Q & A: Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe's central banker

"What keeps me bright and looking forward to every day is that it can't be any worse"

Zimbabwe’s crippling hyperinflation, which has prices doubling every 24.7 hours, has been almost entirely blamed on its central bank’s affection for printing more money. (Later this year, Zimbabwe will introduce a trillion-dollar bill to its currency.) But, Gideon Gono, the head of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank sees few problems with the way he’s managed the economy. In an exclusive interview with Newsweek, Gono pointed to the international sanctions against Zimbabwe—rather than his own mismanagement of its currency—as the root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic problems. What’s more, Gono says the IMF’s request for the U.S. to print more money was an implicit endorsement of his methods. “I began to see the whole world now in a mode of practicing what they have been saying I should not,” Gono said. “I decided that God had been on my side and had come to vindicate me.” In spite of his country’s struggles to keep both inflation and a cholera epidemic under control, Gono was unwaveringly optimistic about Zimbabwe’s prospects for 2009. “It’s got to be a good year. What keeps me bright and looking forward to every day is that it can’t be any worse.”