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Submitted by Markus Scheuermaier on

No solution but an anecdote perhaps - in 1998, I travelled to Angola for the Economist Intelligence Unit. The government had just agreed to an IMF SMP, and one of the requirements was to publish the budget. Which the government did - in Angolan kwanzas... At the time, the country was suffering from hyper-inflation and the exchange when I arrived was 1.4m kwanzas to the dollar and 1.6m five days later. The budget was published in an A5 booklet, with tens, if not hundreds, of zeros for each line item. No spreadsheet was provided. An official from the IMF told me they were not able to compute the numbers - but were rebuffed by the government when they asked for US dollar equivalents. Many zeros can also be a very convenient way to hide or fudge numbers...