Sunday, August 17, 2008

Zimbabwe returns to coins and barter

Angus Shaw reports on Zimbabwe for the Associated Press.
Auctioneers Hammer and Tongues announced the first "auction by barter" to be held Friday. Dozens of cars and other goods will be up for bids payable in gas coupons instead of hard currency...

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Obsolete coins also have been revalued, sending Zimbabweans hunting for coins they squirreled away in recent years... Shops battled to count heaps of coins... One enterprising Harare business on Tuesday advertised coin weighing machines that even banks had discarded after coins went out of circulation in 2002.

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Since the new money came out, it already has fallen in value against hard currencies by about 20 percent. "The petrol coupon has a more stable value and barter works," Robertson said.

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