$100 Trillion Just Doesn’t Buy What It Used To


Zimbabwe’s rate of inflation in 1998 was 32%. That’s bad by any standard, but little did they know how well off they were. Just ten years later the inflation rate was 11,200,000,000% for one month.   By November 2008, per one estimate, prices were doubling every 31 hours.

Its currency had sunk to such a low value that 100 billion Zimbabwean dollars carried the same value as 65 cents in US currency.

To address this situation, the government authorized the printing of large denominations of currency. Really large. Huge, actually. The one hundred trillion dollar bill pictured above was issued in January 2009. It was worth $300 in US currency. Today you can purchase one for about $5 in some places, or even purchase them online through

With Zimbabwe’s currency continuing to decline in value, it stopped issuing its own money and relies solely upon foreign currency.


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