What, again?

Zimbabwe will begin selling gold coins to the public in an attempt to rid the crisis-wracked country of triple-digit inflation after a collapse in the local currency.

The “Mosi-oa-tunya” coins, which are named after the Victoria Falls, will act as an alternative store of value and can be converted into cash and traded as officials attempt to shore up the crumbling Zimbabwean dollar.

The country is desperately trying to battle the crisis caused by inflation hitting almost 200pc in June and a slump in the local currency. The Zimbabwean dollar has shed more than two-thirds of its value against the US dollar this year.

It’s almost like Modern Monetary Theory has a hole in it, isn’t it? That if you keep printing money then the money you keep printing becomes worth nothing…..this is, at least, the third time in this one country…..

16 thoughts on “What, again?”

  1. Isn’t it a feature of MMT that the government can tax away as much as they like to control inflation?

    Either way, running money production and actual production as completely separate endeavours is a recipe for disaster.

  2. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    How long before:

    The UK/US/EU Zimbabwe will begin issuing traceable and programmable CBDCs to the public in an attempt to rid the crisis-wracked dollar/pound/euro of triple-digit inflation after a collapse in the currency and force everyone to eat bugs.

  3. Isn’t the real shortage in Zimbabwe of US dollars? In other words, Zimbabwe’s problem is much like Weimar’s, its hyperinflation is easily fixed by US money printing?

  4. Zimbabwean gold coins?? I’d want to take a hacksaw to each one to check that it’s gold all the way through!

  5. @BJ
    Don’t need to do that. Do a displacement test. Why that story about the naked Greek running into the streets is purest bollocks. People were doing them millennia before he lost the soap.

  6. BiS: Of course the Zimbabwe mint could be incompetent but if they were being serious about counterfeiting they could alloy tungsten with a small percentage of platinum or osmium for the bulk of it to exactly match the density of gold. That wouldn’t fool x-ray testing techniques though.

  7. As molesworth says “run thro the streets of athens shouting ‘QED!'”

    German and Austrian hyperinflation was solved by loans, mostly from the USA. Trouble is in 1930 the American banks called them in and buggered the Weimar economy again.

  8. TG

    Would the Zimbo mint have the resources to conduct this sort of counterfeiting???

    Sounds a bit expensive to me.

  9. Boganboy: depends on the scale. If it were lucrative enough then there are probably guys in Russia or one of the other former SU countries who could put something together for a contract. It doesn’t work for a few coins but counterfeiting $1B upwards in nominal value of ‘gold’ coins?

  10. @ dearieme
    I should think I understand it a lot more than you. Having actually practically used it.

    @TG
    I’d like to see you stamp coins out a tungsten platinum/osmium alloy

  11. Out of interest, I thought I’d look up Wiki’s entry for Archimedes achievements. Virtually all of them can be derived from the practises of artisans.
    But the reference to Archimedes supposed “Death Ray”is so hilarious, only a scholar could swallow it. The only way to make practical mirror in those days was from a beaten sheet of metal. Silver’s favourite. Copper a poor second. Then polish with graded abrasives. To get something big enough to see your face in would be a couple of days work for a silversmith. But you could probably knock up something 5 foot diameter, half decent in a week or two with three of four helpers.
    How many mirrors do you need? I have some input on this because we’ve played around with solar ovens off grid up in the mountains. Three 4×4 curved sheets of plywood covered with aluminium foil would eventually heat but not boil a pan of water. But we’re actually focussing the sunlight. And the focal length is about 5 foot. A flat mirror will produce a bright spot that’s the same apparent size however far away the target is.
    You could go this route for a mirror. A flat board covered in silver leaf. Far quicker & easier to make if you’ve got lots & lots & lots of people hammering out silver leaf. Try doing it sometime. 6″square to get the idea how much work it is. But that produces a diffuse reflection. Curved board? At longer focal lengths it probably wouldn’t make much difference. Diffusion cancels focus. I’d reckon with 50 5ft mirrors targeting a ship just out of arrow range you could make it quiet warm. (And you’ve also devoted the entire industrial output of your city for several weeks making metal working tools, refining or remelting silver, making charcoal for the furnaces, grinding & grading abrasives…. & making mirrors) You certainly wouldn’t want to be looking into the glare. But how do you target each individual mirror when there’s 49 doing the same thing? On a moving ship. With the sun moving 1° of arc every 4 minutes. You’re just never get to set it alight. Each patch of reflected light is the same size as the ship. Best you’ll manage is to give the crew sunburn.
    But that’s where you end up reading people, who read people, who read people, none of who have had any practical experience of ever doing anything.

  12. alloy tungsten with a small percentage of platinum or osmium

    A five second electronic test would give them away.

    If it were that easy, you’d think Krugerrands would be rather more valuable.

  13. BiS

    Cynic. It might have been like that bit in Solomon and Sheba, where the Israelites polish their shields and blind the Philistines ( or was it the Egyptians?). All the tillermen were temporarily blinded and crashed their ships into each other.

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