Hyperinflation: 56 Modern Cases

Here’s a great chart from the Cato Institute, which depicts 56 cases of hyperinflation in modern times. Hungary wins the prize for having the highest monthly inflation rate of 4.19 X 1016% -that’s 41,900,000,000,000,000% or 41.9 QUADRILLION PERCENT.

I think one of the more interesting points in the table is the time required for prices to double. Can you imagine the price of food doubling ever day? How about every 15 hours?

Modern Hyperinflation Chart

Read the full report of 56 cases of modern hyperinflation.

Many people who don’t understand the concept of sound money say you can’t eat gold. In fact, in just about every discussion on the internet concerning monetary collapse, there is always at least one troll saying you can’t eat gold.  Guess what: you can’t eat paper money, stocks, or ETFs either. But I bet if you live in Zimbabwe, you can get a lot of eggs for a silver coin. And the next week, you can buy the same amount of eggs for a silver coin. However, if you’re using Zimbabwe dollars, you might need an extra wheelbarrow of paper dollars to buy the same amount of eggs you purchased the week before.

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar Bill
Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar Bill

Thank goodness the central bank of Zimbabwe printed one-hundred trillion dollar bills, so Zimbabweans no longer have to carry their money in barrels, like the Germans did in 1923.

Wheelbarrow of Money (Devalued Currency)
Wheelbarrow of Money (Devalued Currency)

On the other hand, the Germans could use their worthless, paper money to keep the kids entertained…

German Children Playing with Devalued Currency
German Children Playing with Devalued Currency

…or heat their homes.

Woman Burning Devalued Currency
Woman Burning Devalued Currency

Note, by the way, that when speaking of the German case of hyperinflation between June 1921 and January 1924, Germany is often referred to as the Weimar Republic. To clarify: The Weimar Republic was not some obscure neighbor or German annex; the Weimar Republic was in fact Germany. The Weimar Republic is simply a name historians use to indicate a point in time (in 1919) when Germany changed its form of government.

2 Replies to “Hyperinflation: 56 Modern Cases”

  1. Joel Skousen believes there will not be any hyperinflation in the US anytime soon because of the large size of US GDP. The hyperinflation examples above are from relatively smaller economies. Can you comment on this?


    1. Yes, I think I heard that interview, where he said the monetary base is so huge it will take a lot more than QE3 to cause hyperinflation. He made an excellent point; however:
      * how big would the US economy be if it weren’t for the petro-dollar and reserve currency status? As I show in one of my other posts, there have been several reserve currencies in the past, and the USD has passed the average expiration date.
      * hyperinflation is not required to ruin your savings. Moderately high inflation is enough to do the trick, and even “normal” inflation is infuriating.

      The dollar’s future is uncertain, but so far it has lost 96% of its value since the Fed took control 100 years ago, and I think it’s safe to assume it will continue a downward trend.

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