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A Minsk Moment Update: Belarus Hyperinflation Prompts Government To Freeze Food Prices

Tyler Durden's picture


So we move from one probably hyperinflation to another, quite factual one. As we disclosed last week, following its massive and surprising currency devaluation, Belarus has promptly plunged into hyperinflationary hell. The government, scrambling to avoid public unrest, which would likely promptly devolve into revolution and civil war, has just now decided to take reactive price freezing "measures" which will do absolutely nothing but accelerate the immediate destocking of anything and everything still available for purchase. From The Moscow Times: "Belarus on Tuesday froze prices on a number of foodstuffs as analysts warned that the former Soviet republic could descend into economic chaos and an IMF mission headed to Minsk to assess the situation." Ah, good old price controls. Failure is imminent, following which Belarus will introduce a mandatory coupon-based purchasing system now that the currency is for all intents and purposes worthless. Incidentally, those who still hold precious metals have the upper hand in determining what these are exchanged for and at what conversion ratios.


A government decree said prices for fish, tea, coffee, certain types of sausages, cheese and a number of fruits and vegetables — some of which have doubled in the last two months — cannot be raised further until July 1.

Belarus devalued its ruble by 36 percent to 4,977 per dollar last week in an attempt to reduce a current account deficit largely caused by generous public spending in the run-up to Alexander Lukashenko's re-election as president last December. But the unofficial black market rate for rubles is still about 6,000 per dollar.

Russia and several other ex-Soviet nations are to decide on that bailout package on June 4.

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that a mission would visit Belarus on June 1-13 for regular post-program monitoring. Minsk has not applied for IMF funding so far.

Caesar would be proud.


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Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:52 | 1325555 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Shortages soon to follow

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:06 | 1325603 BS_Merchant
BS_Merchant's picture

There are quite a few Spanish cucumbers available at the moment...



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:04 | 1325740 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Nice loaf ! How did you get the counter clockwise coil ? Do you live in the southern hemisphere ? Monedas 2011

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:25 | 1325801 stewie
stewie's picture

lol. Never expected to see the Coriolis Effect in this context.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:36 | 1326048 Monedas
Monedas's picture

It's comforting to know people keep track of this kind of stuff ! Monedas 2011 Ooops ! I think I meant northern hemisphere ? I had to go flush the comode to refresh my memory !

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:09 | 1325707 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

"IMF mission headed .. to assess " - they are going to try out the missionary position to complement the head position while Ass-essing those russian hotel maids hmmmm

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 23:36 | 1327543 Quaderratic Probing
Quaderratic Probing's picture

No problem create a future food derivitive product and allow accounting to present value the thing at more than enough ..... works for the banks

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:56 | 1325557 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Shortage of beer?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:54 | 1325564 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Beer shortages are my tipping point!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:24 | 1325998 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

There where many things missing in the Soviet Union but Vodka was Never 1 of them supplies of Vodka arrived before, Penicilin and toilet paper

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:53 | 1325558 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Sitting here looking at my bag of 1960 dimes, each worth about $4 FRN's. Pretty amazing.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:54 | 1325776 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Yes it is, and look what those dimes have endured over the last 50 years. Let me know when Roosevelt starts talking to ya, it'll be interesting. Maybe some went to the World's Fair in '63-64, maybe some were change from a dollar for a couple gallons of gas. I'm sure plenty went through a pay-phone. None were cashback from a debit-card purchase, pretty sure. PS- The $4 part is totally messed up, nothing but off topic, has no relevance whatever- stop thinking about it. Ask yourself, "Self? Why is gold so freakin' high?"

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:08 | 1326291 kumquatsunite
kumquatsunite's picture

The "speed up" time frame, as we've seen with the "flash crash" and such, means that the big boys are taking their profits very early in the game, then just nibbling back and forth to get you to put yers money down! so they can then just take a wee bit more. "Profits" in the Ag and Au are gone for decades to come; oh sure, if you've got some, say 100 million or so to play around with it's probably worth sheeshing off the froth of a three percent here and a three percent there, but for the rest, the quick change artists (the traders) just smile and call you their beetzhes. And no, I've not yet seen The Hangover 2. Waiting for the crowds to be beaten back.

Did hear that Mike Tyson sings! I'll pay to see that!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:51 | 1325903 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Score!  Over the weekend I got *another* bunch of pre-1965s on eBay from an inexperienced seller...for 13% below spot (melt).  And that included shipping!

Quarters and dimes.  :)

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:56 | 1325559 kaiten
kaiten's picture

Greece, are you watching? This is what happens if/when you leave the eurozone. Drachma tumbling by 70-80% and you entering hyperinflation and living standard destruction. So choose wisely and do the cuts/ reforms finally.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:57 | 1325566 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Not everyone is Iceland planning an exit route from monetary play games.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:30 | 1325815 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

The default = death stuff is destroyed by Iceland.

Greece could default and have to immediately live within its tax revenue means -- which looks horrible at first glance, but take a second glance.  Don't fund medicine.  Don't fund food.  Fund pensions and police.

Then get your cameras on the starving people laden with disease and appeal to the world.  The Red Cross will rush in.  The various foreign aid programs . . . actual aid, not loans . . . will rush in.

No one will die.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:27 | 1325807 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

But now if they sell Mt. Olympus or The Parthenon, they'll get TRILLIONS from a foreign buyer.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:44 | 1325872 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

They should sell their children's birthright for paper?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:58 | 1325934 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Yes, and all the bridges they have too. You want the actual bricks? Sorry, we don't play thet game. We'll give you a piece of paper, and you can imagine whatever you want is printed on it, even some pictures maybe, just hand over the money. 1 Big Hoax, 360°

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:16 | 1325990 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Ah, a scam of course - I am so dense sometimes.  But remember, London sold London Bridge to some American and he picked it up and moved it to Arizona in the 60s, so its not that far fetched. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:35 | 1326179 Antipodeus
Antipodeus's picture

Except that the 'London Bridge' he thought he'd bought wasn't really the London Bridge.  Was he p#ssed, or what?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:15 | 1326334 kumquatsunite
kumquatsunite's picture

Hey, isn't that what the liberals have done with America? Foreigners reverse colonizing this country created the housing boom and allowed the government (also stocked with foreigners: does anyone that speaks English work in the government anymore? Is it against the law to hire a native born American to work in our government? Or are those jobs just so that we won't notice that the foreigners are taking all of our private sector jobs so funnel them into the government! whoo hooo, and you thought that adding 150 million foreigners to this country in thirty years wouldn't juice the system?

Your children's birthright Has Been not sold, but given away because the liberals think that, just because it has never really existed anywhere in history, that for the first time the Woostockian/Stalinists can redistribute until the last seed of corn (see: seed corn....what we save for the future) is eaten. 

Ah yes, your children's birthright after this wave of third world trash given our country is filthy air, polluted water, and gridlocked roads accompanied by the fact that being white is now a dangerous thing to be. White equals having a bullseye on your back: don't dare say anything, ask for anything, or pretend your people once owned this country. And made it purdy dang good. Oh nooooo....don't you dare go there. History has been rewritten and your children convinced that you and anyone your color needs to be put down, one way or the other.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 20:58 | 1327211 dolph9
dolph9's picture

Hey idiot, the "conservatives" do nothing to control immigration either, because they are controlled by big business interests that love the cheap labor.

Besides, it's the whites (and Jews) of Wall Street and D.C., no matter what their political persuasion, who all believe, without exception, that we must keep "growing" forever.  Thereby, continuous, high immigration is allowed and welcomed.

I'm not sure whether to take you seriously or not.  But believe me:  if you are coming to zerohedge thinking you will find nothing but wingnut, Faux News, Limbaugh echo chamber trash agreeing with you, you are wrong.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:52 | 1326075 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

They'll actually get just a few trinkets applied to their sovereign debt for the sale of their monuments, parks, water rights, land, etc. Paid for by the same "foreign buyer" that extended their credit limit to where it is today.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:56 | 1325560 Muir
Muir's picture

For those really too young to remember, President Nixon also froze prices right here in the Ol good USA, the World did not end, my friends.

Nixon imposes wage-price freeze

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:02 | 1325585 CynicLaureate
CynicLaureate's picture

For those old enough to be paying bills in the 70's, the gas lines and shortages post-Nixon were the high-water mark of economic misery in the post-war portion of the 20th century.

The government actually admitted we had 20% inflation in 1979-80.

Nothing compared to today... "Baby boomers can't sell their big houses to their kids, especially if they're still living in the basement."


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:02 | 1325586 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I lived through that. Food stuffs were renamed to get around the price controls. The food that still retained it's original name could not be purchased. Nixon's price controls were a joke then and this farce will fail as it always does.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:44 | 1325688 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

I don't think anyone seriously thought price controls would work to contain prices. The goal was more to make the sheeple think that something was being done to ease their plight. Even the phrase "price control" implies that the gov't is in control of prices, a conceit which causes the market gods to laugh uncontrollably. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:01 | 1325741 yabyum
yabyum's picture

My coin guy has a W.I.N. button from that era, might have to go buy stylish.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:00 | 1325589 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Uh yes and we also didnt have all our manufacturing jobs sent to China and a dead 75% Borrow to Consume economic model and $1,500 trillion in debt either. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:42 | 1325681 Cow
Cow's picture

I suggest we all wear buttons that say WIN for Whip Inflation Now.  I just thought of that.  My idea.  Don't try and copy it.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:55 | 1325563 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


Russia Says IMF Chief Jailed For Discovering All US Gold Is Gone


A new report prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Federal Security Service (FSB) says that former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn [photo with Putin top left] was charged and jailed in the US for sex crimes on May 14th after his discovery that all of the gold held in the United States Bullion Depository located at Fort Knox [photo 2nd left] was ‘missing and/or unaccounted’ for.


Oh, oh.

There's trouble ahead.

Alpha Dog Putin strikes back.


How come such a "secret" report finds its way on the internet ?


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:59 | 1325573 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Please no links to "Sorcha Faal" on Zero Hedge.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:03 | 1325590 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

What's the deal with Sorch Faal, Tyler?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:07 | 1325597 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Hoax site...likely future White House Press secretary or GS PR department head.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:20 | 1325629 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

Sorcha Faal = Sucha Fool

Disinformation site for sure.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:42 | 1325683 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

AIQ and DD: thank you.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:40 | 1325685 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture That noted, an ETF based on the percentage of the gold plated tungsten component in Fort Knox would be quite a hit. Problem is that by the time the answer is known, it would probably be both moot and mute.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:53 | 1325714 Ancona
Ancona's picture


Sorcha Faal??? You have GOT to be shitting me!

Thanks Frankie, I needed a good laugh.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:04 | 1325592 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


Didn't know until now that this is a hoax site.



I can't delete my post since you answered to it.

So my hands are tied.


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:05 | 1325598 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I dont know if its a hoax site or author.. who knows, everything thats reported there may actually be true. But a lot of things there are a bit sensationalist.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:49 | 1325698 Rollerball
Rollerball's picture

Just shave with an Occam Mach3 Turbo razor and you'll be alright.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:09 | 1325753 dcb
dcb's picture


excuse me, you must not be reading your bernenke mantra. there can be no inflation in that country because of an output gap and unemployment.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:03 | 1325583 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture


The Bernank:

"No, no, no. We just sent the gold out for tungstenization..."

BTW Tyler: I thought everyone loved crazy flying saucer and alien shit??

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:03 | 1325591 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

that report is pretty..."out there"...even for me. Reads more like s B-Film Action thriller.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:20 | 1326364 kumquatsunite
kumquatsunite's picture

What ya gotta love about Putin is his unapologetic, unwavering belief that all is Russia and Russia is all. We have now seen that the "we can all live together and kumbiyah around the campfire" is right? A complete and absolute lie. There ain't no people in the world that could have been sold a bill of goods to destroy their own country like the American people have agreed to. Funny isn't it? The liberals get to live and have their little wine parties because of all the people that fought and died for this country's sovereign borders so that the liberals can destroy it via immigration. Now that's irony.


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:54 | 1325565 Mongo
Mongo's picture

"Post-program monitoring"?


What the fuck is that?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:58 | 1325568 Muir
Muir's picture

A chicken little moment you mean.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:55 | 1325569 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

it's not's the wealth effect.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:59 | 1325722 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

certain types of sausages

You've fucked with my bratwurst for the last time!

Can we please discard Keynesian economic theory! It's total crap.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:58 | 1325571 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"Incidentally, those who still hold precious metals have the upper hand in determining what these are exchanged for..."

Unless Of Course...
Government police and security forces await citizens at the stores to confiscate (Read: seize) precious metals under the guise of "national security" concerns...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:22 | 1325639 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

because with the spin

'savers' become 'hoarders'... and they must be punished for 'destabilising the currency'.


funny how in the US we use to laugh at central planning in the USSR, yet now we have price controls, and central planning everywhere we look (healthcare, food 'safety', air 'safety', pollution standards etc. etc)

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:25 | 1325640 SlipStitchPass
SlipStitchPass's picture

Not half as worried about the government as i am about gangs of ( not even sure what to call them) " Urban Youth"  the same people who destroyed Miami this past week and caused riots in MA and elsewhere. If the FEMA camps are for these monkeys then I say fill them up.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:52 | 1325888 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Try to get on their good side.  You will be paying them protection soon enough.  

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:31 | 1326031 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Give it time, Slip.  The federal government is far more organized and better armed.  Look around the world for ample examples to study.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 19:51 | 1327047 theinebriatedsot
theinebriatedsot's picture

even that wouldn't work - gold / silver would be traded like drugs are now: on the free [black] market for the prevailing exchange rate BEFORE one would enter a store to use up the fiat one just acquired in the trade.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:08 | 1325609 Misean
Misean's picture

The looters running the "government" made the brave decision to cut the value of the currency in half for the benefit of the people and the greedy speculators evilly try to drive up food prices!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:19 | 1325624 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Damn greedy speculators... I'm outraged... Whoops, I just went into Barry Soetoro mode...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:16 | 1325628 Captain_Howdy
Captain_Howdy's picture

I say let her ripppp! Post deval, Belarus would become a popular holiday Eurotrash resort.  Vodka, clouds, radioactive dust, all just a short one hour flight from Berlin.  Why slum it in Ibiza when you can get a low-cost irradiation tan in this land-locked paradise?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:24 | 1325634 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

I heard you can buy a months worth food for a tenth of an ounce of gold.....or a case of vodka.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:20 | 1325635 monopoly
monopoly's picture

one more piece of the puzzle just fit in. Taking time, but on track. Still will not short this market.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:27 | 1325642 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Just look at this rally fall apart with coal now red and uranium just tanking due to Angela advising will shut down All nuclear plants in Germany in the next 2 years. Yikes, CCJ the best one yet down over 4.5%

And waiting for Robot to advise gold is "crashing again" now that it is down 1.80. Amazing.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:38 | 1326043 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

True...very bullish for coal, nat gas and oil

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:30 | 1325644 camoes
camoes's picture

Growing up in hyperinflation in Brazil the only solution was devaluing the currency several times over and over (like a default) and high interest rates, imposing austerity, high unemployment and loss of purchasing power with a lot of turmoil and social unrest of course.

The government seized temporarily people's savings on banks (you could not draw more than a certain value) at the same time they devalued the currency. Only people who owned real assets like real estate, US Dollars (the reserve currency at the time) kept outside the banking system (today it would be gold) and companies that were not hindered by hyperinflation or owned other real assets were safe haven, all the rest got screwed. Today there are still lawsuits against the Brazilian government in order to recover the loss of the savings due to inflation at the time.

Price controls NEVER worked in holding inflation.

Black markets arose, cars were used as a store of value (yes, a depreciating asset is a store of value in a hyperinflationary enviornment). My uncle made nominally a lot of money by buying cars and selling them later (seriously!). Dollars were the safe currency and paralel exchange rates were used to circumvent government fixed rates.

People and companies don't invest long-term in hyperinflationary environments, interest rates are so high that NPV for projects more than a year don't even matter and payback time is the only decision factor...this hinders investment in infrastructure, education and anything that improves the country competitvness.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:36 | 1325664 camoes
camoes's picture

I remember as well that R&D for companies didn't make sense since there was so much uncertainty. With real interest rates so high, the uncertainty kills of any long term investment...Brazil had to control imports and technology to keep the local industry "competitive", if you imported anything like a computer or car it had a 100% tax import on it...we drove old VW Beetles until the government came to reason and allowed imports and then the auto market actually became very competitive globally

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:02 | 1325723 BlackSea
BlackSea's picture


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:59 | 1325725 BlackSea
BlackSea's picture

Great stuff! Keep it coming - nothing like first-hand experience...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:19 | 1325780 camoes
camoes's picture

Thanks...I forgot to tell about taxes...taxes were absurdly high in Brazil (they still are...but it used to be worse). High taxes killed SMEs, it killed entrepneurship and a lot of small business had to be informal to be sustainable. Only large corporations could afford good lawyers, creative accountants and bribe bureaucrats or "lobby" the government (I always find funny what in the US they call lobby in other countries it is called bribe) to circumvent taxes. So what the goverment did? They kept changing the rules and tax laws to keep taxing large corporations (something that US govt seem to begin to take on as well). This created more uncertainty and hindered even more innovation and entrepneurship.

When I was is college and began taking internships I was always amazed that it made more sense for companies to put their best minds and budget to find ways to pay less taxes than being innovative or competitive. Now I realize from a profit-maximizing perspective it made totally sense.

It's funny that at that time business owners were always viewed as crooks and "savage" capitalists, because that was the only way to survive in that environment, companies had to dodge taxes to be econmically viable and since the law system in Brazil was so slow, it was better to dodge taxes and later on pay any infraction if you were ever caught. In that sense, I believe this created a culture that being a businessman = crook that only now is fading away.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:40 | 1325838 BlackSea
BlackSea's picture

Makes sense...

How about:
- rent control
- in dollars, was decent real estate a bargain?
- price controls on food?
- outside USD at the time, what worked for swap trading?

Thanks for the "teach-able moment".

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:03 | 1325949 camoes
camoes's picture

I remember they had price controls, specially on food, but it wouldn't work, if merchants were obliged to have certain item at a determined price, they wouldn't have the product (since it was negative profit), it would disappear from shelves instantly or there would be paralel markets where they people would transact at the "real" price of commodity. With all the price signaling messed up, you would have temporary shortages of basic items like toilet paper and others. One of the consequences of price controls and hyperinflation would be that people would stock up in their basic necessities, to guarantee their "demand". Also, you would tend to buy in bulk and spend all your money as soon as you got your paycheck in order to buy at "cheaper" prices before they would raised overnight (one of the most profitable market at the time was to produce price tickets machine and supermarkets had a lot of people whose main job was to mark-up prices daily) I remember that you would try to take off the new price if there was the old price and try to buy it at the old price...there was no electronic control at the time (80's and beginning 90's).

So by having to stock up and spend you paycheck ASAP there were of course no savings whatsoever and therefore no credit (we didn't have China lending us at cheap rates). All transactions like real estate, vehicles would be mainly by barter and/or using US dollars

I don't remember if there were rent controls, but I guess it would probably be inneffective as well, it would only make the market go informal and become only private-to-private transactions.

They had on banks what they called "overnight" which would basically give you an return rate that followed close to the US Dollar. People would also buy jewellery and gold, but mainly as a saving vehicle, not so much to barter. Everyone also kept US dollars (literally under the mattress) at home until recently (so basically we sold our goods to the US and lent you at a negative real interest rate by keeping US dollars indefinetly as a saving).

Whenever we traveled to Uruguay/Argentina, they wouldn't take our currency, we had to use US dollars or their local currency. Today at Uruguay they prefer if we pay in Brazilian Reais and will give a nice exchange rate and discount if you pay in cash.

I guess in USD at the time everything was a bargain, either Brazilian stocks or Real Estate, but you would had to have to hold it from the 80-90 until the beginning of the 2000's to make a killing when Fernando Henrique Cardoso (the best president Brazil ever had, he did all the austerity and tough unpopular decisions while Lula collected the dividends) solved by creating a new pegged currency, migrating slowly to semi "free-float".

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:12 | 1326315 BlackSea
BlackSea's picture

Thank you very much for this first-hand acount. Honestly, thanks a lot!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:56 | 1326724 camoes
camoes's picture

You're welcome!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:37 | 1325676 BillyTheBlade
BillyTheBlade's picture

It is crazy how history repeats its self, over and over and over and over again, exactly.  This is coming to a country and neighborhood near you.  Prepare accordingly.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:22 | 1326004 Britons
Britons's picture

Fractional-reserve banking + compound interest = Same old Sh*t

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:03 | 1325706 Muir
Muir's picture

All this hyperinflation chicken little hype is somewhat amusing.

Go to Amazon and look through the 100s of books from the 70s (or 80s or some vintage 60s stuff) about the imminent collapse /hyperinflation of the dollar.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:15 | 1325761 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

All of those books had a character in them named Paul Volcker and a national debt of $800B.  Today we have transitory Ben and his clownbux machine, tax-cheat Timmay, and soon to be $15T national debt.

No comparison.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:34 | 1325817 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

We cant really have hyperinflation, because we dont have anyone to pay for it. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:32 | 1325819 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You can have a correct conclusion with incorrect bases...  If so, timing of the conclusion will likely be suspect...

Fundamentals sometimes change, but not so fast as our ability to obfuscate them.  People have been clamoring for decades about our collapse...  this has caused too many experienced eyes to grow comfortable with our perilous situation...  often times, I find myself talking with them where they cite their experiences as an indicator of the future, without explaining why their experiences apply to the present situation or fundamentals.  It's not hard to find the error in such logic.

Timing is a fool's errand anyway...  best to convert enough from the ether ahead of time to sleep soundly...  or, at least, as soundly as possible.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:33 | 1325822 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

OH and BTW Muir about your 'there always been expections of hyperinflation and a dollar collapse for decades' yea well what youre missing is we NEVER got out of the great depression, everything since has been 1 big bubble blowing and kicking the can down the road exercise.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:17 | 1326371 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Sheepdog, I think you just hit a new hyperbolic high.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:03 | 1325738 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

All financial restraint and allegiance to the law are viewed as quaint and antiquated - these are not the building blocks of a stable and resilient society.  What shall we have - a stable anarchy?

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 06:56 | 1327863 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Anarchy != Chaos

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:03 | 1325747 Robslob
Robslob's picture

Go look at Government debt to GDP for the same time period while you are at it...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:14 | 1325766 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Frozen Food prices can spike too, ya know.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:25 | 1325781 Monedas
Monedas's picture

This would be a good time for a "freedom of information" audit of Ft. Knox ? Geraldo Rivera in goggles and a sexy orange jump suit with a cordless drill and a film crew ? Can't wait ! Monedas 2011 I deserve this amusing circus ! I've been payin' my dues for 40 years ! Me happy ! Oooops ! I thought I was on the DSK missing gold thread !

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:21 | 1325784 Cman5000
Cman5000's picture

We don't know how all of this is going to play out we could get some hyperinflation or a total collapse ? We can speculate all we want, It's hard to say until this pops off and it will, when and how bad it's going to get its a waiting game ? Or Next stop Soylent Green ...  


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:43 | 1326473 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Soylent Green?

Did you know that a remake of Logan's Run is currently being filmed?  It'll be much closer to the original novel, in which the "death age" is only 21 instead of 30.

Sad thing the blog portions of the articles that were discussing the film, the majority(!) of commenters said they thought 30 years old was obviously too young to get rid of "older" people, but perhaps 50 or 60 would be acceptable.  They argued that anyone over 60 doesn't contribute to society anyway, so they should logically be removed from the game entirely.

And they were serious!  It was a sobering glimpse into the mindset that could be coming down the pipeline some day in some form or another.  Would anyone in power possibly argue, for example, that people over 80 are "non-producers" and therefore a drain on the system (Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, etc.)?

Soylent Green, indeed.  Yikes.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:53 | 1326521 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

The 21st century will bring two things:


1) Practical immortality / conquering of aging

2) Spandex sales through the roof



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:09 | 1326590 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Is #2 why LULU can sell $150 yoga pants?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:42 | 1326484 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Double post.  Why does the ZH comment engine do this?  Pffffttt!   :(

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:24 | 1325797 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

A currency black- market is required for hyper- inflation to take hold. Here's the Belarus version with the 21st century twist:

Belarus Man Starts Black Currency Market, Online  

10:05, The Wall Street Journal — Economics

A programmer in Belarus created a website that allows people to circumvent the official strict laws on currency trading.

Seeing empty foreign exchange booths and hearing rumors of a looming devaluation of the Belarussian ruble, thousands have signed up so far for the black market website amid a deepening currency crisis in the country.


Belarus isn't 'too big to fail' like China. Capital flight is destructive, so is Belarus politics/compromised dictator Lukashenko:

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:57 | 1326532 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

They are all part of the system created by Lukashenka, a system which still works well enough to make the pain of transition, transformation and liberalisation unnecessary and offers no alternatives.


Transition is the word of the 21st Century. Watch out for it, in all contexts, micro or macro. It heralds something. I've used it myself.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 13:54 | 1325918 omi
omi's picture

What was it, 1993? Even, as kid, I remember coupons, we pooled coupons together with other kids to buy mechanical toys in government store.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:08 | 1325951 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

I stayed in Rio for 2 weeks during the height of their hyperinflation. When I took guests to dinner and paid with US cash my change for dinner was a suitcase of million cruzeiro notes.

A 1967 cruzeiro was, in 1994, worth less than one trillionth of a US cent, after adjusting for multiple devaluations and note changes. In that same year, inflation reached a record 2075.8%

Business went on but the poverty and despair I saw was very bad. Crime and injustice was rampant.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 14:35 | 1326037 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Maybe IMF's DSK can get bail and head on over to Belarus to help out the young maidens there?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:05 | 1326109 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

Its an English affair. Tidying up operations around the world are being enacted.


I almost feel sorry for the guy - dud wife ($500,000 on the table, has to take it due to poverty), children sown up like hippos at the royal wedding to resemble the ugly sisters (first by the dress makers, then by cruel disinfo posts - and all his business deals have sleaze all over them - with "convicted child sex offenders".


Seriously, Charles, stop it with the hate.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:04 | 1326736 ArkOmen1
ArkOmen1's picture

Bend over, grab ankles please

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:35 | 1326832 shortus cynicus
shortus cynicus's picture

Is FOFOA headed to Minsk too ?

If they would have no savings in this transaction currency, there would be no problem.


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:53 | 1326885 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

The IMF getting involved is the ultimate end game and ensuing economic slavery is imminent.

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