Thursday, May 8, 2008

When $300 Billion is Not Enough

Zimbabwe's Dynamos budgeted 300-billion Zimbabwe dollars (Z$) to cover the costs of its return leg of the African Champions League tie against Etoile Sahel of Tunisia.

And it's not enough.

Because of currency buying regulations and hyperinflation the team is unable to purchase enough US dollars to pay for the trip.

The current cost of the trip would be 10-trillion Zimbabwe dollars.

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, Zimbabawe'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.

So it's not just that Dr. Evil is running the Zimbabwe FA, it's that the government is trying to run a country on Monopoly money. Ask Germany, it doesn't work. The irony being it's a Munich-based company that's literally printing the money to run the economy into the ground. The M√ľnchen-based company, Giesecke & Devrient is receiving more than US$700,000 a week for delivering bank notes at the absurd rate of Z$170 trillion a week.

Hey, at least the Germans have experience with this sort of thing. Thankfully Zimbabwe doesn't have an antsy megalomaniacal streak in them. So it's neighbors are safe.

Anyway, it's a bummer because Etoile Sahel are the defending champions and Dynamos hold a 1-0 lead after the home leg and if any club would have that kind of coin you'd think it would be one whose nickname is the "Glamour Boys". But even at 10-trillion, it's probably even outside the spending habits of Roman Abramovich.

Although if anybody else has 10-trillion dollars laying around and has always wanted to help out Zimbabwe, opportunity has met preparation.


The NY Kid said...

This sort of thing never happens to Botswana Meat Commission FC.

Precious Roy said...

Eh, it's probably up to 11 trillion by now.