9M% Inflation Crushes Zimbabwe

As cash becomes worthless, citizens face starvation
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2008 9:56 AM CDT
An unidentified man carries some cash for groceries in Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday, March, 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – The political violence that ravaged Zimbabwe has subsided since Robert Mugabe's sham reelection, but another devastation continues unabated: economic meltdown. Zimbabwe's inflation rate has now hit 9 million percent, and a $50-billion Zimbabwean note is worth just 34 cents and falling in American currency. The Guardian investigates the surreal economic landscape of what was once one of Africa's most prosperous nations.

Bread is an impossible luxury and supermarket shelves are bare; some shop across the border in Mozambique, while others procure food from underground warehouses. Prices rise by the hour and checks lose half their value as they clear. Even professionals can barely afford one meal a day, and for the first time starvation is taking hold. "We've been relying on beer for stress management," jokes one man—but while that cost $10 billion last week, now it's $150 billion.