In a shop in Cecil Court in London I found a bank note with a face value of one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000).
Unfortunately these are not United States Dollars. The note was not issued by the US Federal Reserve but by the Central Bank of Zimbabwe. It cost me £2.50.
When issued in 2006 the note was worth about thirty US dollars, although it rapidly became worthless.
The note caused some mirth when I tried unsuccessfully to buy a round in the pub with it. Eventually I gave it to a friend on his birthday as a joke.
I decided to send one of these hundred trillion dollar notes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of the Bank of England, as a reminder of what can happen when a central bank tries to solve the country’s financial problems by printing money.
So when I was next in London I visited the shop to buy some more, only to discover that the price had risen to £7.50.
No way was I going to pay those inflated prices just to make a futile gesture to George Osborne and Mervyn King.
See also: Millionaires