Saturday, January 10, 2009

Running for Dollars (Zim Dollars)

[The picture comes from CNN's web site.]

A news snippet I caught on CNN this morning: the situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate. Personally, I don't know how it can get much worse. The economy is in absolute shambles. Inflation is estimated at an unbelievable 231,000,000% (no, that's not a typo -- it's 231 million percent). That's totally unfathomable to me but this example helps. When the Zimbabwe government printed a new $10 billion note 3 weeks ago, it purchased 20 loaves of bread (if you could find bread). Now, it will purchase a half loaf of bread.

The government announced that it is printing a new $50 billion note (again, not a type -- that's a B). That will currently purchase about 2 loaves of bread. That note is worth US $2.00 today. At the current hyperinflation rate, within 24 hours after its release, the new $50 billion note will purchase a few crumbs of bread (1/316,438th of a loaf) -- a full loaf of bread will cost Zim $15,821,917,808,200,000.00 if the price of bread rises like everything else. That's almost Zim $16 quadrillion!! Sheesh!

[DISCLAIMER: I reserve the right to have my figures wrong. This is so bad that I'm having trouble figuring it out.]

And that's just one facet of the economy. I haven't (and won't) even mentioned the political situation and all the horrible things that are going on in that country. Pray for the people of Zimbabwe. I honestly don't know how they are surviving. Some very courageous colleagues of mine continue to live and work in Zimbabwe doing what they can to provide hope to the people of that beleaguered country.

Running seems somewhat trivial when I think about the people of Zimbabwe. None the less, I did run this morning -- 11.7 miles at an average pace of 8:14 mpm. Great run in chilly (36°) weather.

Run well, y'all, and pray for Zimbabwe,
Bob
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