Imagine yourself among the wealthiest people in the world in 1914, holding 4.2 billion marks (then about $1 billion) in safe government bonds.
Those bonds would have been nearly worthless 9 years later -- easily
payable with, say, a 50 billion-mark banknote signed by Reichsbank
President Rudolf Havenstein. Of course, you would need 45.8 billion
marks in change, which illustrates one of the great ironies of
hyperinflation: Everyone was always short of cash in the midst of a
blizzard of paper.
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