In a move that is sure to be copied in other countries (like the US maybe) the North Korean government in a sudden flash of economic insight revalued the country’s currency (the won) downward and then severely restricted the exchange of old won notes for new won notes.
For some reason, this move sparked panic in the streets as citizens saw their savings wiped out. According to sources, the 1,000 won note is now equal to 10 won and only about 100,000 won could be exchanged for the new currency. That’s about $40 USD. Any additional cash that was over this amount would then be considered worthless.
The locals rioted and so the government said, OK, we will raise the limit to 150,000 won for on hand cash and 300,000 won for savings. Nothing more was said that even these amounts are now worth only a tenth of what they were yesterday.
In American monetary terms, it means that if you were Daddy Big Bucks and you had $150,000 won on you ($60 USD) then that money, after you exchanged it, would be worth $30 USD and all that mullah you have stashed in savings is now going to be worth no more than $180 USD.
This is occurring in a country where the average monthly income is $47 USD. So, by my way of figuring every man and woman now have about a three month hedge on starvation. This is a country that has been on the ragged edge of insolvency for many years.