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Zimbabwe's $217 bank balance comment grabs headlines. Zimbabwe's Finance Minster recently noted that they had a national ...
total of only 217 dollars in the bank.
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Zimbabwe's $217 bank balance comment grabs headlines. Zimbabwe's Finance Minster recently noted that they had a national total of only 217 dollars in the bank. While that may have been a snapshot view, it certainly grabbed headlines. After years of enormous inflation that ended up forcing the country to print a 100 trillion dollar bill, and having the national currency switched to United States dollars to avoid further inflation, (1,4,1) Zimbabwe continues to struggle financially. Because of the fragile state of financial affairs, the payment of public officials and civil servants, which makes up a whopping 73 percent of the country’s budget, (1,6,2) has left Zimbabwe’s bank account with a meager sum. The country’s economic inflation reached a staggering 500 billion percent in 2008, and restaurants in the country posted signs discouraging citizens from using the dollar bills as toilet paper. Their rate of inflation has died down a bit after they decided to allow US dollars and South African rands to be used in transactions. After the announcement Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister said: “the point I was making was that the Zimbabwean government doesn’t have the funds to finance the election…To dramatize the point, I simply made a passing reference metaphorically that when we paid civil servants last week on Thursday we were left with $217… but even the following day we had $30 million in our account.”