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. ZimbabweEquities.com 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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