The Great Depression Online

Great Depression Online Archive Issue:

Could You Really Become 95 Percent Poorer Overnight?

Day 5 of 7 - Seven Day Course

Inside Day 5 You Will Discover…

*** Several Instances of Hyperinflation
*** Weimar Germany’s Disastrous Hyperinflation
*** The French Experiment with Paper Money and Big Government
*** Why the United States is Next
*** And More!

Could You Really Become 95 Percent Poorer Overnight?

Unequivocally yes.  It has happened many times throughout history.  It happened in the United States during the Revolutionary War and again during the Civil War.

In both instances, paper money was issued to finance the war and, in both instances, the resulting inflation produced a worthless currency.

It nearly happened again in the late 1970's and early 1980's, when an inflationary recession -- stagflation -- brought a lower standard of living for many, as incomes stagnated while prices for just about everything went up.

Other instances of hyperinflation have occurred throughout history.  The allure of the printing press was too much to resist in war torn Germany following World War I.

Indebted by reparations under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's Weimar Republic opted to inflate its way out of debt.  The results were disastrous.

Between January 1922 and November 1923 the wholesale price index ballooned from 36.7 percent to 726,000,000,000.0 percent.  By late 1923 it took 200 billion marks to buy a loaf of bread.


German Woman Feeding a Stove with Currency Notes
which Burn Longer than the Amount of Firewood they can Buy

Millions were ruined -- including the entire middleclass.

Which brings us to...

The French Experiment with Paper Money and Big Government

Examples of government induced hyperinflation are countless, but the French Experiment with Paper Money and Big Government is probably the most instructive folly ever documented.

Why the French?


Because there has never been a popular delusion that the French did not line up behind, in mass, to further their demise; mad experiments in revolution, socialism, and paper money have been undertaken in the name of Viva La France!


Depiction of French Revolution -- Viva La France!

What you may not know is that the French Revolution was spurred and perpetuated by mass discontent over the financial crisis brought on by the French Government's massive debt -- debt that was financed with the creation of paper money.

It's something not always recognized today, however it was obvious to all living at the time.

In fact, Charles Dickens, in his French Revolution period classic, A Tale of Two Cities, had this to say on the opening page:

"France ... rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and spending it."

In short, it was the greatest attempt ever made in the history of the world (until now) by a government to create an inconvertible paper currency, and to maintain its circulation at various levels of value.

And the results were disastrous.

Within five painful years all the paper money that was issued was trash -- utterly worthless.  The nation was plunged into financial ruin.  And left it its wake was a legacy of moral and material desolation and woe.

Citizens were outraged and the Government was responsible.  Discontent erupted into vehement crowds.

"The transition to the sport of window-breaking, and thence to the plundering of public-houses, was easy and natural."  Said Dickens.

And later, he said this:

"Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule."

How will citizens in the United States react when they wake up and find their life savings is worthless? 

And that it has been stolen through years of Government deception.

The passions by the French for such delusions does not portend that such undertakings could not occur in the United States.  In fact, they already have been set in motion; however, the ultimate results have not yet played out.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance for each individual to be informed on what has been going on and what could happen.

More on this tomorrow… 


M.N. Gordon
Great Depression Online

P.S.  Find out how ‘Helicopter Ben’ is greasing the road to hyperinflation in tomorrow’s edition -- Day 6 of 7 – of the Great Depression Online.


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