Jul 7, 2010

Money laundering in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's coalition government declared the US dollar legal tender last year to eradicate world record inflation of billions of percent in the local Zimbabwe dollar as the economy collapsed.

Low-denomination US bank notes change hands until they fall apart, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums.Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through the spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins alongside sheets and items of clothing.It's the best solution — apart from rubber gloves or disinfectant wipes — in a continent where the US dollar has long been the currency of choice and where the lifespan of a dollar far exceeds what the US Federal Reserve intends.

Full story here. ht: Tyler Cowen

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