World's most unusual central bank

AFGHANISTAN - This is no ordinary central bank. The currency reserves of the Northern Alliance - large wads of Afghani notes that arrive from neighbouring Tajikistan - are kept in a broom cupboard in a mud-walled hut in the dusty Afghan town of Khoja Bakhawiddin. Men with Kalashnikovs stand guard.

Transactions are recorded by hand on documents stored in a padlocked tin chest. Clerks working in the modest compound sit in a cluster of offices furnished by a few carpets, some tin-foil glued to th

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