If you must make a meal of your money, it’s smarter to do it in a country with hyper-inflation

It’s a pity Alan Bollard has done a splendid job of bringing annual inflation down to an almost negligible 1 per cent.

Alf makes this observation on learning (here) that…

A 5-year-old girl has become the guinea pig in her own science experiment as she tracks the progress of a silver coin through her digestive system.

Niamh Aageson was playing with the coin in her mouth two weeks ago when she breathed in and accidentally swallowed the 50- or 20-cent piece.

An x-ray showed the coin had gone down her oesophagus and lodged at the entrance to her stomach. Since then, the family have been tracing the coin through her stomach and into her lower intestine, using a metal detector.

Swallowing coins, of course, is not a clever thing to do and it is cheering to see this lesson has not been lost on young Niamh.

She has told her friends at Windy Ridge School on Auckland’s North Shore about her experience and has a message for all children.

“You should only put things in your mouth if they are food,” she said. “If you can’t chew something it can get stuck and it really hurts.”

Fair enough.

Among other things, you never know where it has been or whether it has already taken a journey through somebody else’s insides.

As for the coin she swallowed, doctors say it might emerge in the coming days – or it might get stuck somewhere and never emerge.

The slow passage of the coin through Niamh’s elementary canal and the possibility it might never come out the other end can largely be attributed to Bollard’s management of inflation.

It means the coin has shrunk infinitesimally during its time in her insides.

Just imagine what would have happened had the mishap happened in Zimbabwe a few years ago when inflation – they called it hyperinflation (see here) – was running at astronomic levels.

During the height of inflation from 2008–09, it was difficult to accurately account and monitor for Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation because the government of Zimbabwe stopped filing official inflation statistics. This cessation in filing made it difficult to accurately observe how severe inflation was in the country. However, Zimbabwe’s peak month of inflation is estimated at 6.5 sextillion percent in mid-November 2008

Dunno about that sextillion number.

But a table in Wikipedia shows this increase in 2008 –

2008 Sep. 3,840,000,000,000,000,000%

2008 Mid-Nov. 89,700,000,000,000,000,000,000%

At that rate the coin would have all but disappeared before it had reached Niamh’s mouth.

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