From next Monday Zimbabweans with have their mental arithmetic simplified for them with the news some zeros are coming off the currency.
Quite a lot of zeros. No less than 16, as the federal reserve attempts to end funny money by offering one new Zimbabwe dollar in exchange for 35 quadrillion old ones.
However the real hyperinflation rate is in fact worse. The money being replaced was only issued in 2008, when the exchange rate was one for 10 billion. The real hyperinflation rate has 25 zeroes attached.
This is now hyperinflation an elderly German would recognise, with all its attendant risks.
Since 2009 the dollar and other foreign currencies have been vital for Zimbabwe to remain afloat as confidence in the local currency and government’s economic policy of continually printing money has collapsed.
From being a nation of multi-billionaires Zimbabweans will be much poorer from next week; but then most people knew that already.