Great video! Hyperinflation Around the Globe
Update to article originally posted on www.DollarDaze.org
on February 25, 2007.
By Mike HewittAngola (1991-1999)
Angola went through the worst inflation from 1991 to 1995. In early 1991, the highest denomination was 50,000 kwanzas. By 1994, it was 500,000 kwanzas. In the 1995 currency reform, 1 kwanza reajustado was exchanged for 1,000 kwanzas. The highest denomination in 1995 was 5,000,000 kwanzas reajustados. In the 1999 currency reform, 1 new kwanza was exchanged for 1,000,000 kwanzas reajustados. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 new kwanza = 1,000,000,000 pre-1991 kwanzas.Argentina (1975-1991)
Argentina went through steady inflation from 1975 to 1991. At the beginning of 1975, the highest denomination was 1,000 pesos. In late 1976, the highest denomination was 5,000 pesos. In early 1979, the highest denomination was 10,000 pesos. By the end of 1981, the highest denomination was 1,000,000 pesos. In the 1983 currency reform, 1 Peso Argentino was exchanged for 10,000 pesos. In the 1985 currency reform, 1 austral was exchanged for 1,000 pesos argentine.
Hyperinflation continued reaching a peak annualized rate of 4,923.3 percent in December 1989. At that time, government expenditure reached 35.6 percent of GDP and the fiscal deficit was 7.6 percent of GDP.
In 1990 the Argentine government announced a stabilization plan which included:
1. Comprehensive liberalization of foreign trade and capital movements
2. Privatization of public enterprises and the deregulation of the economy
3. Reduction in the size of the public sector and reconstruction of the tax system
4. Creation of a new monetary system, including the establishment of a Currency Board in April 1991.
Disinflation was gradual, with inflation falling from 1,344 percent in 1990, 84 percent in 1991. In the 1992 currency reform, 1 new peso was exchanged for 10,000 australes. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 new peso = 100,000,000,000 pre-1983 pesos. The inflation rate for 1992 was 17.5 percent, 7.4 percent in 1993, 3.9 percent in 1994 and 1.6 percent in 1995. By 1995, government expenditure represented 27 percent of Argentina's GDP.Austria (1921-1922)
Austria became a republic after World War I. It continued to use the Krone as before in the Austria-Hungarian empire. However, post-war inflation, reaching a peak of 134 percent between 1921 and 1922, led to its collapse. The Krone was replaced by the Schilling at the rate of 10,000 Kronen equal 1 Schilling.Belarus (1994-2002)
Belarus went through steady inflation from 1994 to 2002. In 1993, the highest denomination was 5,000 rublei. By 1999, it was 5,000,000 rublei. In the 2000 currency reform, the ruble was replaced by the new ruble at an exchange rate of 1 new ruble = 2,000 old rublei. The highest denomination in 2002 was 50,000 rublei, equal to 100,000,000 pre-2000 rublei.Bolivia (1984-1986)
Before 1984, the highest denomination was 1,000 pesos bolivianos. By 1985, the highest denomination was 10 Million pesos bolivianos. In the 1987 currency reform, the peso boliviano was replaced by the boliviano which was pegged to US dollar.Brazil (1986-1994)
For most of the early part of then 20th century, Brazil's money was called Reis, meaning "kings". By the 1930s the standard denomination was Mil Reis meaning a thousand kings. By 1942 the currency that devalued so much that the Vargas government instituted a monetary reform, changing the currency to cruzeiros (crosses) at a value of 1000 to 1. In 1967 the cruzeiro was renamed to cruzeiro novo (new cruzeiro), and three zeros were dropped from all denominations. In 1970 the cruzeiro novo was renamed, dropping the "novo" and once again being called simply the cruzeiro. During the 1970's while the Brazilian economy was growing at 10% a year, inflation was running anywhere between 15 to 300%.
By the mid 1980s inflation was out of control reaching a peak of 2000 percent. In 1986 three zeros were dropped and the cruzeiro became the cruzado (crusade). In 1989, another three zeroes are dropped and the cruzado becomes the cruzado novo.A 500,000 Brazilian Cruzeiro bank note.
In order to avoid confusion and not associate the new currency with previous monetary policy, the cruzado novo is renamed the cruzeiro with no change in value in 1990. By 1993, three more zeros are dropped from the cruzeiro which becomes known as the cruzeiro real. In 1994 the cruzero real is replaced by the real (royal), worth 2.75 old cruzeiros reais.
A 1960s cruzeiro was, in 1994, worth less than one trillionth of a US cent, after adjusting for multiple devaluations and note changes. In 1994, the following measures were enacted:
1. A constitutional amendment in 1994 which empowered the Central Bank not to finance the budget deficit
2. The Central Bank made it illegal for regional banks to buy government-issued bonds
3. Wages were frozen and a new currency -- the real -- was introduced as part of measures to de-index the economy.
As a result of these measures, prices dropped dramatically from July 1994 onwards and by 1997, inflation had been reduced to standard international levels. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 (1994) real = 2,700,000,000,000,000,000 pre-1930 reis.Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993)
Bosnia-Hezegovina went through its worst inflation in 1993. In 1992, the highest denomination was 1,000 dinara. By 1993, the highest denomination was 100,000,000 dinara. In the Republika Srpska, the highest denomination was 10,000 dinara in 1992 and 10,000,000,000 dinara in 1993. 50,000,000,000 dinara notes were also printed in 1993 but never issued.Bulgaria (1991-1997)
In 1996, Bulgaria defaulted on its international debt and narrowly escaped a revolution. From 1991 to 1997, Bulgaria experienced hyperinflation (rates of inflation exceeding 50%) that crippled its banking system. In winter 1996-97 in Bulgaria, hyperinflation and food shortages led to hunger protests. A currency board established in July 1997 slashed three zeroes off the currency.Chile (1971-1973)
Beginning in 1971, during the presidency of Salvador Allende, Chilean inflation began to rise and reached peaks of 508% in 1973. As a result of the hyperinflation, food became scarce and overpriced. The economic and social troubles culminated in the 1973 coup d'état that deposed the democratically-elected Allende and installed a military government led by Augusto Pinochet.China (1939-1950)
China first started using paper money under the reign of Emporer Hien Tsung in 806-821 AD due to a shortage of copper for making coins. The Europeans would not know about paper money till Marco Polo account of it in his Travels some 450 years later. Paper was issued again in 910 A.D. and become regular after 960 A.D. By 1020, the quantity of Chinese paper money has reached excessive levels. In 1160, the paper issues have become so numerous that they have become worthless. Emporer Kao Tsung begins reforms with a new issue to replace the old. By 1166 China is experiencing hyperinflation. This occurs again in 1448 with the Ming note. Some years later around 1455, China abandons paper money after over 600 years of experience. Europe would not begin using bank notes till 1661 with the first issue from the Bank of Sweden.
China saw an extended period of hyperinflation shortly after the Central Bank of China took complete control of the money supply and began issuing fiat currency. In June 1937, 3.41 yuan traded for one US dollar. By May 1949, one US dollar fetched 23,280,000 yuan for anyone who cared to have some. For more information on the subject click here.Free City of Danzig (1923)
Danzig went through the worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 1,000 mark. By 1923, the highest denomination was 10,000,000,000 mark.Ecuador (2000)
Officially pegged its currency to the US dollar on September 2000 after a 75% drop in value in early January that same year.England
Under Henry I, the quality of England's silver coins fall dramatically. In 1124, the right hands of the mint masters were cut off causing a temporary improvement in the quality. Henry II reformed the English coinage in 1158 thereby restoring the prestige of English money which was maintained for the next three centuries.
By the end of the War of the Roses (1455-1485), the English currency suffered badly from clipping and counterfeiting of coins. Henry VII tried to prohibit the use of foreign coins in 1498. The mainly European and Irish coins were also underweight but not to the extent of the English coins.
Henry VIII debased the coinage of England as a means of raising revenue from 1543 to 1551 in what is known as the "Great Debasement". In 1560, Elizabeth I and her advisors, foremost among them being Sir Thomas Gresham (of Gresham's Law) brought about stability by establishing the pound sterling and began to recall the earlier debased coinage and reminting them to remove the base metal component. The pound sterling was valued as one troy pound of high purity sterling silver.
In 1696 England's silver coins, many of which are worn or clipped, were replaced with new. Full-weight silver coins.
Britain suffered through a long period of moderate inflation from 1935 to 1970. Below is a chart showing the falling value of the current British currency since inception (Data from MeasuringWorth.com).
During the German occupation of Greece (1941 to 1944), the monthly inflation rate peaked at 8.55 billion percent in 1944. Prices doubled every 28 hours. In 1943, the highest denomination was 25,000 drachmai. By 1944, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 drachmai. In the 1944 currency reform, 1 new drachma was exchanged for 50,000,000,000 drachmai. Another currency reform in 1953 replaced the drachma at an exchange rate of 1 new drachma = 1,000 old drachma. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 (1953) drachma = 50,000,000,000,000 pre-1944 drachmai.France (1789-1797)
France did not start using paper notes until much later than other European nations due in part to the Mississippi Company debacle of 1719-1720.
In the spring of 1789 the French Assemblee decreed the issuance of 400 million paper livres, known as assignats, secured by the properties that had been confiscated from the Church during the revolution. Over the following years, the Assemblee continued issuing greater quantities of assignats and in addition to price controls, dictated a death sentence on anyone selling the notes at a discount to gold and silver livres. By late-1795 the amount had reached 40 billion and a new currency was issued, the mandat, which promptly lost 97% of its value over the next two years. In 1797, both paper currencies were recalled and a new monetary system based upon gold was instituted.
France also suffered through a long period of moderate inflation from 1944 to 1960.Georgia (1995)
Georgia went through the worst inflation in 1994. In 1993, the highest denomination was 100,000 laris. By 1994, the highest denomination was 1,000,000 laris. In the 1995 currency reform, 1 new lari was exchanged for 1,000,000 laris.Germany (1923-1924, 1945-1948)
During WWI, Germany borrowed heavily expecting that they would win the war and have the losers repay the loans. In addition to these debts, Germany faced huge reparation payments. Together, these debts exceeded Germany's GDP. In 1923, when Germany could no longer pay reparations, French and Belgium troops moved in to occupy the Ruhr, Germany's main industrial area. Without this major source of income, the government took to printing money which resulted in hyperinflation took hold. At its most severe, the monthly rate of inflation reached 3.25 billion percent, equivalent to prices doubling every 49 hours. The U.S. dollar to Mark conversion rate peaked at 80 billion.Inflation 1923-24: A German woman feeding a stove with currency notes, which burn longer than the amount of firewood they can buy.
Some countries eased off on Germany's war reparation burden and a new interim currency, the Rentenmark, secured on mortgages on land and industrial property restored stability. In 1924, the Reichmark, replaces the Rentenmark and has an equivalent to the pre-war gold mark.
Germany suffered high inflation again after WWII. In the official markets ration cards and permits are more important than currency while on the black market cigarettes, soap, tinned beef and chocolate serve as currency. In 1948, Germany replaced the Reichsmark with the Deutschemark and abolished the price and wage controls and most of the rationing system.Greece (1944-1953)
During the German occupation of Greece (1941 to 1944), the monthly inflation rate peaked at 8.55 billion percent. Prices doubled every 28 hours. Two currency reforms, one in 1944 and another in 1953, saw the new drachma replace 50 trillion pre-1944 drachma.