Seventeen billion… OFF! Twenty-two billion… OFF! Thirty billion… OFF!

Update: Hi to everyone arriving from FT Alphaville, Market Movers and the Economist! If you liked this post, click through to the main page and have a browse.

It’s been no secret lately that Zimbabweans are stashing their cash in the stock market, because it’s the only store of value left. shows just how ridiculous this has become.

Interesting: there’s no longer any official inflation data, and there’s no official exchange rate data, but there is a way to find out how much the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD) is worth and how fast it’s depreciating. Financial services group Old Mutual is dual-listed in London and Harare (among other locations), so if you compare the price of its London shares to the price of its Zimbabwean shares, you’ll get a good idea of the approximate value of a ZWD.

Not that you’d want to.

The ZWD “Old Mutual Implied Rate” was Z$17 billion to one USD on Friday, when FT Alphaville took a snapshot. On Monday night, after the MDC withdrew from the upcoming elections and the country descended into even more chaos, it’s more than doubled – it’s now $35 billion to one USD.

So if we assume all of that depreciation is due to inflation, and the USD’s appreciated 100% in three days (over the weekend)… that’s… hmm… cube root of 2… 26% per day inflation, counting weekends and public holidays. Or 430,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000% per annum…

…which is barely worth worrying about, right? It was much worse in Hungary after the war; their prices were doubling every 15 hours.

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