What 10 Million Buys

Zimbabwe's new 10 million dollar bill is red, perhaps a warning that this money is melting down fast. Last week, 10 million Zimbabwe dollars could buy two rolls of toilet paper. By now, it probably won't get quite that much. Not surprisingly, the currency is not adorned with the face of president Robert Mugabe, but with a pastiche of fish.

The world's most bankrupt economy has an inflation rate of 100,000 percent and a vast black market for oil, corn and cash. Citizens carry wads of 10 million notes in plastic bags. Money changers lose track of whether they're talking billions or trillions. The government, too, buys black market foreign currency to pay bills. As voters went to the polls last weekend, even backers of challenger Simba Makoni says they are unlikely to fix the mess. Legislator David Coltart admits they have no experts on this kind of hyperinflation. Precious few nations do.

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