SIR – You suggested that the supply of Somali shillings is fairly fixed despite a number of forgeries (“Hard to kill”, March 31st). In fact, it was the introduction of forged notes that ultimately removed the incentive to increase the supply of shillings in circulation.
The 1,000 shillings note exchanged for roughly $0.13 when General Muhammad Aideed employed a printing firm to reproduce the note in 1996. As the number of notes in circulation grew, the exchange value fell to just $0.03, which is the cost of producing an additional note. Since the exchange value equals the cost of production, forgers can no longer profit by increasing the supply. Today, the Somali shilling is a commodity money. Its supply is governed by the cost of ink and paper required to produce a note.
Friday, April 20, 2012
The Economist published my response to this article.