Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Does Hyperinflation Look Like? Just Take A Look At The Weimar Republic In 1923

Germany went through its worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 50,000 Mark. By 1923, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 Mark. In December 1923 the exchange rate was 4,200,000,000,000 Marks to 1 US dollar. In 1923, the rate of inflation hit 3.25 × 106 percent per month (prices double every two days). Stores would close for lunch to change the prices on items. I have scanned a bunch of stamps from my collection so that you can see how in less than a year the nomination on stamps soared into the stratosphere.

150 Pfennigs
150 Pfennings or 1.5 Reichsmark
We are still in 1922 here and this value is not out of the normal range


200 Mark
200 Reichsmark
Here is where the trouble is already beginning, we are in early 1923 and already we have stamps with hundreds of Reichsmarks




30 Thousand
30 Thousand Reichsmark


30 Thousand
30 Thousand Reichsmark
Thirty thousand in a couple of month, soon you can pay of a big chunk of your mortgage with that :-)




50 Thousand
50 Thousand Reichsmark
A whopping 50 thousand and we are still in early 1923



100 Thousand
Now we are talking serious money, or are we really?


800 Thousand
800 Thousand Reichsmark
Wow almost a million!



50 Million
50 Million Reichsmark
Fifty million, now that is some serious money.


One Billion
1 Billion Reichsmark
One billion, we were all billionaires back then :-(


40 Billion
10 Billion Reichsmark
Ten Billion, shown here in a block of four for a whopping 40 billion, almost as rich as Bill Gates. In this same set that came out in 1923 there was also a stamp for 50 billion Reichsmark. Beginning on November 20, 1923, 1,000,000,000,000 old Marks were exchanged for 1 Rentemark, this ended the hyperinflation and the German Mark was never in trouble again.

There were other countries that also suffered from hyperinflation. In Hungary it was even worse than in Germany, prices double every 15 hours in Hungary

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