When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending Devaluation and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany
When Money Dies is the classic history of what happens when a nation’s currency depreciates beyond recovery.In 1923, with its currency effectively worthless (the exchange rate in December of that year was one dollar to 4,200,000,000,000 marks), the German republic was all but reduced to a barter economy.Expensive cigars, artworks, and jewels were routinely exchanged for st...more
The government would shortly be unable to pay cash wages to the Army, to the police, or to its own officials. Already the officers of the Ministry of Finance itself were being paid partly in potatoes. The bu...more
Consider the mid-war inflation of the mark: it went from being around 1 Gold Mark= 1 Paper DM to 1 Gold Mark= 1 TRILLION Paper DM within a scant four years. Such a radical inflation led to some strange events, including--
* thieves stealing suitcase ...more
30 years ago it would have seemed self-evident madness to print money to reflate an economy, as was done in Germany, Austria and Hungary in the 1920s. The excuse - if there can be one - for politicians at that time was ...more
This book also gives you and idea of the desperate circumstances the German people were living in, giving a better understanding of how Adolf Hitler could get into power.
This book shows that in a hyperinflation of the currency there are winners and losers. Those with the best understand of money could avoid getting burnt. This book will give you a better under ...more
Fergusson certainly touches on these things but his w ...more
This isn't to say one can't follow the story, or that it is not worth reading. It is just unfortunate that a ...more
The main thing I got from the book was a much better sense how it happened: I had vaguely assumed the inflation was a conscious tactic to evade pa ...more
All books on germany dealing with any matter from 1914-33 naturally include the question "how does this deal with hitler?". Thankfully it takes its focus in hand better tha ...more
I read this as part of a research paper on the economic roots of World War II and it makes a clear case as to why Germany ended up the way it did and why they'd follow someone, really anyone, who told them that things would get better.
What is most interesting and valuable about it is the first hand accounts of the massive distortions in the economy in general, and prices in particular....and who lost (most people) and who benefited (yes, there were a few).
For example, the money printing not only caused p ...more
“‘In the whole course of history, no dog has ever run after its own tail with the speed of the Reichsbank. The discredit the Germans throw on their own notes increases even faster than the volume of notes in circulation. The effect is greater than the cause. The tail goes faster than the dog.’” (quoting Lord D’Abernon, 117)
Paper marks: “Havenstein rubles” (165)
At times it is very hard to follow and even contradicts itself: as an example we are told on one page that middle-class Germans on fixed incomes were forced to sell their valuables to buy the bare necessities; two pages later ...more
Until I was halfway through, I didn't know about the recent resurgence of interest in the book. (I discovered it through a reference elsewhere.) Despite the publisher's blurb about "quantitative easing" on the back of the book, and the author's Conservative credentials, I think anyone reading this as a cautionary tale about modern monetary policy may leave disappointed. As i ...more
As the symbol of untouchable purity in a milieu of want, greed and corruption, finally finding truth and happiness in the arms of an American volunteer, Garbo's role may lack persuasion today; but from the odious butcher insulting and taunting the food queues at his shop, refusing meat to women he found unattractive or unwilling, to the scenes of the unlicensed, gluttonous revelry of ...more