In November you shut down Zimbabwe's stock exchange. Will you open it again?But it gets better, as they attempt to outdo astronomy in the orders of magnitude department:
The stockbrokers were creating a money supply that wasn't there. I printed Z$1.5 quadrillion, but the exchange was operating with Z$100 sextillion. So I said, "Who is doing my job?" Unless there is more discipline and honor, the exchange will stay closed. I can't be bothered. I don't know when it'll open. It's a free market, a business which must be allowed to succeed or fail.
In the absence of credible official statistics, Hanke developed a hyperinflation index for Zimbabwe and in an article in the December 2008 issue of the financial magazine, Forbes Asia, put the annual inflation rate at around 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent - 65 followed by 107 zeros. "Prices double every 24.7 hours," he noted. "Shops have simply stopped accepting Zimbabwean dollars."I don't believe I've ever seen the words "quindecillion" or "novemdecillion" used before, certainly not concatenated. Whether this number actually means anything in the context of economic reality is another thing -- it's about 2^365, so was probably calculated on the questionable assumption that prices can continue to double every day for a year. It seems that people would just stop using the currency long before then, and indeed they are starting to, but on the other hand the government just issued a Z$ 100 trillion banknote, which will probably be available on eBay for US$10 in a few months.
[Update: I'm not the first to notice that economics far outstrips the natural sciences in the size of the exponents it can generate:
There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
-Richard Feynman, physicist, Nobel laureate (1918-1988)