May

15

 I had lunch in Mutare yesterday, a town in Zimbabwe on the Mozambique border.

To give you a benchmark — bread is currently over 110 million a loaf; on 22nd April it was 40 million per loaf. The lunch bill: soup — 50 million, oxtail — 600 million, coffee — 50 million, with no charge for the pink ice cream. During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer — 750ml bottles of Castle Lager (fondly called bombers). He ordered a fifth one, was advised that the price, which when he ordered his first, second, third and fourth ones was 160 million per bottle, had gone up to 340 million per bottle. That's right — during lunch there was a price increase… He ordered no more beer! Aren't you glad you are not a beer drinker here in Zimbabwe!

Misan Thrope adds:

Hang in there, help is on the way:  Zimbabwe introduces half-a-billion dollar note.


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15 Comments so far

  1. Acetrader on May 14, 2008 1:17 pm

    Two observations: 1. 110mil for a loaf of bread, crazy currency, reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld when Kramer was running around with a group of Japanese businessmen and was shocked that they were broke, "but Jerry, they have 30 million yen!", "Yeah, that's like $30 bucks!" 2. Four 750ml bottles of beer! isn't that a lot of beer!? Crazy they raised the price mid-meal!

  2. Humble Money » Blog Archive » links for 2008-05-15 on May 15, 2008 12:21 am

    […] A Lunch in Zimbabwe, from Ian Brakspear : Daily Speculations Surprised he could count to 100 let alone 340 million after that many drinks. Posted by Andrew Filed in Links […]

  3. Mootbox» Blog Archive » Beer Bubbles on May 15, 2008 2:55 pm

    […] Hat tip to Daily Seculator […]

  4. Anonymous on May 15, 2008 4:17 pm

    Castle is 3% OH, but indeed that is a lot of beer.

    To put this in context
    Soup: 10p
    Oxtail : 1 pound 20p
    Coffee: 10p

    A double-beer: 30p
    Rising to 70p

    Well-fed and arsed for 2 pound 40p

    The commercial trick is you set your prices by what you expect to pay for goods. You don’t keep money in cash - you keep it in goods. You arbitrage the rates. Typically the rates are worse inside the country. So the dollar is 450M to 1 pound today in London, it might by 360m to 1 pound in Harare.

    Prior to the flotation a week or so ago, it was about 60K to the pound. Hence you could buy a new Mercedes Benz for a few quid.

  5. Inflation in Zimbabwe | smoky/glass on May 15, 2008 5:51 pm

    […] Today you can find hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, for instance. I came across a great post in the Daily Speculations blog about Zimbabwe, stating exactly what I wrote about in the paragraph above: I had lunch in Mutare yesterday, a town in Zimbabwe on the Mozambique border. (…) During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer — 750ml bottles of Castle Lager (fondly called bombers). He ordered a fifth one, was advised that the price, which when he ordered his first, second, third and fourth ones was 160 million per bottle, had gone up to 340 million per bottle. […]

  6. Beer inflation « Michael Sieburg on May 15, 2008 9:23 pm

    […] cost 360 million ZWD. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTMLallowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

  7. That’s Inflation « Office Rumors on May 16, 2008 10:06 am

    […] Jump to Comments Zimbabwe has suffered under horrible inflation for a number of years. The Economists’ FreeExchange blog has a great example on its effects: THE economic blogosphere is full of gems today. Inflation in America and Britain is uncomfortably high, but it could be worse—just ask Zimbabwe: […]

  8. jeff on May 19, 2008 4:43 pm

    Maybe happy hour was over?

  9. Mercia Rising » Blog Archive » In Zimbabwe, drink quickly. on May 19, 2008 10:20 pm

    […] From Daily Speculations: I had lunch in Mutare yesterday, a town in Zimbabwe on the Mozambique border. […]

  10. Travelogue - Rhodesia Redux | Barrel Strength on May 20, 2008 1:18 pm

    […] Meanwhile back in the country formerly known as Rhodesia we find this: […]

  11. Mavericks at Work: Where the Most Original Minds in Business Connect on May 21, 2008 4:19 pm

    […] He also points to the Daily Speculations economics blog, whose author tells the following story about a friend of his who had lunch in the country: “During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer—bottles of Castle Lager (fondly called bombers) he ordered a 5th one, was advised that the price, which when he ordered his 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th ones, was 160 million per bottle, had gone up to 340 million per bottle.” You read that right too: The price of a bottle of beer more than doubled–during lunch! And the price started at 160 million Zimbabwe dollars per bottle. […]

  12. Blagnet.net » Blog Archive » Inflation in Zimbabwe on May 24, 2008 2:07 pm

    […] Maybe you’re familiar with Zimbabwe’s brutal racist dictatorship commanded by Robert Mugabe, its runaway inflation, its millions of starved and murdered people, and its hotly contested recent elections. Well, at least there’s some humor to be had in all this, at least from our perspective as comfortable Westerners. One Ian Brakspear writes of a lunch he had recently in Mutare, Zimbabwe: During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer — 750ml bottles of Castle Lager (fondly called bombers). He ordered a fifth one, was advised that the price, which when he ordered his first, second, third and fourth ones was 160 million per bottle, had gone up to 340 million per bottle. […]

  13. Mike Gogulski on May 24, 2008 2:53 pm

    And to think it was only Z$95.6 million back on March 23rd: http://www.nostate.com/43/956-million-for-a-beer-the-price-of-central-banking-in-zimbabwe/

  14. Zimbabwe: Life is a Cabaret | Dr. Johnson’s Cat on July 8, 2008 11:13 pm

    […] May 14, 2008. Lunch in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The lunch bill: soup — 50 million, oxtail — 600 million, coffee — 50 million, with no charge for the pink ice cream. During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer — 750ml bottles of Castle Lager (fondly called bombers). He ordered a fifth one, was advised that the price, which when he ordered his first, second, third and fourth ones was 160 million per bottle, had gone up to 340 million per bottle. That’s right — during lunch there was a price increase. […]

  15. Printing money « This Be The Blog on July 20, 2008 3:23 pm

    […] Inflation is so bad there that the price of a bottle of beer in a restaurant has been known to more than double between the beginning of lunch and the end of lunch. […]

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