared to their neighbors in Zimbabwe, they might as well be in a different world. The big difference seems to be the leadership of the two countries. Zimbabwe under white minority rule until 1980 and then a reactionary embrace of Robert Mugabe while Botswana transitioned relatively smoothly into democracy.
Today Botswana's per capita GDP is around USD$17,000 while Zimbabwe's is less than USD$1,000. Maybe once Mugabe is gone, his circle of power will collapse and Zimbabwe can move on to being something greater than a mostly failed former colonial state.
engineer at April 22nd, 2014 18:50 — #17
Residential or commercial? I ask because there are trends converging that seem to indicate that commercial, especially retail, real estate is in for a bumpy ride.
pixleshifter at April 22nd, 2014 19:24 — #18
Not so. The Rhodesian dollar was roughly equivalent to the pound and the (mostly tobacco) export market was large. It had one of the highest standards of livings and education for the indigenous people in Africa at the time.
Once he's gone there's going to be a long, protracted and possibly deadly power struggle among the old guard.
gellfex at April 22nd, 2014 19:34 — #19
Urban gentrifying buy and hold residential. Nothing fancy or speculative. Commercial does seem a less stable business.
boundegar at April 22nd, 2014 20:17 — #20
The Balancing Rocks have been used as a metaphorical theme to explain
the importance of development coupled with preserving the fragile
environment of Zimbabwe...
From the very wiki article you cited.
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