Beer money

If you think the daily increases in gas prices are painful, just be glad you’re not living in Zimbabwe, where the inflation’s so bad that they just added a half-billion-dollar note to their currency. A contributor to the economics blog Daily Speculations reports on a recent lunch in the country:

During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer – 750ml 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. That’s right: During lunch – there was a price increase…

The price increase is amazing, but the beer intake is pretty impressive, too. If my calculations are right, a 750 ml bottle is a little more than two 12-oz bottles, so the guy had already downed eight beers and was heading for ten when he was so rudely interrupted by the price hike. Pretty strong effort for an economist.

2 thoughts on “Beer money

  1. Thomas

    I spent last Sat with some Zimbabweans, and saw some 250 million dollar bills. Prices now adjust 3 times daily, so if he’d been out on a weekend…

    I thought Manhattan getting cheap was inflation!

  2. Bertil

    If I was a bar-owner in a country with hardly any fraud oversight, I might have a similar price curve with people that drunk too. . .

    Not that inflation in Zimbabwe is not impresssive in any way.

    Side note: if you order now, drink slowly and pay after the price hike, what price applies? Shouldn’t the two hour debt that you are contracting be indexed somehow? It is in the bar interest to have you pay in the spot, and send a courrier to the bank deposit it all.

    Same question for hotels.

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