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Accepted Paper:

Pooling Disquietude: Zimbabwe's 'Operation Sunrise' and the Hoarding of Inflationary Cash  
Jeremy Jones (College of the Holy Cross)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyzes an episode from Zimbabwe in 2006, which involved the hoarding of cash whose value was certain to drop. After explaining the complex circuits of exchange involved, I challenge the association of hoarding with abiding (or transcendent) value.

Paper long abstract:

This paper analyzes a peculiar practice: hoarding cash whose value is certain to drop. In August, 2006, after years of severe inflation, Zimbabwe's government embarked upon "Operation Sunrise." On its face it was a currency redenomination, in which three zeros were knocked off the Zimdollar, and a new series of money deemed "heroes" was introduced--thus the operation's slogan, "From Zero to Hero." But it was also explicitly intended to eliminate the hoarding of cash outside the formal banking system. The first week was marked by ubiquitous police searches, druing which cash without clear formal sector provenance was seized from the travelling public. Government claimed that the "hoarding" of money (and goods) was being perpetrated by foreign (i.e. "white") businesses and racially deluded "sell-outs," intent upon reversing the gains of independence and the country's land reform program. Actually, plummeting exchange rates, when combined with a raft of official price controls, created enormous incentives to soak up Zimdollars, especially Zimdollar cash. After explaining the complex circuits of exchange involved--in which drops in the Zimdollar exchange rate proved to be perversely lucrative--I turn to the conceptual ramifications. Hoarding has generally been associated with the same spatial and temporal qualities that make up the "store of value" function in money. Indeed, abiding value is what makes "good" money good in Gresham's law. Following Jane Guyer, though, I suggest that we carefully analyze the characteristic circuits of "bad" money, including the ways that it is harnessed, pooled, and dispersed.

Panel P109
Hoarding, temporality, and value: regimes of accumulation and dispersal
  Session 1 Wednesday 15 August, 2018, -