Thursday, 8 November 2007

Weimar Zimbabwe

Usually, when one thinks of Zimbabwe, it is fascism that comes to mind.

A demegogue leader; a repressive police state; an internal racial minority (caucasin, this time, rather than semitic) scapegoated and used to divert the anger of the masses... The parallels with Nazi Germany are legion.

Yet Hitler was at least able to keep the currency stable (I'm prepared to be corrected by any Economics History experts out there, but I understand that part of Hitler's appeal was that the Reichsmark kept its value).

By comparrison, the Papiermark was the currency that people would take into the bakers in a wheel barrow, only to emerge with bread and a bag full of papiermarks. Friedrich A. Hayek needed 200 pay rises in eight months (yes, that is more than one a day!). People demanded their wages in the morning, because by the evening they would be worthless.


Or if you can't, read the article in the Times about the economic meltdown now underway in Zimbabwe. One quote stands out as an exemplar of what hyperinflation entails: "Golfers buy their mid-round drinks at the start, because prices will have risen by the ninth hole".

Mugabe isn't even a competent dictator. The end can be only jsut around the corner.

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