Hyperinflation is ravaging the purchasing power of Zimbabweans but U.S. economist Steve Hanke, an expert on monetary systems and how to fix them, found Zimbabwe's plight so interest he has written a whole book about it. "Zimbabwe, Hyperinflation to Growth," to be released in Harare in a few weeks, offers possible solutions.
Hanke has long been practicing hands-on, high-level economics: he served on the Council of Economic Advisors of President Ronald Reagan, and has given counsel to a number of countries in distress, including Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Venezuela and the former Yugoslavia, whose inflation was even higher than Zimbabwe's.
The last official data from Harare put inflation at around 8,000%, but many economists say it has topped 50,000% - higher than that seen in Weimar Germany after World War I but less than Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, at over 300 million percent.
Hanke says that in order to halt its hyperinflationary spiral, Zimbabwe must replace the Reserve Bank with a new monetary regime imposing discipline on money supply.
In an exclusive interview with reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, Hanke notes that hyperinflation is a rare occurrence, and that Zimbabwe is the first country this century to experience it.