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7785: The Gourde, or, Money in Haiti (fwd)
From: "J. David Lyall" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A number of posts recently have been about the legal and logical place
money in Haiti. What is a 'dollar' in Haiti.
One post said that there was no such thing as a 'dollar' in haiti and
stop giving any prices in 'dollars'.
Another post objected to a price given in 'dollars', when the dollars
were USD. Dollah Verd as it were. That poster insisted that a 'dollar'
was 5 gourdes, no more or less.
Now, this is interesting, again, because I was holding on to a pre 1998
I was handed in February which stated that the Central Bank of Haiti
this bill at a rate of 5 gourdes to the US Dollar as stated in the
New bills just refer to the article of the constitution, without a
that 5 gourdes would be exchanged for a US dollar.
The 1987 Constitution does, in fact, guarantee an exchange rate of 5
one US dollar. That is obviously a problem as the de facto regime chose
large amounts of money and drive the value of the gourde down by 2/3.
As we all know it has since fallen to close to 25 gourdes to the USD, or
'5 haitian dollars' for one US dollar. This is referred to as 400% in
method of comparison used in Haiti. 400% added to the constitutionally
specified value I suppose.
There was recently a poll in one of the PauP newspapers asking if people
the 'dollarisation' of the Haitian economy. Strangely, the response was
I say strangely because the economy IS dollarised in the language, and
medium of exchange for expensive imported items.
The constitution also, as noted above, expressly 'dollarises' the
requiring a fixed exchange rate. Like so many other items of the
Constitution of 1987,
this legal fiction is politely ignored.
I recently discovered that one US penny, one cent of a US dollar, is
to be worth 5 centimes, instead of the 24 centimes that the market rate
It is called 'senk kob'. Has anyone else heard this?
There is a business opportunity awaiting! Buy up pennies at 20 to the
That would be, lesse, 24 times 25 equals, what? 600 pennies to a dollar?
My math must be wrong.
Resist the so called Quantum Mechanics.
God DOES NOT play dice
David AT lyalls.net