Friday, February 17, 2006

Viral Email: "Don't Panic"

I found this in my inbox. This is the uncanny humor making rounds among Zimbos right now.

In Germany after the First World War, prices were doubling every 49 hours. Workers were paid daily or more often with bundles of cash, and would dash out to buy something before it grew more expensive. Someone could buy a bottle of wine, and the next morning the empty bottle could be sold for more than it had cost full. The largest denomination was a 100-billion mark bill, which would buy two postage stamps.

In Bolivia during the mid-eighties, inflation was at 25,000 per cent annually. The stack of money needed to buy a chocolate bar far outweighed the candy.

In Argentina in 1989, prices for some things would double overnight. Many restaurants and stores refused to accept credit cards, because the charges paid at the end of the month were worth much less than they were at the time of purchase.

In Yugoslavia, the rate of inflation was 5 quadrillion per cent between Oct 1, 1993 and Jan 24, 1994. (A quadrillion is a 16-digit number). At the time, it was against the law to refuse personal cheques. Some people wrote them, knowing that in the few days it took for the cheques to clear, inflation would wipe out as much as 90 per cent of the cost of covering the cheques.

Imi muchiri pa (You're only at) 622% and you are complaining?

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