05.08.08 9 years ago 19 Comments

Think those McDonald's Dollar Menu commercials are annoying? ("Dollar's looking goooood!" [Sound of a gunshot]) Just think of what people in Zimbabwe, a country in a real economic crisis with an honest-to-goodness murderous tyrant, are going through. For starters, they kind of care about soccer, the poor wretches. The Dynamos (White Devils was taken), had budgeted $300 billion Zimbabwe dollars for the return trip following a tie against Tunisia's Etoile Sahel in the African Champions League. Economic forces beyond our understanding kicked in and the cost skyrocketed to $10 trillion. That's a lot of spicy chicken sandwiches.

At the turn of the new year, the country's Central Statistical Office had officially announced that inflation had passed the 100,000% mark. And on April 4, the Zimbabwe Financial Gazette reported that, by February, it had jumped to 164,900% (And you thought W. couldn't fuck things up any worse).

Last week, when the country unfixed its pegged exchange rates, Zimbabwe's official exchange rate floated to $1US = Z$ 168,815,000 (that's $169 million if the zeros are confusing you), meaning the cost of the trip would be about US$50,000.

I have a feeling Robert Mugabe, clinging to the last vestiges of power with a looming run-off election, can muster one last stand of land seizures and good ol' government strongarming.  The last of the great African tyrants, that guy.

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