Foreign Exchange Markets: Street Smart

The equatorial mid-day humidity is stifling as I traverse, by foot, the city center of Dar es Salaam. As a newcomer to the country, I am marveling at the beehive of activity that is this city of nearly two million in a country that was once the German colony of Tanganyika, and later a part of the British Empire. Sidewalks are lined with card tables where vendors are actively hawking their wares, some with marketing skills that would put many westerners to shame.

I purchase a few German coins (dated 1916) that once circulated in the colonial days. Nearby is an entrepreneur selling cigarettes individually for those who cannot afford to buy a full pack. (I later find out that it is possible ...

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