Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
After two-plus years of hyperinflation, of trillion dollar notes needed to buy a loaf of bread, of prices eventually going up 50% per day, it is all over.
Why? What happened?
The Zimbabwean government adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency. Since the government can't print up a bunch of greenbacks to pay their bills, this policy change had instant credibility and instant results.
This policy, called dollarization, is actually an often-used, effective way of stopping hyperinflation in its tracks. A recent example is Ecuador (2000), and in the 1980's Bolivia did it as did Argentina. (Actually, Argentina came out with a new currency, the Real, which was redeemable for a US$.)
While the Zimbabwean government's solution to hyperinflation is typical, its early reactions were also quite typical:
a) Blaming inflation on greed and profiteering of businesses.
b) Imposing price controls to stop inflation, with the resultant bare shelves in stores.
c) Restricting the public's access to currency from banks.
d) Claiming hyperinflation was the result of economic sabotage by foreign governments (the U.K. and the U.S.).
The only atypical aspects of the Zimbabwean experience was how long the hyperinflation lasted and how long the government stayed in power despite the hyperinflation.
This is my ninth, and hopefully last, post on Zimbabwean hyperinflation**. Zimbabwe has enough real economic challenges without out having to deal with damage caused by the completely unnecessary and quite avoidable phenomenon of hyperinflation.
**NOTE: My previous posts on hyperinflation in Zimbabwe:
where is the world’s best performing stock market?
what can $25 billion buy (as of tuesday)?
zimbabwe: an underground diary
carpe diem: miscellany
more toilet economics: cost-effectiveness in zimbabwe
wanna be a trillionaire?
betting on mugabe
zimbabwe: bye-bye to trillion dollar notes...for now
Posted by RB at 1:52 PM
Monday, March 23, 2009
Koufax is on the Disabled List (DL) for awhile. Somehow he hurt himself last night and couldn't walk. This morning he was walking but still limping badly, favoring his left front leg. He went to see team doctor Palermo this afternoon, who noted that this was Koufax's pitching arm. Upon examination Doc discovered damage to the soft tissue in Koufax's left shoulder.
The prognosis is good, Koufax is expected to be back into action in a week or less. In the meantime, no running or long walks but Koufax can attend his Tuesday evening classes.
Koufax was prescribed anti-inflammatory pills. Most dogs have to be forced to take pills, or else be tricked (e.g., putting the pill in peanut butter). Not Koufax. Offspring #3 told him to sit, and then held out the pill in the palm of her hand. Koufax wolfed the pill down just as if it were a doggy treat.
There are advantages to eating food so fast that there is no time to taste it.
Posted by RB at 7:04 PM
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Spring Break has me doing little except trying to wear out Koufax. Here he is napping after thoroughly thrashing his new plush chew-toy duck. The duck honks when bit on the tummy. Koufax loves to whip it around and making it honk and honk and honk and....
Koufax does not get the duck in his crate at night.
Posted by RB at 6:55 PM
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
RB's clan has a new member. That would be Koufax, a 9-week old, very smart and wonderfully sweet, 20-pound Lab-Collie mix (mostly Lab with just a tiny extra splash of German Shepard thrown in).
Shown above is his first chew-toy, a stitched baseball made of rawhide, in honor of his namesake.
The Vet checked him out and Koufax is good to go. In fact, he is also good to go almost anywhere at anytime. He may take three weeks to housebreak.
Posted by RB at 7:14 PM
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Click for a slightly larger image
Definition: Fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution. Examples of highly fungible commodities are crude oil, wheat, orange juice, precious metals, and currencies.
Fungibility has nothing to do with the ability to exchange one commodity for another different commodity. It refers only to the ease of exchanging one unit of a commodity with another unit of the same commodity.
Posted by RB at 1:54 AM