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Hyperinflation is a Fiscal, Not Monetary Phenomenon

The reality is that hyperinflation is first and foremost set in motion and driven by a deteriorating fiscal situation. In fact, significant economic weakness and deflation is a precursor to hyperinflation. Too many analysts believe that there has to be some economic demand or some consumption to stimulate inflation or hyperinflation. Printing money to try and stimulate your economy or excessive credit growth is what leads to inflation. Printing money because you are broke and can’t service your debts is what leads to hyperinflation. Recently Jim Rickards wrote about how a change in velocity can trigger hyperinflation or severe inflation. At, Henry Hazlitt educates us on velocity: For example, it is frequently said that the value of the dollar depends not merely on the quantity of dollars but on their “velocity of circulation.” Increased “velocity of circulation,” however, is not a cause of a further fall in the value of the dollar; it is itself one of the consequences of the fear that the value of the dollar is going to fall (or, to put it the other way round, of the belief that the price of goods is going to rise). It is this belief that makes people more eager to exchange dollars for goods. The emphasis by some writers on “velocity of circulation” is just another example of the error of substituting dubious mechanical for real psychological reasons.

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