A Science for Everyone, Community

Now That’s Inflation

A bit less than 10 years ago, my department head, Donna Hess, retired.  As a gag gift, I bought a million dollar Zimbabwe note – everyone should retire as a millionaire.  It cost me a little less than 8 dollars US on ebay.  The note, and the sentiment, circulated around at retirement events throughout the year.

Today, I noticed that Zimbabwe currency is still on the ebay market, with even more zeros added.   This time it’s ten hundred trillion dollar bills for $4.40 US.  I think part of the reason I’m writing this is just to have an example that lets me count how many zeros there are in a trillion. 

Still, ten bills represent a thousand trillion dollars.  We know that the guy who is selling a thousand trillion dollars Zim for $4.40 US is making a profit – just like the guy who sold me the million dollar note for $8.00 US.

In Zimbabwe, they have added eight zeros to the currency in ten years – and it only buys 1/20th as much when you measure it in yankee dollars.  Now that’s inflation.

 

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