12 Aug My summer vacation reading this year was “When Money Dies” by Adam Fergusson. Above the title, The Week called it “A timely warning of the. When Money Dies 06/01/Adam Fergusson mass quantities of money coinciding with a shortage of money, mania and hysteria coinciding with mass. When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the. Weimar Collapse by ADAM FERGUSSON. WILLIAM KIMBER — LONDON, Document Source: Ludwig von.

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The German government chose to print money after the war to finance huge fiscal deficits because it feared that if it raised taxes and sold bonds, the economy would buckle under the strain, leading to mass unemployment and social unrest that could undermine the young German republic.

Fergussson book will give you a better understanding of how to survive a hyperinflation. Subscribe to the FT. Combining a clear exposition with contemporary private diary entries, When Money Dies offers a harrowing narrative. It soon became apparent that the only fetgusson to extract the value of money was to immediately spend it as Germany entered a period of hyper-inflation when the des of money at the end of a month monry worth half that at the start.

Listen adaam this article Play audio for this article Pause I didn’t realize that Germany largely funded WWI through debt and the printing of money, rather than through taxation. The industrialist class, on the other hand, was not unhappy with the inflation, as they benefited from it. There is some great material here, and I found it very helpful to understand what hyperinflation is, and why it is so devastating.

Although not its intention, what the book demonstrates is the value of the European project in binding Europe into a common monetary framework that makes ferguson easier for countries whose economy is in trouble to weather financial storms. The take-off point therefore was not a financial but a moral one At the climax of the Weimar disaster, prices were doubling every two days. Different situation than we are in, obviously, what with world war and reparations and such, but there are moments when you can glimpse parallels.


I can’t help feeling that there is a more accessible, easier-reading book to be written on this episode of history. According to writers like James Turk of GoldMoney. Written in the style of ” old school journalists”, who were uncomfortable with too much personal detail when grand events were covered. Britain and America were also swept up in the inflationary surge of the Great War. It has many parallels to today.

Fergusson is embarrassed and amused by the Buffett story which, it should be said, has never been repeated by him or his publisher to market the book. An ever growing bureaucracy.

When Money Dies: The Nightmare Of The Weimar Hyper Inflation

Mounting velocity of circulation effectively increased the money in use, stoking the fires of inflation ever higher. At that point they initiated a drastic ferguusson of deflation. When telling a story like this, one quickly grows weary of adding yet more zeros to the rate of exchange; such numbers only become meaningful when human affairs are attached to them. Adam Fergusson describes the myriad diees of the Weimar Republic, describing the hyperinflationary policy of Germany as it lay ruined after World War I.

And, as he notes: Germany was not killed, but it had a near-death experience. Had cooler heads prevailed, had the warring nations gotten beyond their greed for imperialism, had they kept their hands off the Ottoman Empire, had Churchill not switched the Royal Navy to oil fuel leading the world into fos Dry, convoluted. Such an environment had made it impossible to ascertain with precision the value of anything, as sellers used their own indexes and asked whatever they thought they could get people to pay for their goods or services.

Inflation discourages all prudence and thrift. The Germans knew who Hitler was, but after hyperinflation, they did not care, because he offered stability.

In he wrote these words: Sep 20, Bryan rated it really liked it Shelves: The whole thing is meticulously documented by Fergusson, who writes in the prologue: People who think “money is overrated” should try not having moneyy. Somehow, the confidence trick worked and a semblance of normality returned. There must be a better book on post WWI Germany.

He defends Germany ably against this charge, but the leadership still looks terrible. By a British pound was equal to the number of yards to the sun and Germany was all but a barter economy. The proponents of “sound aadam who were influential 30 odd years ago are no longer heard.


Adam Fergusson: When quantitative easing runs mad | Books | The Guardian

The excuse – if there can be one – for politicians at that time was Heavy on numbers and written in a dry, detached style, this can be a bit of a slog at times. Food became progressively scarce as a result of hoarding and the refusal by farmers to sell their produce against worthless paper. Dec 07, Matheus rated it it was amazing. Society started to break up. It’s definitely worth the read but by ffergusson end, I was ready for it to be over.

The book is well written, and makes it clear that this was fundamentally an event which happened because many people wanted it to happen, or thought they culd arramge things so they would not suffer the consequenses.

Williams, a longtime statistician with the U. That said, I wish the book had a bit more formal economics to explain what happened; as it is, the reader is left sharing some of the confusion that the contemporaries did. A more effective approach would have been to track the human tragedy, to which Fergusson pays scant attention. But, he says, all periods of high inflation — however harsh — involve the same moral slide.

Germany’s response to this was to recklessly print money to pay for everything. The German public appeared equally ignorant, believing that prices were going up as opposed to the value of their currency going down. I quickly found myself unable to follow much of the narrative because he doesn’t provide enough background to so many elements of the story.

The government would shortly be unable to pay cash wages to the Army, to the police, or to its own officials.

The take-off point [at which hyperinflation became inevitable] therefore was not a financial but a moral one.