Afghanistan's currency, the afghani, plunged 25 percent in value today (Wednesday), in apparent reaction to an international finance official's statements that the afghani might be scrapped.
Scenes of near chaos were reported in Kabul, with some accounts saying currency dealers in the capital's central market waved money at passing drivers quoting exchange rates that changed within seconds.
In Kabul Tuesday, International Monetary Fund deputy Warren Coats said currencies now in circulation in Afghanistan -- the dollar, the Pakistani rupee and the afghani -- are causing problems.
He said Kabul's new interim government may have to adopt the U-S dollar temporarily, while a new afghani is designed and re-introduced nationwide. He said the process could take two or three years.
Some dealers and analysts say Afghan warlords and forgers have also contributed to the currency trading upheaval by circulating their own afghanis. The French News Agency reported that large quantities of newly-printed afghanis have been circulating in the capital, despite government claims it has not issued any currency since taking office December 22nd.
The U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan and the formation of the interim government helped push the afghani from its August lows of 80-thousand afghanis to the dollar, to a high of nearly 15-thousand.
The afghani is generally trading around 36-thousand to the dollar today (Wednesday).