The former head of Zimbabwe’s central bank, Gideon Gono, wrote a book in 2008, Zimbabwe’s Casino Economy. The book is about his running of the bank during the country’s period of hyper-inflation.
From the blurb for the book:
This is the remarkable first-hand account of the tenure of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, from December 2003 until November 2008. A close colleague of President Robert Mugabe, he explains why he cherishes that opportunity to serve him and his country. [...] He outlines the Reserve bank response to the challenges, and concludes by mapping a socio-economic roadmap for reform and recovery. After an introductory bio-professional note, the chapters cover: The Invisible Hand’s Dirty Politics; The Market Economy as a Casino Economy; Corrupting Banking and the Stock Exchange; Illegal Sanctions as Terrorism; When Things Fell Apart; Taking a New Direction; Tackling the Casino Economy; Beyond the Casino Economy.
Here are a couple of snippets from Reuters news reports on Zimbabwe, while Gono was head of the central bank:
2006 – Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rises above 1,000 percent in April. Redenominated notes are issued in August. Inflation rises monthly.
2007 – Government institutes price freeze in June, followed two months later by wage freeze.
- There is a run on shops as goods disappear from shelves. Zimbabwe imports 60,000 tonnes of wheat to ease bread shortages after millers run out of the grain. The government said it did not meet its annual consumption requirements of between 400,000 and 450,000 tonnes of wheat.Zimbabwe announces inflation slowed to an annualized 6,592.8 percent in August from 7,634.8 percent in July. The government credits price freeze for the drop.
I just ordered the book. This may beat out Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as my most favorite gonzo book. And it is very tough to beat Thompson. From Fear and Loathing:
Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether…We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can…
Hallucinations are bad enough. But after awhile you learn to cope with things like seeing your dead grandmother crawling up your leg with a knife in her teeth. Most acid fanciers can handle this sort of thing. But nobody can handle that other trip-the possibility that any freak with $1.98 can walk into the Circus-Circus and suddenly appear in the sky over downtown Las Vegas twelve times the size of God, howling anything that comes into his head. No, this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs.
You better take care of me Lord, if you don’t you’re gonna have me on your hands.