In TNT 

Jer39prove8: Back to 2008 as zim dollar returns

FOR President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the re-introduction of the national currency a decade after its demise is a return to “normalcy”.

For most of the country’s citizens, it’s a bitter reminder of years of hyperinflation, which destroyed their savings and left them bartering for daily basics.

“Remember 2008, when you needed trillions of dollars to buy bread? In Zimbabwe, time goes backwards,” said Edwin Mapondera (34), who sells wooden sculptures in one of Harare’s affluent northern suburbs.

“I’m taking any currency. People have not listened to this nonsense because now, the famous Zimbabwe dollar is going to become worthless in no time.”

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said on Monday that starting immediately, currencies such as the United States dollar and South African rand would no longer be legal tender. Instead, a quasi-currency known as bond notes, which can’t be traded outside the country, and their electronic equivalent, the RTGS dollar, will be termed the Zimbabwe dollar.

By re-introducing it, the government is taking a risk, as more people may be driven into the black market, further starving the economy of already insufficient State revenue. That could leave the State struggling to pay government workers, who account for about 90% of its budget, and with little money to shore up creaking infrastructure.

Effects still linger from the last time the Zimbabwe dollar crashed and burned, transforming one of Africa’s most developed nations into a place where gasoline and bread were periodically unavailable, with almost everyone unemployed, while about a quarter of the population emigrated.

Just two blocks from the country’s premier Meikles Hotel, what was once a neat and active bus terminus is overrun by hundreds of vendors, selling everything from vegetables to spanners.

The 2008 catastrophe began after then President Robert Mugabe backed the seizure of white-owned commercial farms around the turn of the century. The farms’ new owners failed to produce, exports plummeted and the national currency rapidly lost its value. Then the central bank turned on the printing press in a bid to meet the government’s running costs.

Within eight years, inflation had reached 500 billion percent and the largest bank note was 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Foreign currencies became legal tender in 2009. That initially stabilised the economy, but the strength of the dollar also made Zimbabwean manufacturing companies uncompetitive against those of their lower-cost South African rivals.

Harambe:  AP News: The Latest: China says Trump, Xi strike deal on trade talks (6/29/19)

AP News: The Latest: China says Trump, Xi strike deal on trade talks (6/29/19)

OSAKA, Japan (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s trip to Asia (all times local):
2:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Saturday to a new cease-fire in a year-long trade war between the two nations.

That’s according to the Xinhua Chinese state-run news agency. It says the two countries have agreed to reboot stalled trade talks and that the U.S. will hold off on threatened additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

Trump said earlier Saturday that the countries were “right back on track” and that he would be making an announcement on the results of his talks with Xi during an afternoon press conference.

U.S. officials had signaled that a restart in talks was the likely outcome of Trump’s meeting with Xi. The two leaders previously agreed to a truce at their last meeting in December to allow trade negotiations to continue, but talks broke down last month.

1:55 p.m.
President Donald Trump says the U.S. and China are “right back on track” when it comes to reaching a deal on trade.

Trump is telling reporters that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a “very, very good meeting” on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Japan that was better than expected.

And he says that, while negotiations are continuing, China will soon be releasing a statement and he will be addressing the issue at a news conference later Saturday.

The two countries have been at an impasse over trade after a breakdown in negations. But both sides had signaled a desire to de-escalate the year-long conflict despite.

Trump made the comments during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.