Improbable research: the hundred trillion dollar book
Gideon Gono, author of the new book Zimbabwe's Casino Economy – Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Challenges, displays a rare, perhaps unique, kind of scholarly reserve. Since December 2003, Gono has been the governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank.
Two weeks ago, Gono was awarded the 2009 Ig Nobel prize in mathematics. The Ig Nobel citation lauds him for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers – from very small to very big – by having his bank print banknotes with denominations ranging from one cent to 100 trillion dollars.
During 2007 and 2008, Zimbabwe's inflation rate rose past Olympian heights: topping 231m%, by Gono's reckoning; and reaching 89,700,000,000tr%, according to a study done by Dr Steve H Hanke of Johns Hopkins University and the Cato Institute.
The book explains that every larger, richer country will face the same problems...