Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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large denomination note to solve the inflation crisis in Zimbabwe
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(+4, -7)
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"9 Oct 2008 ... Zimbabwe's official inflation rate has surged to 231000000%..." What does that mean? Best to ask their lunatic leader Robert Mugabe, who in turn blames everyone but himself for the chronic ills of this once prosperous country, as his walnut sized brain continues to shrivel and fester.

They have just printed the world's first 100 trillion dollar note! (see link) How long will it be before even this bizarre amount of money pays for nothing bigger than a paperclip?

It's clear to me that they need to bite the bullet and issue the ultimate bank note, so let me introduce The ZGoogol$. For those who don't know, a googol is the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros.

The ZGoogol$ would be the doomsday currency. As collector's items alone, they would simply be offered for sale/exchange at rate of one ZGoogol$ for a single US dollar. Who wouldn't want one?

xenzag, Jan 21 2009

Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar note http://edition.cnn....6/zimbawe.currency/
[xenzag, Jan 21 2009]

Googol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googol
available in 10s 20s and eventually 100 trillion units (wheelbarrows must be paid for in bananas) [xenzag, Jan 21 2009]

http://en.wikipedia...i/Zimbabwean_dollar [hippo, Jan 22 2009]

Hungarian Pengó; http://en.wikipedia...ungarian_peng%C5%91
The largest denomination designed (but not issued) was the 1,000,000,000 Billion Pengó note, the largest issued was the 100,000,000 Billion Pengó note (10^20 pengó is still, a whole lotta pengóes) - but still worth next to nothing [zen_tom, Jan 22 2009]

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe http://www.cato.org/zimbabwe
[hippo, Jan 23 2009]


       Ah yes, then there'll be the Zgoogolplex$ note.   

       Which of course means that by the time you've managed to explain to the store cashier exactly how large the denomination is of the note you've just handed over, then the universe has ended and you should have just stolen the food anyhows.
Custardguts, Jan 22 2009

       Why not go the whole hog and issue the ZGraham's Number$ and the Zalephnull$ and Zalephone$?
nineteenthly, Jan 22 2009

       Meh, anyhows, at that rate, it's another 15 years before you'll be needing a googol note.
Custardguts, Jan 22 2009

       //How long will it be before even this bizarre amount of money pays for nothing bigger than a paperclip?//

Just over six months. The exchange rate was about Z$5,000,000,000,000 to the $ on 21st Jan (link) so this new note is worth about $20. The inflation rate is such that the cost of an item now will increase by an annual multiplier of 2,130,000 of that cost in a year's time.

If the daily multipler is q, then q^365=2,130,000 - so q is about 1.04073, meaning that the inflation rate is about 4% a day.

At this rate, if a paperclip costs 1 cent, it'll take 190 days for it to reach $20 or Z$100 trillon (0.01*1.04073^190=20). This seems a long time but the increase is compounded, so if you wait 5 years, the paperclip will cost US$438,427,732,293,149,000 trillion!

That said, the value of a paperclip is determined by production costs and also by supply and demand. It is possible that this year will see a decline in demand for paper fastening solutions in Zimbabwe which may affect their perceived value.
hippo, Jan 22 2009

       Anyone know how big Germany's notes got before WWII? My grandfather used to talk about getting paid and then RUNNING down to the bakery with a WAD of cash to buy bread before the notes he earned were worthless.
MisterQED, Jan 22 2009

       The highest banknote printed in the Weimar Republic at the end of its hyperinflation period was the 100,000,000,000,000 mark note, worth a little more than $20 at the time (about $200 in today's dollars). Prices were doubling about every two days.
jutta, Jan 22 2009

       [UB] - no longer in the quadrillions (10^15) - the inflation rate is now 89.7 Sextillion (10^21) percent (link), a meaningless number. (- later edit - ah, I see you were talking about monthly inflation)
hippo, Jan 23 2009

       I would like to raise an entirely irrelevant point. Zimbabwe is a former member of the Commonwealth. As such, would it be using the American short form of numbers, e.g. billion with nine zeros, or the British longer form, e.g. billion with twelve? Considering Mugabe's anti-Britishness, would he make a point of using the American version? Is their inflation percentage expressed in quadrillions per month or trillions? Or does Mugabe pretend it's lower anyway? If so, wouldn't it help him to use the British system?
nineteenthly, Jan 23 2009

       Amusing, but large notes are no cure for inflation.
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 23 2009

       //Amusing, but large notes are no cure for inflation// which is exactly why it's here.... but there must be some inescapable reason to escalating currency denominations. I clearly remember my father showing us and allowing us to touch the first twenty pound note I ever saw, at the same time when a single penny would have bought four individual chews at the local sweet shop. I also remember signs in the New York subway system saying "NO TWENTY DOLLAR BILLS", and the nasty arguments I had over that issue.
xenzag, Jan 24 2009

       I'm not really sure how that's going to help - the situation will go from everyone having lots of worthless money to no one having any money.
hippo, Jan 30 2009


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