Zimbabwe started Friday to trade its new currency, the RTGS dollar, two days after the central bank announced measures to try and resolve a chronic monetary crisis. On Wednesday, the bank unveiled a foreign exchange trading system that effectively devalued its quasi-currency, the bond note, which was officially pegged at parity with the US dollar. “We have basically formalised what is happening. We have basically ensured that no one goes to buy currency from the parallel market,” Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said then. At the start of the century, Zimbabwe regularly posted fiscal deficits it financed by printing money, which led to hyperinflation that wiped out personal savings, left shops empty and made it all but impossible to buy a tank of petrol or daily groceries. Inflation peaked at 500 billion percent before the national currency was abandoned in 2009 in favour of the US dollar and other foreign currencies. Abandoning its own currency ended inflation and brought some stability to the country but the supply of US dollar notes gradually dried up. An attempt to introduce another currency in 2010, fell flat and the RTGS dollar represents the government’s latest bid to have its own money…. Read full this story
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