Can I Buy This with No Cash?

Zimbabwe is running out of cash. In 2015, the government of Zimbabwe selected the US dollar as the official currency. The other recognized currencies used for transactions are South African rand, British pound, Indian rupee, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, Botswana pula, Australian dollar and the Euro. The selection of currencies occurred after Zimbabwe demonetized their own currency.

What purpose does money play in a society? Money is defined as anything people accept for goods or services. In modern society, money is a currency (cash).

It has been stated that cash establishes value, allows for easy purchase and permits storage of wealth. Without cash, society reverts to a barter system which is also called a “Double Coincidence of Demand.” If you want your plumbing repaired, you must find a plumber that will accept your plurality. How many pounds of rice does it take to get my toilet repaired? And, how would I ever get a house built from scratch in Zimbabwe?

As you can see, the lack of cash can have a dampening effect on every facet of the economy. Many people were standing in line to withdraw cash. Banks were limiting daily withdrawals to $20 or $50 per person. Some people were spending the night in line at the bank only to withdraw money and go to the end of the line to withdraw money the next day.

In November, the government released $10 million worth of Zimbabwean bank notes. These are promised to be redeemable for US dollars in the future. These can only be used in Zimbabwe. Fresh in bank customers’ mind was the time when Zimbabwe printed a $100 Trillion bank note that became ultimately worthless. This severely restricts the ability to do international business since other countries see the new bank note as worthless.

In the 1930’s, E. C. Segar created a character in the Popeye comic strip called J. Wellington Wimpy. He was commonly known as Wimpy. His famous line was, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” The phrase implies Wimpy was asking for a loan with little hope of actually repaying the loan. He would gorge himself on hamburgers with little thought of paying for them.

So, can I buy this with no cash? More and more the answer in Zimbabwe is NO. The solution must be more than payment Tuesday for a hamburger today. The cash crises must be fixed to restore a semblance of order to Zimbabwe.

Let me know your thoughts. You can read other snippets from me on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbelt

About the author: Have you ever used a cigarette lighter charger for your cell phone? Have you ever used your cell phone to read a bar code? Have you ever heard of cop cams? Robert Belt introduced those technologies and has been involved in business development/new product introduction for over 30 years. Recent projects have included product introductions in wireless communication/telecom, beauty/fashion industry, automotive industry, consumer electronics and power management technology. Contact information or other snippets can be found on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbelt

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