You may have heard of – or even seen – Zimbabwe’s infamous $100 Trillion bill – yes a 1 followed by 14 zeroes. Even with all those zeroes, it is only very barely worth the paper it is printed on.
You see the former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was an extreme Keynesian who believed that to end an economic crisis in the country he could simply “stimulate” the economy with spending and pay for it by printing more currency. (Sound familiar?) Hr got so carried away that the government began issuing trillion dollar bills. This in a country where the average annual family income is roughly $1,000 a year.
You think Biden’s 8% annual inflation was bad, try 8 billion percent. The restaurants had to reprint menus and prices nearly every day.
So now the WSJ reports that the country has reverted to barter and using paper IOUs and pens and pencils as currency.
It’s an extreme lesson in the nutty idea that governments can print money to get out of financial trouble. Quick: someone tell Biden and Yellen – whose $6 trillion experiment in helicopter money has failed miserably.