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Showing posts from September, 2017

BACOSSI, ASPEF, PLARP: Refresher on quasi-fiscal activities during Gideon Gono`s RBZ Reign of Terror

“Quasi-fiscal” interventions by central banks might be something that came in vogue, post the 2008 global financial crisis, with both the US Fed`s and the European Central Bank`s quantitative easing programs – code for printing money.  At its peak, the US Fed in particular was pumping $85 billion a month into the US economy. For Zimbabwe however, quasi-fiscal activities are something that we are all too familiar with, largely thanks to one Gideon Gono.
“Gee-Gee” as he is otherwise known made sure that the mention of his name would inevitably be followed by the phrase “quasi-fiscal.” He financed the purchase of cars, generators, ploughs and even scotch carts, through a broad range of quasi-fiscal activities. In fact, Gono created FISCORP (Pvt) Ltd, an RBZ subsidiary to oversee the central bank`s quasi-fiscal activities. The man clearly wasn`t mucking around!
These quasi-fiscal activities drew the ire of most economic watchers, so much so, the IMF`s Article IV consulting mission in 2005 s…

Currency shortages: The only thing we learn from Zimbabwe`s history is that Zimbabwe learns nothing from its history.

“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Perhaps nowhere else in the world is this statement by Friedrech Hegel more apt today than Zimbabwe, where judging by current events, not only has the proverbial wheel fallen off, but so too has the axle and the suspension. “It`s is 2008 all over again,” is the common catchphrase of late, what with, winding queues for fuel becoming common, a pyrrhic bull-run on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange fueled by absolutely nothing but fear and uncertainty, and an unhinged parallel market for foreign currency among other things.
Heck, phrases such as “profiteering”; “illegal price-hikes;” and “unscrupulous retailers” are becoming trendy again with the state-owned media. Zimbabwe has been here before, and with the memories of the dark hyper-inflationary period still fresh in the minds of many, it seems Zimbabwe has repeated past mistakes, and is staring down the barrel.
Before the much storied 2008 meltdown however, there wa…