Have You Got Change for $1 Billion?

At Hong Kong’s traditional “Hungry Ghost” festival in August, in which people burn fake money on top of ancestors’ graves to support their after-lifestyles, a weaker economy and inflation seem to have upped the ante for the gifts. An August Wall Street Journal dispatch noted the denominations of burnable “currency” sold in stores have appreciated, including one “valued” at one trillion Hong Kong dollars ($130 billion U.S.). Some festival-goers asked, sensibly, how the ancestor could expect change from such a bill if he needed to make a small afterlife purchase.