Lessons from Zimbabwe

Stefan took some time off over Easter for a quick holiday in Zimbabwe and, as always, he remained on the lookout for economic insights.

As the only country to experience hyperinflation this millennium, Zimbabwe can certainly provide valuable lessons. From late 2008 its inflation was estimated to be running at a staggering 489,000,000,000% on an annual basis. The economy collapsed, and the population suffered food and fuel shortages, amid a mad dash for foreign currency.

Zimbabwe’s experience is particularly pertinent at a time when central banks are experimenting with unprecedented levels of monetary easing. At times, politicians may view inflation as a convenient way to reduce exorbitant debt burdens but inflation is a dynamic force and Zimbabwe’s cautionary tale teaches us to be careful what you wish for…

 

The value of investments will fluctuate, which will cause prices to fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

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