Peak Monthly Inflation In 1945 Hungary: 12,950,000,000,000,000% And Other Hyprinflationary Facts

Tyler Durden's picture

For some reason, whenever people want to make a historical example of a hyperinflationary period, they always bring up the Weimar Republic, aka Germany in 1920-1923. Yet with a highest monthly inflation of just under 30,000%, Weimar was a true walk in the park compared to the 309,000,000% monthly inflation in 1992-1994 Serbia, but especially to the 12,950,000,000,000,000% inflation that Hungarians had to deal with in the aftermath of WWII. For these and more  comparative examples of hyperinflation, particularly relevant now that the entire world is rumored (for now) to be getting ready to print, see below.

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Big Beta Bill's picture

Chile is not on this list but they dealt with hyper inflation in the 1970's and reformed their economy.  Now they have really low debt to GDP.  Healthy trade, healthy interest rate environment and high standard of living.  Growing middle class.  Do you zh sky is falling precious metal loving rally chasing doubters think there is only one result of price discovery?  The market in Europe is working.  It is solving problems.  Thats what it does.  The precious metals trade will end in tears.

aerojet's picture

I hate to tell you this, but buying gold and silver was too obvious.  The slimeballs are going to pick your bones clean at a time of their choosing.

akak's picture

I can hold onto my gold and silver longer than our corrupt and irrational government can remain insolvent (and functioning).

prole's picture

Yeah take that John Maynard Dickhead!

BTW Sheople, Big Beta Bill is right on this one. The "precious metals trade" has been golden for four thousand years it's true, but this time it's different and you will all weep bitter tears. Yes it is true that gold has outlasted a thousand corrupt governments and fiat currency ponzi schemes, but this time is different, and the sound money policies of Mr. Bernanke will save us all. Trust in government!

HungrySeagull's picture

COG is one thing you forgot Dear Akak.

I stack therefore I am.

Think for yourself's picture

Continuity of Government. Plans by the parasite to survive against all conceivable odds, including of course the host waking up and trying to shake it off.

walküre's picture

The slimeballs are stashing themselves. What else is there to buy with all that free cash they've been getting for the last years.

FeralSerf's picture

Except for politicians, real productive infrastructure and land is about the only other thing to buy if you can really own it.

Harbanger's picture

Yep.  And the reason it needs to be "productive" is because they will tax you while you own it, not just when you decide to sell it.

junkyardjack's picture

A lot of the commenters on the site appear to be hoping for a complete system collapse and some sort of Mad Max end game for the developed nations.  As soon as you mention the word trade you can expect to get dumped because Gold isn't a trade its the only way of life apparently. I'll keep trading for "fiat", the system has been around for a while and will continue.   What's funny is that if you read any old books on trading you hear the exact same arguments being made and the system continued.  In the 80s people were talking about the end of the markets because of programmed trading as well and yet we had the 90s bull market.  I still like the site for the more radical end of the spectrum views but you have to balance it with other news as well obviously or you'll miss a lot

SgtShaftoe's picture

Something wicked this way comes... There's just no getting around it.  Just read Reinhart and Rogoff's "This time is different".  The question remains, exactly what?  Hyperinflation, Collapse, or can they fly through the eye of the needle with financial repression?  I don't know.  Based on historical data from the above book, every time a country gets to the point that the US, and most of Europe are in, it ends in default, devaluation, or hyperinflation. 


"Choose the Destructor!"

CommunityStandard's picture

I was just about to suggest Reinhart & Rogoff.  +1

While I do agree that the commenters glorify the Mad Max dystopia which probably won't happen, life did suck a lot during the periods of default / hyperinflation.  Whole decades are discussed in a few short paragraphs in the book, and it's easy to forget that we'll have to live through it too.

aerojet's picture

You don't understand--collapse psychosis is an excuse to not get on with your miserable life.  It's easier to avoid doing things because you believe it's the end of the world, so why bother?  It's a common problem among Boomers who can't stand not being the center of the universe, and they have all long since ceased to be the center of any cultural movement.  Instead of dealing with problems rationally, these folks desire for it all to end, that way, they aren't alone in their suffering--misery loves company. 

I guess I have had the same collapse psychosis starting around August 2007. 2008 was bad--we almost lost the money markets.  But what I've realized is that living your life waiting for doomsday is really fucking stupid.

AustriAnnie's picture

To the contrary. Realization that the current state of affairs is unsustainable has been the greatest contributor to my quality of life. Its a relief to know that systems eventually fail when they have reached the peak of stupidity and excess.  And I really could care less if it happens now or in 30 years.  Or maybe later, in which case I'll leave my gold and silver to my children and make sure they are aware of the dangers.  I'm not a market timer.  I don't wait in my basement stroking my silver bars holding my breath for the big BOOM.  

Instead, I realize that irrationality can last longer than anyone would ever expect.  I am in no rush but I have taken a longer-term view.  I've re-aligned my priorities and my life has been enriched by the "preppers" mentality.  Cable TV? Cancelled.  Do I miss it?  Hell, no.  Money spent going out with people who were never my friends in teh first place?  Nope.  I have become more aware of real relationships and enjoyed real moments with people who matter to me.

I know that the collapse, fourth turning, end of the exponential growth trend, whatever you want to call it, will end.  I simply don't need it to happen today so I can gloat "see I told you so" to those who have called me insane while they channel surfed between American Idol and Jersey Shore.  I don't need it.  I don't need that satisfaction.  In fact I pray it won't happen.  I pray for a return to sanity and real growth in the human standard of living.  But I sure as hell don't count on it.

I think that since people take a half hour out of their otherwise full iives to comment on ZH and voice their concerns, its easy to think that the anger/frustration/fear that we all exhibit at one time or another on these forums actually rules our lives.  It doesn't.  

For those who do spend too much time worrying about collapse, I think it may just be that they haven't reached the point on the learning curve where they realize fear gets them nothing.  I was once there.  Now i'm not.  Don't judge people for being in a certain phase of "awakening" where they feel constant panic and worry.  Its, IMHO, a natural phase to go through. 

q99x2's picture

Wonder what the political fallout / social unrest ratio is. I think 10% from here will roust the hungry zombies into action.

SgtShaftoe's picture

Anyone know of any good books that discuss All incidents of hyperinflation over the last couple centuries? 


I've got copies of "When money Dies", "Dying of money", "This time is different", Niall Ferguson's books, but none really goes into deeply the causes and process that initiated hyperinflation.  Germany in the 20s was pressured by extenuating circumstances and stupidity, potentially making it a bad comparison.  I'd like to learn more about various other scenarios in order to build a statistical base rate.  Reinhart / Rogoff's "This time is different" is probably the closest empirical work to what I'd like to see, but it doesn't quite hit it.  Most of the texts about Argentina and others are full of subjective analysis, though interesting, a more unbiased approach would be more helpful.

Harbanger's picture

Haha. You beat me to it. Thanks John.

Diogenes's picture

There was a book published about 1980 called What's Behind Inflation And How To Stop It. The author discussed 16 cases of severe inflation ending with Brazil. He did this research because he was one of the experts involved in stabilizing the Brazilian economy and ending inflation in that country, which they did. At least for a while.

Sorry I don't remember the author's name. It might be a valuable addition to your research because it describes how to cure inflation, by someone who actually did it.

AustriAnnie's picture



I like the fact that they instituted sever criminal penalties for bankers funding politicians and other cronies.  We can start with that.  

The problem is that according to the above, Brazil only succeeded becasue the Treasury and Central bank actually went against the political power machine.  Good luck getting that to happen again.

"Gustavo Franco said frankly that “We empowered the treasury and the Central Bank to subvert democracy.” People and their political representatives had voted to give themselves things they could not afford. The finance ministry, treasury, and Central Bank, using a constitutional amendment passed in 1994, simply did not implement the budget. “We changed the composition of the CMN, the monetary authority, to be three members, the Central Bank minister, the finance minister, and the planning minister. This closed of the off-budget spending, while the treasury cut back on implementing the congressionial budget.” While congress had passed a budget that authorized, say, $800 million reals for a project, the treasury chose to actually expend only $200 million."

They also broke the special interest lobbying link (good luck getting them to do that again, that is where their bread is buttered)

" “The key,” he concluded, “was to create an impersonal mechanism, not to get into negotiations with parties and unions--or housewives associations. You need market mechanisms. Dialogue doesn't work in this kind of situation.” The assumption here was that each constituency, if consulted, would fight for its particular entitlement, driving the state budget back up and keeping the price spiral virulent. Even business was not offered a chance to insert their favorite demands into the solution. “No industry associations were involved in tariff discussions. They wanted high tariffs, but we lowered them to invite competition and discourage price raising.”"

lolmao500's picture

- HRW: Syrian forces use sexual violence against men, women, children (Reuters)

- NATO Chief Sees Parallels Between Syria and Balkans

- Russia Reportedly Preparing 2 Divisions, Spetsnaz Brigade for Deployment to Syria

- Russia installed a radar on the Turkey-Syria border to monitor rebels in the country and monitor NATO forces in Turkey


HungrySeagull's picture

Spetznaz will be a hardass force to reckon with.

If the Soviets take two divisions into Syria, they might as well Airdrop a Corps with armor somewhere important to draw us off and bleed us dry.

What if we decided that Syria did not matter and did not show up at that little sor'iee?

BluePill's picture

When will this scenario happen in INDIA, well these fucking parasites have been   destroying the world since very long time



kekekekekekeke's picture

'sup Pakistani dude?  maybe Chinese?

SDRII's picture
GSDF ranger unit marches through central Tokyo Kyodo

Ground Self-Defense Force personnel in camouflage marched through Tokyo's Itabashi and Nerima wards Tuesday as part of their training as rangers.


Move out: The GSDF rangers march across the tracks after the train passes. KYODO

It was the first time in 42 years that rifle-toting GSDF troops have marched through urban areas of Tokyo, with the last such occasion taking place in 1970, according to the GSDF. They were not, however, carrying live ammunition, officers said.

The training was for a unit in charge of Tokyo's 23 wards. More than a dozen personnel walked about 6.8 km from the banks of the Arakawa River in Itabashi to the GSDF garrison in Nerima.

"It is necessary that the troops get acquainted with the urban environment, partly in order for them to prepare for disaster missions," a GSDF officer said.

Some within the GSDF have criticized the move, questioning whether guns would be necessary at the scene of a disaster.

Some residents filed a petition with the Tokyo District Court seeking a temporary injunction to halt the training exercise, which the court rejected Monday.

The rangers are guerrilla warfare troops who have received special training for missions such as reconnaissance and ambushes. They are capable of carrying out duties in an extremely hostile environment, according to the GSDF.

HungrySeagull's picture

Those who criticize guns in a Military Force are the first lost in any real shit.

I myself don't even want to BE in a disaster area... see Katrina's actions for your lesson of the day.

"Go west young man, take your gun and family with you."

mvsjcl's picture

It's all goofy paper based on trust. Once that trust is gone, hello gold. Obviously, don't want that to happen. Weird world we live.

yogibear's picture

There is an empty place for the US. Bernanke knows he will cause it down the road when he creates the loss of confidence in the US to pay it's debts. Bernanke is the enabler.

Stimulati's picture

There will be no excess inflation in the US without means of getting all that printed money into the hands of people who actually, you know, purchase things at higher prices.  All we have is money sitting in bank vaults making the bankers feel very good about their role in Washington politics.

riphowardkatz's picture

you are purchasing things at higher prices numbskull

Stimulati's picture

The 2% - 3% inflation we have right now is not excess inflation

riphowardkatz's picture

Why? Because the Bernanke said so.

Tell it to the person who is trying to retire.

You have the ability to think about 1 month forward that much you have made obvious.

Stimulati's picture

No, because history tells us so

riphowardkatz's picture

A solid 100 years of hard proof in a system that can have 100 year lag times between cause and effect. Genius. You have  very bad case of shortermism. 


akak's picture

Stimulati, if you actually believe that "inflation" (the rate of annual overall price inceases) in the USA is only 2 or 3%, then you are even more of a fool, or more of a liar, than I already recognized you to be.  It it most curious how EVERY post by you implicitly if not explicitly supports the egregiously malicious and fallacious pro-status-quo propaganda of Bernanke, Krugman, and all the rest of the sociopaths currently in control.

Stimulati's picture

I don't think you understand me akak.  Or Krugman if you think his policies are in any way being implemented.  I do support most of what Krugman says but that is a far cry from the Milton Friedmanesque policies being implemented today by Bernanke and company.  Bernanke should stop printing money and giving it to the banks - but it's not going to cause consumer inflation (asset inflation, yes).

And btw, 2% - 3% inflation seems about right where I live and work. 

akak's picture

On the contrary, I think I understand you all too well.

Stimulati's picture

Well its not coming out based on what you write

akak's picture

As I previously stated, based on your laughably insulting and/or disingenuous prior posts here, you are either a shill for the Establishment, a fool, a liar, or some combination of the three --- you tell us which.

aerojet's picture

It's not in bank vaults--it's just big decimals inside of computer server hard disks and SANs.  If only they had to print actual paper they might see the monster, but it is completely hidden from view.

RobotTrader's picture

Why not just print "whatever is needed"?


Heh, so far, all the printing so far has been deflationary.

They need to really start cranking up the POMO's, LTROS, and form at least 25 more Maiden Lanes and start buying whatever it takes.

Paul Krugman at his finest.

Stimulati's picture

The printing hasn't been deflationary, the economy has been deflationary.  The printing is generating asset inflation (not to be confused with consumer price inflation) because the money isn't going to the middle class, it is going to the banks.

riphowardkatz's picture

consumer prices are inflating, open your eyes. A sale at Mervyns does not mean deflation.

riphowardkatz's picture

read almost any producers quarterly or yearly report and you will see shrinking margins because of 10-15% increases in input costs.

Take the blinders off. 

Stimulati's picture

Yes, that's why we have been having record corporate profits recently. 

Some commodities are higher, that is true.  That also doesn't necessarily translate into higher across-the-board consumer inflation.

riphowardkatz's picture

Record earnings are a result of firing a bunch of people in 2008-2011.  

There are higher prices you have already admitted that by saying the CPI is at 2-3% 

Just ignore all this anyway. Everything is OK. Bernanke knows how to make decisions that are to the benefit of 7 billion people. He is in complete control and errors are not part of his genetic makeup. 

Keep being positive and it will all be good.