Inflation, which topped 165,000 percent in February 2008 already the highest in the world—recently hit a mind-boggling 30 million percent, according to Harare's Financial Gazette. Bread sells on the black market for 3.5 billion Zimbabwean dollars a loaf.
As Americans worry about the rate of inflation exceeding 4 percent, we should consider Zimbabwe, where the inflation rate broke the shocking 30 million percent mark and the country released a 500 million-dollar note (now valued below US$1.93 on the black market). But Zimbabwe's currency is hardly the only one inflated beyond reason.
500,000-dong note. U.S. value: US$31.37
An early-1980s U.S. embargo hobbled exports, leading to price controls and the printing of excess currency.
100,000-rupiah note. U.S. value: US$11.05
During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the rupiah lost 80 percent of its value within months, sparking riots in Jakarta (and soon ending President Suharto's 32-year rule).
50,000-rial note. U.S. value: US$5.35
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran's inflation rate has hovered around 15 percent, thanks in part to ever-rising oil prices.
50,000-dobra note. U.S. value: US$3.47.
This African island nation's economy is tied to the volatile price of its chief export, cocoa, and is measured against its trading partners' robust euro.
10,000-franc note. U.S. value: US$2.33
In 2002, the mineral-rich African country refused to implement reforms mandated by the International Monetary Fund; foreign cash dried up, and the central bank printed too much money.
Shame the corrupt with Rs0 in India.
The Rs0 note is similar to the Rs1000 note, complete with the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. But
the seal on the bill says, "This is not a currency note". The Reserve Bank of India legend gives
way to the slogan, "Eliminate corruption at all levels"