Are We All Transfer Rate Crazy?

IT’S Monday morning and people are milling around a commercial bank in anticipation.

 

“What’s the rate…” A young man of about twenty speaks through the latest mobile handset –– the new breed of the nouveau riche created by our dysfunctional economy.

When Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor announced the liberalisation of the exchange rate policy, the local currency was severely devalued.

Suddenly people started quoting the newfound phenomenon called the bank rate. After a non-productive marathon the bank rate suddenly huffed and puffed and punctured.

With the demise of the bank rate era came the new whiz kid named the transfer-rate. Whoever said the Zimbabwean species is dearth at ideas really has not yet started. With US$100 at today’s transfer rate one has a cool $900 000 in his or her account.

The same fellow would make a beeline to Delta Beverages and horde hundred crates of beer and sell them at discounted cash prices to the equally befuddled imbiber. Talk of non-government financed subsidies?

Now all prices in the country are running amok. The new datum peg is in use –– the transfer rate. The minimum withdrawal limit makes a mockery not only of the banking system but also largely of the Reserve Bank governor at large.

One would hope that the real good brooms should sweep in the Reserve Bank! Somebody says: Who should blame the baker when the butcher makes bread?

Jimias Birukai

Harare.