Losing faith in own currency? 10 countries where a loaf of bread costs a bucketful of cash

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How often does the worst happen, when the people of the nation have lost faith in the value of their currency? More often than one can imagine

It has been close to four years since the rupee last fell to record lows, and while the Finance Minister said that India has enough foreign reserves to stem the tide, many stakeholders find it hard to not twiddle their thumbs in anxiety. How often does the worst happen, when the people of the nation have lost faith in the value of their currency? More often than one can imagine. Below are a list of currencies whose value depreciated to such an extent that in some cases, citizens were forced to face the absurdity of paying a wheelbarrow full of notes for a loaf of bread.

1) Venezuelan bolívar | The currency of Venezuela has ballooned to such an extent that its President , Nicolas Maduro, has put the bolivar on a “re-denomination” exercise, essentially lopping off five zeros from its unit measurement. The Bolivar has been devalued by 95 percent so as to prevent the country’s economy from going under. The government has also created a new currency called the "sovereign bolivar" which is pegged to Bolivar’s cryptocurrency — the petro. According to an MSN compilation, the bolivar is expected to hit one million percent this year, its value is projected to reduce to six million bolivar to a dollar. (Image: Reuters)

1) Venezuelan bolívar | The currency of Venezuela has ballooned to such an extent that its President , Nicolas Maduro, has put the bolivar on a “re-denomination” exercise, essentially lopping off five zeros from its unit measurement. The Bolivar has been devalued by 95 percent so as to prevent the country’s economy from going under. The government has also created a new currency called the “sovereign bolivar” which is pegged to Bolivar’s cryptocurrency — the petro. According to an MSN compilation, the bolivar is expected to hit one million percent this year, its value is projected to reduce to six million bolivar to a dollar. (Image: Reuters)

2) South Sudanese pound | South Sudan and Venezuela are both oil dependent economies, and are currently experiencing a free fall. The South Sudanese pound has seen inflation rise by 50 percent in 2016. Black market rates for the dollar now see the 120 pounds needed to buy the green back, where 30 such units would had sufficed not so long ago. (Image: Reuters)

2) South Sudanese pound | South Sudan and Venezuela are both oil dependent economies, and are currently experiencing a free fall. The South Sudanese pound has seen inflation rise by 50 percent in 2016. Black market rates for the dollar now see the 120 pounds needed to buy the green back, where 30 such units would had sufficed not so long ago. (Image: Reuters)

3) Nigerian naira | Nigeria floats low oil prizes, which means lesser revenue flowing into the government’s foreign reserves. The Nigerian government pegged the value of the naira at 197 to a dollar in September 2015. The move saw a reduction of the amount of dollars circulating in the country, causing the government to abandon the fixed exchange rate in June 2016. The naira continued to slide, leading to it being less than 90 percent of its worth in 2016. Many citizens have switched to using the dollar as the tender. (Image: Reuters)

3) Nigerian naira | Nigeria floats low oil prizes, which means lesser revenue flowing into the government’s foreign reserves. The Nigerian government pegged the value of the naira at 197 to a dollar in September 2015. The move saw a reduction of the amount of dollars circulating in the country, causing the government to abandon the fixed exchange rate in June 2016. The naira continued to slide, leading to it being less than 90 percent of its worth in 2016. Many citizens have switched to using the dollar as the tender. (Image: Reuters)

4) Zimbabwean dollar | At one point, it took 35 trillion Zimbabwean dollars to reach the value for a single United States (US) dollar. Entire cartons of this currency would be used to pay restaurant bills as inflation rates exploded to 250,00,000 percent at their peak. The government even resorted to printing Z$100 trillion notes before finally abandoning the currency in 2009. These notes have become collectors items, gathering US $100 on eBay. (Image: Reuters)

4) Zimbabwean dollar | At one point, it took 35 trillion Zimbabwean dollars to reach the value for a single United States (US) dollar. Entire cartons of this currency would be used to pay restaurant bills as inflation rates exploded to 250,00,000 percent at their peak. The government even resorted to printing Z$100 trillion notes before finally abandoning the currency in 2009. These notes have become collectors items, gathering US $100 on eBay. (Image: Reuters)

5) Somaliland shilling | The currency of Somaliland is not considered legal tender outside the boundaries of this self-declared republic of Somalia. The 5,000 shilling is the country’s largest note, and is worth much less than a US dollar. Cash transactions by the suitcase or even wheelbarrows are the norm. (Image: Reuters)

5) Somaliland shilling | The currency of Somaliland is not considered legal tender outside the boundaries of this self-declared republic of Somalia. The 5,000 shilling is the country’s largest note, and is worth much less than a US dollar. Cash transactions by the suitcase or even wheelbarrows are the norm. (Image: Reuters)

6) Iranian rial | A large set of international sanctions and a series of devaluations have crippled the currency. From 141 rials to the US dollar in forty years ago, it stands at 42,000 to the dollar. The hardline stance of the current Trump administration may further pummel the currency. (Image: Reuters)

6) Iranian rial | A large set of international sanctions and a series of devaluations have crippled the currency. From 141 rials to the US dollar in forty years ago, it stands at 42,000 to the dollar. The hardline stance of the current Trump administration may further pummel the currency. (Image: Reuters)

7) Uzbekistani soʻm | The country’s birth coincided with the breakup of the USSR in 1994 and has faced a poor record in terms of its valuation. The so’m has experienced year after year of inflation, and the government has failed to acknowledge this trend by refusing to issue notes of a higher denomination. The 50,000 so'm, its highest denomination is worth just $6.22. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

7) Uzbekistani soʻm | The country’s birth coincided with the breakup of the USSR in 1994 and has faced a poor record in terms of its valuation. The so’m has experienced year after year of inflation, and the government has failed to acknowledge this trend by refusing to issue notes of a higher denomination. The 50,000 so’m, its highest denomination is worth just $6.22. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

8) Vietnamese đồng | The scourge of currency inflation hit this South East Asian country hard. The Vietnamese Dong is at 23,333.50 to the US dollar when it was was trading at 2.05 to the US dollar in 1980. A key reason for this large inflation is the Vietnamese government devaluing the currency since the 1980s to boost exports. The wealthier among the Vietnamese citizens, and tourists, have resorted to the dollar instead. (Image: Reuters)

8) Vietnamese đồng | The scourge of currency inflation hit this South East Asian country hard. The Vietnamese Dong is at 23,333.50 to the US dollar when it was was trading at 2.05 to the US dollar in 1980. A key reason for this large inflation is the Vietnamese government devaluing the currency since the 1980s to boost exports. The wealthier among the Vietnamese citizens, and tourists, have resorted to the dollar instead. (Image: Reuters)

9) Sierra Leonean leone | The economy of the African country was brought to its knees with the ebola epidemic, and its oil dependency turning to a disadvantage with the tanking of prices. Currently it stands in the range of the Uzbekistani soʻm at 8,400 leone to the greenback. The value of the Sierra Leonean leone of its currency lower than the value of the paper on which it is printed. It is for this reason that the country has shut down its coin mints and a rare sight in the country. (Image: Reuters)

9) Sierra Leonean leone | The economy of the African country was brought to its knees with the ebola epidemic, and its oil dependency turning to a disadvantage with the tanking of prices. Currently it stands in the range of the Uzbekistani soʻm at 8,400 leone to the greenback. The value of the Sierra Leonean leone of its currency lower than the value of the paper on which it is printed. It is for this reason that the country has shut down its coin mints and a rare sight in the country. (Image: Reuters)

10) São Toméan dobra | Inflation did not spare São Tomé and Príncipe before the turn of the century. The country faced an onslaught of double digit numbers reaching its zenith at 86.8 percent in the late 1990s.It even faced another hit at 37 percent in 2008. The government managed to bring some stability to the dobra by pegging it to the euro but little has stemmed the tide. In 1995, 1,420 dobras were enough to buy a single US dollar, Today, a dollar will buy 20,861 dobras with more darkness to be faced before the arrival of dawn. (Image: Reuters)

10) São Toméan dobra | Inflation did not spare São Tomé and Príncipe before the turn of the century. The country faced an onslaught of double digit numbers reaching its zenith at 86.8 percent in the late 1990s.It even faced another hit at 37 percent in 2008. The government managed to bring some stability to the dobra by pegging it to the euro but little has stemmed the tide. In 1995, 1,420 dobras were enough to buy a single US dollar, Today, a dollar will buy 20,861 dobras with more darkness to be faced before the arrival of dawn. (Image: Reuters)

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