One of my proudest possessions is a 1,000,000 Turkish Lira note that I received as a gift from a Turkish-American friend of mine. It was always a running joke that someday, if I worked hard enough, I could become a Turkish millionaire (the joke being that a million Turkish Lira might buy you a cup of coffee). My friend visited her homeland last summer and mailed me the note, which has been in my wallet ever since.
So now comes the sad news that I am no longer a Turkish millionaire. No, I didn’t lose the note. Turkey just officially devalued the Lira by a factor of one million. In other words, they just lopped off the last six zeroes on all of their currency. From now on, a 1,000,000 lira note is just a 1 lira note.
Isn’t it odd that a government can just do that — move the decimal point on their currency? Imagine if our government, perhaps motivated by the cost of producing increasingly-worthless pennies, just decided, OK from now on, pennies are equal to dimes, dimes are now dollars, and so on. A gallon of gas is now 16 cents. A fine dinner is now ten bucks. A new Hummer now costs five grand. Weird, isn’t it?
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