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اَبَرتورم (به انگلیسی: Hyperinflation)، در اقتصاد ابرتورم زمانی اتفاق می‌افتد که یک کشور نرخ تورم بسیار بالا و معمولاً پرشتاب را تجربه می‌کند، به سرعت ارزش واقعی ارز داخلی از بین رفته و باعث می‌شود افراد جامعه دارایی‌هایشان را از پول محلی به حداقل برسانند. جمعیت به‌طور معمول به سمت نگهداری ارزهای خارجی پایدار تغییر مسیر می‌دهد. در چنین شرایطی سطح عمومی قیمت‌ها در یک اقتصاد به سرعت افزایش پیدا می‌کند و به عنوان یک ارز رسمی ارزش واقعی خود را از دست می‌دهد. در مورد ارزهای خارجی ارزش اقلام اقتصادی نسبتاً با ثبات مانده‌است.[۱]

تعریف[ویرایش]

بر خلاف تورم پایین که روند افزایش قیمت طولانی است و به جز مطالعه قیمت بازار گذشته قابل درک نیست ابر تورم افزایش سریع و مداوم در قیمت اسمی، عرضه پول و بهای تمام شده اسمی کالاها را به خود مبینید. اما به‌طور معمول سطح عمومی قیمت‌ها به سرعت و حتی بیشتر از عرضه پول افزایش می‌یابد زیرا مردم می‌خواهند به سرعت ممکن از کاهش ارزش پول خلاص شوند. موجودی واقعی پول، که مقدار پول در گردش تقسیم بر سطح قیمت است کاهش می‌یابد. ابر تورم‌ها معمولاً به دلیل اینکه دولت‌های پایدار بزرگ در زمان کسری بودجه اولین کاری که برای تأمین مالی انجام می‌دهند خلق پول است به وجود می‌آیند. بدین ترتیب ابر تورم اغلب با جنگ همراه است و پس از آن تحولات سیاسی و اجتماعی و بحران‌های دیگری به وجود می‌آید که کار دولت را برای گرفتن مالیات از افراد جامعه سخت می‌کند. کاهش شدید درآمد مالیات واقعی همراه با نیاز شدید حفظ وضع موجود و ناتوانی یا عدم تمایل قرض گرفتن دولت می‌تواند کشور را به ابر تورم هدایت کند. در سال 1956 Phillip Cagan کتاب ابر تورم پول گرایای پویا The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation را نوشت این کتاب به عنوان اولین مطالعه جدی دربارهٔ ابر تورم در نظر گرفته شده‌است که از کتاب اقتصادهای متورم the Economics of Inflation" توسط C. Bresciani-Turroni دربارهٔ ابر تورم آلمان در سال ۱۹۱۳ در ایتالیا منتشر شده، تأثیر پذیرفته‌است. در این کتاب Cagan تعریف می‌کند یک قسمت ابر تورمی از ماهی شروع می‌شود که نرخ تورم ماهانه بیش از پنجاه درصد شده و زمانی که نرخ تورم ماهانه زیر پنجاه درصد بیاید ابر تورم پایان میابد که باید برای حداقل یکسال ثابت بماند. اقتصاددانان معمولاً از توضیحات Cagan که عنوان می‌کند نرخ تورم ماهانه باید بالای پنجاه درصد باشد پیروی می‌کنند

به تورم غیرقابل کنترل ابر تورم (به انگلیسی: hyperinflation) گفته می‌شود. شرایط ابر تورمی شرایطی است که در آن قیمت‌ها بسیار سریع افزایش می‌یابند و واحد پول به سرعت ارزش خود را از دست می‌دهد.

تعاریف تکنیکی ابر تورم یکسان نیست. تورم سالانه در حدود ۱۰۰ درصد در طول سه سال و تورم ماهانه ۵۰٪ دو نمونه از تعاریف تکنیکی ابر تورم است.[۲][۳]

بعبارتی دیگر این پدیده‌ای اساساً مرتبط با درآمدها است. اگر دولت‌ها نتوانند برای تأمین مالی مخارج خود یا مالیات‌ها را زیاد کنند یا قرض گیرند، گاهی اوقات به دستگاه‌های چاپ پول متوسل می‌شوند و تلاش می‌کنند مقادیر زیادی حق‌الضرب (درآمد حاصل از خلق پول) را در این میان به دست آورند. در نتیجه ابرتورم پدید می‌آید و افراد را به کاهش دارایی‌های نقدی خود وامی‌دارد؛ بنابراین دستگاه‌های چاپ پول باید هر چه سریع‌تر کار کنند تا بتوانند مقدار منابع یکسانی را بخرند و ….[۴]

ابرتورم‌ها به خود استمرار می‌بخشند. فرض کنید دولتی برای تأمین مالی مخارج خود اقدام به چاپ پول کند و این کار را در ابتدا با افزایش حجم پول به میزان ۱۰ درصد در ماه آغاز کند. نرخ تورم به زودی افزایش یافته و مثلاً به ۱۰ درصد در ماه می‌رسد. این دولت درخواهد یافت که دیگر نمی‌تواند با پولی که به چاپ می‌رساند، خرید چندانی انجام دهد و احتمالاً با افزایش بیشتر نرخ رشد پول به این شرایط واکنش نشان می‌دهد. در این‌جا چرخه ابرتورم آغاز شده‌است. در خلال تورم شدید کشمکشی طولانی میان مردم و دولت در خواهد گرفت. مردم تلاش می‌کنند تمام پولی که به دست می‌آورند را به سرعت خرج کنند تا از مالیات تورمی اجتناب ورزند و دولت نیز با افزایش بیشتر نرخ چاپ پول به افزایش تورم واکنش نشان می‌دهد. اکثر اقتصاددان‌ها موافقند که تورم حتی با وجود درآمد حاصل از مالیات تورمی و اعوجاج ناشی از مالیات‌های دیگر رفاه اقتصادی را کاهش می‌دهد.[۵][۶]

دلایل[ویرایش]

دلایل در اینجا تعدادی از دلایل تورم بالا یا ابر تورم بیان می‌شود اما تقریباً همه ابر تورم‌ها ناشی از کسری بودجه دولت و خلق پول است. طبق تعریف Phillip Cagan بعد از تجزیه و تحلیل ۲۹ ابر تورم Bernholz نتیجه می‌گیرد که حداقل ۲۵ کشور از همین راه دچار ابر تورم شده‌اند. علاوه بر این شرط لازم برای ابر تورم وجود داشتن پول بدون پشتوانه بدون تبدیل به نرخ برابری طلا یا نقره ثابت شده‌است. اما در تاریخ چند استثناء نیز در این زمینه وجود دارند مانند فرانسه که در طول جنگ جهانی اول در سال‌های ۱۷۸۹–۱۷۹۶ بعد از برچیده شدن استاندارد طلا اتفاق افتاد. همچنین ابر تورم فرانسه بعد از معرفی پول کاغذی بدون بدون تبدیل که پشتوانه آن زمین‌های مصادره شده بود اتفاق افتاد.[۷] شوک عرضه این نظریه بر اساس تجزیه و تحلیل تاریخی ادعا می‌کند ابر تورم‌های گذشته به دلیل نسبتاً شوک منفی عرضه بیش از حد به وجود آمده‌است اما اغلب همیشه با جنگ همراه نیست مانند فروپاشی نظام کمونیست یا بلایای طبیعی[۸] عرضه پول این نظریه ادعا می‌کند که ابر تورم زمانی رخ می‌دهد که مقدار پول به‌طور مداوم و و اغلب سریع به سرعت افزایش میابد که این امر توسط رشد متناظر در خروجی کالا و خدمات حمایت نمی‌شود. قیمت افزایش میابد و در نتیجه این خلق پول سریع یک چرخه معیوب ایجاد می‌کند. همچین این افزایش به سرعت قیمت‌ها باعث عدم تمایل گسترده مردم برای نگهداری ارز محلی می‌شود که به همین علت ارز داخلی قدرت خرید خود را از دست می‌دهد. در عوض آن‌ها به سرعت همه پولی را که دریافت کرده‌اند به سرعت خرج کرده که این امر باعث افزایش سرعت جریان پول شده و این به نوبه خود باعث شتاب بیشتر قیمت‌ها می‌شود. این بدان معنی است که افزایش سطح قیمت‌ها مهم‌تر از عرضه پول است. موجودی واقعی پول M / P کاهش می‌یابد که در این‌جا M اشاره موجودی واقعی پول و P اشاره به سطح قیمت دارد. این نتایج در عدم تعادل بین عرضه و تقاضا برای پول از جمله ارز و سپرده‌های بانکی، باعث تورم سریع می‌شود. نرخ تورم بسیار بالا می‌تواند اعتماد به نرخ ارز را از بین ببرد و درست شبیه هجوم مشتریان به بانک می‌ماند. رشد بیش از حد عرضه پول باعث می‌شود که دولت نتواند یا مایل نباشد تأمین مالی خود را از طریق استقراض یا مالیات انجام دهد و کسری بودجه خود را با چاپ پول جبران می‌کند. دولت‌ها گاهی اوقات به سیاست‌های بیش از حد انقباضی متوسل می‌شوند که این امر باعث می‌شود دولت از ارزش بدهی‌های خود بکاهد یا از افزایش مالیات اجتناب کند. تورم برای استفاده‌کننده گان پول به‌طور مؤثر یک مالیات کاهشی است اما اثر ان به مراتب کمتر از مالیات تحمیلی است بنابراین درک کردن این موضوع برای شهروندان معمولی سخت است.[۹] تورم می‌تواند ارزیابی کمی از هزینه‌های زندگی را پنهان کند همان‌طور که قیمت‌های منتشر شده داده‌های تاریخی گذشته را نشان می‌دهد بنابراین ممکن است قیمت‌ها چند ماه بعد افزایش پیدا کند. تورم پولی می‌تواند تبدیل به ابر تورم شود اگر مقامات پولی موفق به تأمین مالی افزایش مخارج دولت از طریق بدهی یا از طرق دیگر نشوند.

  • در طول زمان بین ضبط یا وضع معاملات مشمول مالیات و جمع‌آوری مالیات به دلیل ارزش مالیات جمع‌آوری شده، ارزش واقعی بخش کوچکی از مالیات‌های دریافتنی اصلی سقوط می‌کند یا:
  • بدهی‌های منتشره دولت موفق به پیدا کردن خریدار ندارد مگر اینکه تخفیف بسیار زیاد داشته باشد یا:
  • ترکیبی از موارد بالا

نظریه ابر تورم به‌طور کلی برای یک رابطه بین درآمد دولت از ضرب سکه و مالیات تورمی است. در هر دو مدل Phillip Cagan و نئو کلاسیک یک نقطه اوج زمانی اتفاق می‌افتد که عرضه پول افزایش میابد یا افت در پایه پولی دولت را برای بهبود وضعیت خود ناتوان می‌سازد؛ بنابراین زمانی که پول بدون پشتوانه چاپ شده‌است، افزایش هزینه بیش از ارزش پول خلق شده‌است. از این رو ممکن است فکر کنید که چرا هر دولت منطقی به کار می‌برد اقداماتی را که باعث ادامه ابر تورم‌ها می‌شود. یک دلیل برای چنین اقداماتی است که اغلب جایگزین به ابرتورم افسردگی یا شکست نظامی است علت ریشه مورد بحث و اختلاف است. در هر دو اقتصاد کلاسیک و پول گرایان همیشه نتایج مقامات پولی قرض گرفتن غیر مسئولانه پول و پرداخت همه هزینه‌های آن است. این مدل در حق‌الضرب نامحدود مقامات پولی و منافع حاصل از مالیات تورمی تمرکز می‌کنند.

در نظریه اقتصادی نئو کلاسیک ابر تورم تورم در یک بدتر شدن پایه پولی ریشه دارد. در این مدل ملاحظه شده که ریسک نگه دارندگان ارز به‌طور چشمگیری افزایش یافته و تقاضای فروشندگان همراه با صرف ریسک بالایی است. این به نوبه خود منجر به یک ترس بیشتر است که ارز سقوط خواهد کردکه باعث صرف ریسک بیشتری می‌شود. برای مثال در طول دوره جنگ، جنگ داخلی، یا درگیری‌های شدید داخلی از انواع دیگر: زمانی که اقدامات جایگزین شکست می‌خورد دولت‌ها باید به انجام هر کاری لازم است برای ادامه مبارزه انجام دهند و نمی‌توان هزینه مهم را قطع کرد وقتی که هزینه اصلی خرید تسلیحات است. علاوه بر این، یک جنگ داخلی ممکن است افزایش مالیات یا جمع‌آوری مالیات موجود را سخت کند. در حالی که در زمان صلح کسری بودجه خود را با فروش اوراق قرضه تأمین مالی می‌کند اما در طور جنگ قرض گرفتن دشوار و گران است مخصوصاً اگر جنگ را دولت برای تأمین درخواست‌های خود ضعیف بکند. مقامات بانکی چه بانک مرکزی و چه سایرین در زمان کسری بودجه با چاپ پول و پرداخت آن به تلاش‌های دولت برای بقا انجام می‌دهند. ابر تورم در زمان ملی گرایان چین از سال ۱۹۳۹ تا ۱۹۴۵ یک مثال کلاسیکی از چاپ پول دولت برای پرداخت هزینه‌های جنگ داخلی است.

قیمت طلا در آلمان

ابر تورم به عنوان یک پدیده پیچیده در نظر گرفته شده‌است و یک تفسیر و راهکار قابل اجرای برای همهٔ موردها نیست. به هر حال در هر دو مدل چه اول از دست دادن اطمینان یا حق‌الضرب بانک مرکزی، فاز دیگر وجود دارد. در مورد گسترش سریع عرضه پول، قیمت‌ها به سرعت در پاسخ به افزایش عرضه پول نسبت به عرضه کالا و خدمات، افزایش میابند و در صورت از دست دادن اعتماد و اطمینان خاطر مقامات پولی در پاسخ به صرف ریسک حاضرند سریعاً با چاپ پول این را بپردازند. با این وجود این فرایند پرشتاب زمانی اتفاق می‌افتد که در طول ابر تورم مانند ابر تورم آلمان ۱۹۲۲ تا ۱۹۲۳ هنوز ناا مشخص و غیرقابل پیش‌بینی باقی مانده‌است تحول توسعه تورمی به سمت ابر تورم به عنوان یک پدیده بسیار پیچیده‌است که می‌تواند در آینده تحقیقات پیچیده و در با رابطه با زمینه‌های مختلف دربارهٔ آن انجام گیرد.[۱۰]

مدل‌ها[ویرایش]

از آنجایی که ابر تورم یک پدیده به عنوان اثر پولی است مدل‌های ابر تورم تمرکزشان بر تقاضای برای پول است. اگر تورم متوقف نشود اقتصاددانان افزایش سریع در عرضه پول و افزایش سرعت گردش پول را مشاهده می‌کنند. در هر صورت هر دو یا یک کدامشان ریشه تورم و ابر تورم هستند. یک افزایش چشمگیر در سرعت گردش پول به عنوان علت ابر تورم مرکزیت بحران عدم اعتماد درمدل ابر تورم است که صرف ریسک فروشندگان تقاضا برای ارز کاغذی بیش از ارزش اسمی به سرعت رشد می‌کند. نظریه دوم این است که اولین ریشه افزایش در مقدار متوسط گردش، که می‌تواند «مدل پولی» ابر تورم نامیده شود. در هر دو مدل اطمینان خاطر نقش دارد. در مدل اطمینان برخی از رویداد، یا مجموعه‌ای از وقایع مانند شکست در جنگ و غیره باعث می‌شود اعتماد مقامات پولی و افراد برای باز پرداخت قروضشان از بین برود زیرا مردم نمی‌خواهند اسناد و پول‌هایشان بی‌ارزش شودو می‌خواهند آن هارا خرج کنند فروشندگان، پی برده‌اند به این نکته که بیشتر در معرض ریسک ارز وجود دارند، خواستار صرف ریسک بیشتر و بیشتر بیش از مقدار اصلی آن هستند. در این روش پایان به ابر تورم با پشتوانه ارز که اغلب انتشار کامل ارز جدید همراه است. جنگ یکی از علل رایج ذکر شده بحران اعتماداست به ویژه شکست خوردن در جنگ. در این دیدگاه، افزایش در متوسط گردش در نتیجه، دولت در تلاش برای خرید زمان و بدون آمدن به شرایط با ریشه و علت این عدم اعتماد به نفس خود است.[۱۱]

مثالهای تاریخی[ویرایش]

زیمبابوه با نرخ تورمی معادل ۲۳۱ میلیون درصد در سال

زیمبابوه[ویرایش]

هجدهم آوریل ۱۹۸۰، وقتی کشور زیمبابوه از دل مستعمره سابق انگلستان، یعنی رودزیا، زاده شد واحد پول جدیدی به گردش انداخت با نام «دلار زیمبابوه». آن هنگام هر دلار زیمبابوه معادل ۱٫۴۷ دلار آمریکا بود. اما این واحد پولی دستخوش یکی از بزرگ‌ترین تحولات پولی در طول تاریخ شد.

در اواخر آوریل ۲۰۰۸ ارزش تقریبی هر دلار آمریکا برابر با ۲۱۱۲۳۲ دلار زیمبابوه بود. بعد از مدتی بانک مرکزی زیمبابوه اسکناس‌های جدید ۱۰۰ میلیارد دلاری منتشر ساخت و دولت زیمبابوه تعریف جدیدی از واحد پول خود کرد و با حذف ۱۰ صفر از آن هر دلار جدید زیمبابوه برابر با ۱۰ میلیارد شد خلاصه آن که زیمبابوه نرخ تورم ۱۱۲۵۰۰۰۰ درصد را تجربه کرد و این اتفاقات همواره در تاریخ بیاد خواهدماند.[۱۲]

آلمان[ویرایش]

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در آلمان بعد از جنگ جهانی اول (معروف به جمهوری وایمار) بین سال‌های ۱۹۲۰ تا ۱۹۲۳ میلادی سیستم حکومتی وقت آلمان از مکتبی اقتصادی پیروی می‌کرد که چاپ پول بدون داشتن سرمایهٔ سخت (طلا، …) را برای دولت ممکن می‌کرد. با توجه به هزینهٔ سنگینی که آلمان باید برای غرامت جنگ پرداخت می‌کرد، دولت این کشور شروع به چاپ مارک کاغذی برای خرید مقادیری مشابه طلا و افزایش چرخه پول کرد. این کار باعث افزایش نقدینگی در جامعه و ظهور و البته قدرت سفته بازان شد که سبب ایجاد ابرتورم گردید که تا نوامبر سال ۱۹۲۳ ادامه داشت. به دنبال آن با ظهور رنتن مارک که با پشتوانه املاک و صنایع چاپ می‌شد، تورم پایان یافت.

گسترده‌ترین ابرتورم مطالعه شده، تورمی است که پس از جنگ جهانی اول در آلمان روی داد. نسبت شاخص قیمت‌ها در آلمان در نوامبر ۱۹۲۳ به اوت ۱۹۲۲ (تنها پانزده ماه پیش از آن)، ۱۰۱۰×۰۲/۱ بود. این عدد بزرگ هم‌ارز نرخ تورم ماهانه ۳۲۲ درصد است. در شانزده ماهی که ابرتورم در این کشور حاکم بود، سطح قیمت‌ها به‌طور متوسط در هر ماه چهار برابر می‌شد. اگر چه تورم شدید آلمان شناخته شده‌تر از ابرتورم مجارستان است، اما تورمی که بعد از جنگ جهانی دوم در این کشور روی داد بسیار بزرگ‌تر بود. سطح عمومی قیمت‌ها در مجارستان در فاصله اوت ۱۹۴۵ تا ژوئیه ۱۹۴۶ با نرخ حیرت‌آور بیش از ۱۹۰۰۰ درصد در ماه یا ۱۹درصد در روز افزایش یافت. حتی این ارقام بسیار بزرگ نیز تورمی که در بدترین روزهای ابرتورم در این کشورها تجربه شد را کمتر از واقع بیان می‌کنند. در اکتبر ۱۹۲۳ سطح قیمت‌ها در آلمان با نرخ ۴۱ درصد در روز بالا می‌رفت. همچنین در ژوئیه ۱۹۴۶ قیمت‌ها در مجارستان در هر روز بیش از ۳ برابر می‌شد.

اما چه چیزی ابرتورم را به وجود می‌آورد؟ هیچ شوکی هر قدر هم که شدید باشد نمی‌تواند به تنهایی رشد سریع، مداوم و پایدار قیمت‌ها را توجیه کند. خود دو جنگ جهانی باعث بروز ابرتورم در آلمان و مجارستان نشدند. نابودی منابع در حین جنگ می‌تواند دلیلی برای بالاتر رفتن قیمت‌ها در این دو کشور بعد از جنگ نسبت به قبل از آن باشد، اما خود این دو جنگ نمی‌توانند توضیح دهنده این باشند که چرا قیمت‌ها در خلال دوره‌های ابرتورم به‌طور پیوسته و با نرخی سریع افزایش یافتند. ابرتورم‌ها به دلیل رشد بسیار سریع عرضه «اسکناس» به وجود می‌آیند. این تورم‌های شدید زمانی اتفاق می‌افتند که مراجع پولی و مالی یک کشور برای پرداخت هزینه‌های بالای دولت، دائماً مقادیر عمده‌ای پول منتشر کند. تورم در عمل شکلی از مالیات است که در آن دولت به بهای متضرر شدن افرادی که پول را نزد خود نگه می‌دارند سود می‌کند (زیرا باعث می‌شود ارزش این پول کاهش یابد). می‌توان ابرتورم‌ها را طرح‌های مالیاتی بسیار بزرگ دانست. در خلال ابرتورم آلمان، تعداد واحد پول در جریان در این کشور با ضریب ۳۲/۷ × ۱۰۹ افزایش یافت. این افزایش در عرضه پول در مجارستان معادل ۱۹/۱ × ۱۰۲۵ بود. این ارقام از رشد تجربه شده در قیمت‌ها کمتر هستند. اما این که افزایش قیمت‌ها سریع تر از عرضه پول باشد چه معنایی دارد؟

اقتصاددان‌ها در بحث از آنچه در زمان افزایش سریع قیمت‌ها در رابطه با نگهداری پول روی می‌دهد، از مفهومی به نام «مقدار واقعی پول» استفاده می‌کنند. مقدار واقعی پول که برخی اوقات «قدرت خرید پول» نامیده می‌شود، برابر است با نسبت حجم پول نگه داشته شده به سطح قیمت‌ها. فرض کنید یک خانواده نوعی، بسته مشخصی از کالاها را مصرف می‌کند. مقدار واقعی پول، تعداد بسته‌هایی را اندازه‌گیری می‌کند که خانواده‌ها می‌توانند با پولی که در اختیار دارد خریداری نمایند. خانواده‌ها در دوره‌های تورم پایین، تراز واقعی پولی بیشتری را حفظ می‌کنند، چرا که انجام چنین کاری راحت است، اما در دوره‌های تورم بالا، تراز واقعی پولی کمتری نگهداری می‌کنند تا از «مالیات» تورمی اجتناب ورزند؛ بنابراین آن‌ها برای پرهیز از مالیات تورمی بخش بزرگ‌تری از ثروت خود را در قالب دارایی‌های فیزیکی نگهداری می‌کنند. با خرید این کالاها از جانب مصرف‌کننده‌ها قیمت‌ها زیادتر شده و تورم افزایش می‌یابد.[۱۳]

پدیدهٔ ابرتورم به علت سیاست‌های اقتصادی نادرست در ۲ قرن اخیر بسیار شایع بوده‌است تا جایی که آلمان به عنوان یکی از صنعتی‌ترین کشورها هم دچار آن گردید و به تبع آن فاشیسم و نازیسم شکل گرفت. به همین خاطر بسیار مورد توجه قرار می‌گیرد.[۱۴]

لهستان[ویرایش]

از ۱۹۸۹ تا ۱۹۹۱ کمونیسم در کشورهای بلوک شوروی سابق در اروپا و آسیا از هم پاشید. بیست و هشت کشور عضو اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سابق و شرق اروپا نظام‌های سیاسی و اقتصادی خود را کنار گذاشتند.

سقوط نظام سوسیالیستی همه کشورهای فوق در زمان سقوط کمونیسم به مشکلات اقتصادی بزرگی دچار بودند. نظام قدیمی و بسیار متمرکز اقتصاد سوسیالیستی به نظامی خشک و متصلب تبدیل شده بود. اگرچه این سیستم، سرمایه و نیروی کار را برای صنعتی‌سازی بسیج کرده بود، اما قادر نبود همپای اقتصاد جدید حرکت کند. نقص مزمن این نظام اقتصادی بروز کمبود بود، زیرا یک سیستم متمرکز توزیع، نمی‌تواند میان عرضه و تقاضا برای میلیون‌ها کالاها و خدمتی که در یک اقتصاد جدید به تولید می‌رسیدند تعادل برقرار کند. این نظام اقتصادی همچنین نمی‌توانست کارایی یا کیفیت تولید را بهبود بخشد، چرا که تمرکز خود را بر تولید ناخالص معطوف ساخته بود و استفاده افراطی از تمامی مواد اولیه را تشویق می‌کرد. توانایی سوسیالیسم در خلاقیت نیز بسیار محدود بود. اقتصاد سوسیالیستی از کمبود بنگاه‌های کوچک و نبود فرایند ویرانگری خلاق (نابودسازی کالاها و خدمات قدیمی توسط کالاها و خدمات جدید و بهتر. رجوع کنید به ویرانگری خلاق) رنج می‌برد. با اتمام منابع آزاد، نرخ رشد شروع به کاهش کرد. علاوه بر آن بخش روزافزونی از اقتصاد شوروی (نزدیک به یک‌چهارم GDP در دهه ۱۹۸۰) در رقابت تسلیحاتی با آمریکا به مخارج نظامی تخصیص می‌یافت. تنزل استانداردهای زندگی به بروز نارضایتی‌های عمومی منجر شد که آن‌ها نیز به نوبه خود به افزایش زیاده از حد دستمزدها انجامید. اما دولت مانع افزایش قیمت‌ها شد. در لهستان و اتحاد جماهیر شوروی، کسری بودجه و عرضه پول به سرعت رشد پیدا کردند و این امر به نارضایتی‌های عمومی دامن زد. این نارضایتی‌ها باز به افزایش زیاده از حد دستمزدها انجامید ولی قیمت‌ها افزایش نیافت. در لهستان و اتحاد جماهیر شوروی، کسری بودجه و عرضه پول به سرعت رشد پیدا کرد و به بروز ابرتورم (تورم بیش از ۵۰ درصد طی دوره یک‌ماهه)، کاهش چشمگیر تولید و سقوط اقتصادی منجر شد (کورنای، ۱۹۹۲).[۱۵]

ویژگی‌ها[ویرایش]

  1. عموم مردم ترجیح دهند ثروت‌شان را در قالب‌های غیرپولی یا در ارزهای نسبتاً باثبات خارجی نگهداری کنند تا قدرت خرید پول‌شان حفظ شود.
  2. ارز محک و معیاری می‌شود که به جای پول داخلی می‌نشیند و گاه معاملات داخلی نیز با ارز انجام می‌شود.
  3. در خرید و فروش‌های نسیه همواره کاهش احتمالی ارزش پول در نظر گرفته می‌شود؛ و نرخ بهره، قیمت‌ها و دستمزدها همواره در قیاس با نرخ تورم قرار می‌گیرند. با چنین پیشینه هولناکی از مرزهای بیکران تجربه‌های تورمی و شناخت ویژگی‌های عمومی آن، بررسی پدیده تورم در اقتصاد ایران طی سال‌های اخیر نکات قابل تأملی دارد.[۱۲]

ابرتورم درایران[ویرایش]

آخرین نرخی که برای تورم در ایران اعلام شده‌است بالغ بر ۳۹ درصد است. اگرچه هنوز فاصله زیادی با بروز پدیده ابرتورم و عوارض خاص آن داریم؛ اما همین نرخ نیز برای ایجاد اختلال در روند تولید، سیاست‌گذاری‌ها، توزیع درآمد،... کفایت می‌کند.

انتشار و حضور چک‌های پانصدهزار ریالی که قابلیت مبادله و گردشی مانند اسکناس دارند نشانه‌هایی است از تورمی که هم‌اکنون بر پیکر اقتصاد ایران سنگینی می‌کند و امروزه استفاده از چک‌ها بیش از حد رایج و معمولی شده‌است. می‌دانیم در کشورهایی که تورم سنگین را تجربه می‌کنند بانک‌های مرکزی اغلب واحدهای پولی درشت‌تر منتشر می‌کنند چرا که واحدهای پولی کوچک‌تر بی‌ارزش شده‌اند و با چنین واحدهایی انجام مبادلات نقدی به‌دشواری صورت می‌پذیرد. از این روست که انتشار واحدهای پولی با ارقام بالاتر در اشکال گوناگون رواج می‌یابد. اما این‌ها همه نشانه‌های ناگزیر یک بیماری ساختاری است که علاج آن محتاج توجه به عوامل بروز این بیماری و نگرشی ساختاری به پدیده تورم در اقتصاد ایران است.

به‌هرحال، طبیعی است که بخشی از تورم کنونی تورم وارداتی است. البته، در مورد آن اغراق نباید کرد اما نمی‌توان آن را نادیده گرفت. بنا به اعلام بانک مرکزی یک‌درصد افزایش در شاخص بهای کالاها و خدمات وارداتی (با فرض ثبات سایر شرایط) به‌طور متوسط در حدود ۲ واحد درصد نرخ تورم (خرده‌فروشی) را افزایش می‌دهد و سهم تورم وارداتی در تورم در حدود ۳۸ درصد برآورد می‌شود. بدین ترتیب حدود ۱۵ درصد تورم ۳۹ درصدی کنونی یعنی تقریباً یک‌سوم آن تورم ناشی از افزایش هزینه‌های وارداتی است.

عوامل درون‌زای تورم به عنوان مؤثرترین جزء تورم کنونی است.

نخست، به نظر می‌رسد مهم‌ترین عامل و زمینه‌ساز تشدید تورم در سال‌های اخیر بی‌انضباطی‌های پولی و مالی بوده‌است.

اقتصاد ایران در شرایط کنونی ظرفیت و توانی برای توسعه دارد و در این میان نقش بودجه دولت تعیین‌کننده است. شاید به نظر رسد در شرایط کنونی هم از آثار تورمی ناشی از رشد نقدینگی آسیب می‌بینیم و هم از آثار رکودی برخاسته از سیاست‌های انقباضی. چنین شرایطی خود زمینه‌ساز بروز اعوجاج و نوسان‌های غیرعادی در بخش‌های مختلف اقتصادی و بروز پدیده فرار سرمایه و دیگر تبعات منفی مشود که امروز در اقتصاد یران شاهد آن هستیم.

چنان‌که این سیاست‌ها معمولاً با سخت‌تر ساختن دسترسی به منابع بانکی و کاهش امکان دسترسی به وجوه بودجه‌ای و مانند آن و در یک‌کلام سیاست‌های انقباضی می‌تواند با تأثیرگذاری روی سطح دستمزدهای اسمی و درآمدها زمینه را برای رویگردانی از سیاست انقباضی و بازگشت دوباره به سیاست‌های انبساطی فراهم سازد.

از این رو شاهد سیکلی از چرخش سیاستی از یکی به دیگری خواهیم بود. شاید با ملاحظه آثار محدودکننده سیاست‌های بانک مرکزی نخستین راهکاری که به نظر برسد پاپس کشیدن از این سیاست‌ها و بازگشت به سیاست‌های انبساطی باشد. اما این نیز به‌نوبه خود نادرست‌ترین راهکار است که کم‌ترین پیامد آن بی‌اعتنایی کامل فعالان اقتصادی به سیاست‌های دستگاه‌های ناظر به بازارهای مالی و مالیه عمومی‌است.

حاصل هم این‌گونه است که هم آثار رکودی سیاست ضد تورمی و هم آثار تورمی سیاست‌های انبساطی، هر دو را با هم خواهیم داشت. هم سطح واقعی درآمدها را کاهش داده‌ایم و هم با کاهش سرمایه‌گذاری‌ها شرایط رکودی در اقتصاد را دامن زده‌ایم!

در چنین موقعیتی که رکود در بخش‌های مختلف اقتصادی چیره می‌شود و فرصت سرمایه‌گذاری و سودآوری محدود است و از طرف دیگر تورم نیز در کشور وجود دارد، شکل‌گیری امواج سوداگری مالی می‌تواند بر ابعاد تورم دامن بزند.

این پول‌های سوداگرانه روزی به بازار مسکن هجوم می‌برد، روز دیگری به بازار ارز و زمانی دیگر به بورس می‌رود. تردیدی نیست که بخش مهمی از افزایش غیرمتعارف بهای مسکن در سال گذشته ناشی از همین هجوم سوداگرانه بود.

در پایان باید اشاره کرد که دو خطر اصلی امکان ارتقای تورم کنونی به سطح «ابرتورم» را به‌طور بالقوه پدیدمی‌آورد:

  1. بی‌انضباطی در سیاست‌های پولی و مالی
  2. تبعات ناشی از اجرای ناقص و عجولانه طرح تحول اقتصادی و پرداخت نقدی یارانه‌ها

سخن آخر آنکه حل معضل قیمت‌های نازل انرژی، از طریق پرداخت یارانه نقدی تبعات و پیامدهای ناگواری برای اقتصاد ایران داشت که دو نوع تورم در اقتصاد پدیدآورده است.

نخست تورم مستقیم ناشی از افزایش هزینه‌ها و دوم تورم حاصل از افزایش شدید نقدینگی در میان مردم که در حقیقت ناشی از افزایش تقاضای خانوارهایی که این پرداخت‌های معوض نقدی را دریافت کردند. اما مرزهای بیکران تورم امروز همین یارانه نقدی را هم مورد هجوم قرارداده است و شرایط معیشتی مردم در همه ابعاد آسیب‌پذیر شده‌است.[۱۲]

ابرتورم‌ها چگونه به پایان می‌رسند؟[ویرایش]

پاسخ معمول آن است که دولت‌ها مجبور می‌شوند رشد سریع حجم پول را متوقف سازند. مدافعان این دیدگاه پایان ابرتورم در آلمان را شاهدی بر ادعای خود می‌دانند. آلمان در اواخر ۱۹۲۳ دست به اصلاحات پولی زد و واحد پول جدیدی موسوم به rentenmark را به وجود آورد. دولت این کشور متعهد شد که این واحد پول جدید را می‌توان در صورت تقاضا به اوراق بهاداری تبدیل کرد که ارزش خاصی بر حسب طلا داشته باشد. طرفداران این پاسخ معمولاً اعتقاد دارند که تضمین قابلیت تبدیل، به گونه‌ای مناسب، به عنوان تعهدی برای توقف چاپ سریع پول در نظر گرفته می‌شود.

دیدگاه دیگری که برخی از اقتصاددان‌ها به آن معتقدند این است که برای پایان ابر تورم، نه تنها به اصلاحات پولی، بلکه همچنین به تغییرات مالی نیاز است. براساس این دیدگاه اصلاحی موفقیت‌آمیز است که حاوی دو تعهد باورپذیر از جانب دولت باشد. اولین مورد، تعهد به توقف رشد سریع اسکناس است. مورد دوم تعهد به متعادل کردن بودجه دولت است. این تعهد دوم برای موفقیت اصلاحات نیاز است، زیرا انگیزه دولت برای متوسل شدن به مالیات تورمی را از میان برده یا حداقل کاهش می‌دهد. اگر دولت به متعادل نمودن بودجه متعهد شود مردم می‌توانند باور کنند که در آینده نزدیک، رشد پول دوباره افزایش پیدا نخواهد کرد. توماس سارجنت، از مدافعان دیدگاه دوم بر این باور است که اصلاحاتی که در سال ۱۹۲۳ در آلمان انجام شد موفقیت‌آمیز بود، زیرا بانک مرکزی مستقلی را به وجود آورد که می‌توانست از پولی کردن کسری دولت سر باز زند و همچنین طرح‌هایی را برای افزایش مالیات و کاهش مخارج دولت دربرداشت. دیدگاه سارجنت را می‌توان این‌گونه نیز در نظر آورد که ابرتورم‌ها زمانی به پایان می‌رسند که مردم به شکل منطقی باور کنند که نرخ رشد پول هم در حال حاضر و هم در آینده به سطوح نرمال کاهش خواهد یافت.[۵]

ابرتورم‌ها چه اثراتی به همراه دارند؟[ویرایش]

یکی از اثرات ابر تورم‌ها که عواقب جدی به دنبال دارد، تخصیص دوباره ثروت است. ابرتورم‌ها ثروت را از مردم عادی که پول نگهداری می‌کنند به دولت که به چاپ پول می‌پردازد، انتقال می‌دهند. ابر تورم‌ها همچنان باعث می‌شوند در صورتی که قرارداد اعطای وام پیش از بدتر شدن تورم امضا شده باشد، وام گیرنده‌ها به بهای ضرر وام دهند ه‌ها سود ببرند. همچنین بنگاه‌هایی که ذخایری از مواد خام و کالاهای تولید شده را نگهداری می‌کنند به قیمت متضرر شدن عموم مردم منتفع می‌شوند. در آلمان مستاجرها به بهای ضرر صاحبان املاک سود بردند، زیرا سرعت رشد سقف اجاره‌ها معادل سرعت افزایش سطح عمومی قیمت‌ها نبود. کنستانتینو برسچیانی تورونی بر این باور است که ابرتورم، ثروت طبقات با ثبات در آلمان را نابود کرد و دستیابی ناسیونال سوسیالیست‌ها (نازی‌ها) به قدرت را آسان‌تر نمود. ابرتورم با دور کردن مردم از مبادلات پولی و وادار کردن آن‌ها به روی آوردن به تهاتر (مبادله پایاپای) کارایی اقتصاد را کاهش می‌دهد. همان‌طور که می‌دانیم استفاده از پول برای انجام مبادله در یک اقتصاد معمولی کارایی بسیار زیادی دارد. اما در خلال دوران ابر تورم افراد ترجیح می‌دهند که پرداخت به آن‌ها در قالب کالا صورت بگیرد تا بدین شکل از مالیات تورمی اجتناب ورزند. در این شرایط در صورتی که پرداخت به مردم با استفاده از پول انجام شود، آن پول را با حداکثر سرعت ممکن خرج خواهند کرد. در آلمان کارگرها دستمزد خود را دو بار در روز دریافت می‌کردند و خرید خود را در اواسط روز انجام می‌دادند تا از کاهش بیشتر ارزش درآمدهای خود جلوگیری نمایند. ابر تورم، یک بازی بی‌ثمر «سیب زمینی داغ» (hot potato) است که در آن افراد برای آنکه از نگهداری اسکناس پرهیز کنند، منابع با ارزش خود را مصرف می‌کنند. ابرتورم‌ها می‌توانند به رفتاری منجر شوند که در شرایط معمول، غیرعادی تلقی خواهد شد. جرالد فلدمن در کتاب خود با عنوان «بی نظمی بزرگ» نقل می‌کند که در یک شرکت کوچک دستمزدهای کارکنان در یک چرخ دستی جابه‌جا می‌شد، زیرا تعداد اسکناس‌های موردنیاز برای پرداخت دستمزد آن‌ها در خلال تورم بسیار زیاد شده بود (فلدمن، ۱۹۹۳، ص ۶۸۰) کوربیس که یک منبع عکس اینترنتی است (www.corbis.com) تصویری از یک زن آلمانی را نشان می‌دهد که اسکناس‌های خود را در اجاقش می‌سوزاند، چرا که حرارت ناشی از انجام این کار بیشتر از حالتی است که از این اسکناس‌ها برای خرید سوختی دیگر استفاده شود.[۵]

جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

  1. [O'Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 341, 404. / O'Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 341, 404. /] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  2. [Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action «Bernholz, Peter 2003, chapter 5.3»] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک).
  3. «donya-e-eqtesad». بایگانی‌شده از اصلی در ۱۶ ژوئیه ۲۰۱۱. دریافت‌شده در ۲۰۱۱. تاریخ وارد شده در |تاریخ بازدید= را بررسی کنید (کمک)
  4. [سایت فرارو سایت فرارو] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  5. ۵٫۰ ۵٫۱ ۵٫۲ [مایکل سالمی / مترجم: محمدصادق الحسینی، محسن رنجبر مایکل سالمی / مترجم: محمدصادق الحسینی، محسن رنجبر] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  6. Edward S. Mason and Robert E. Asher, "The World Bank Since Bretton Woods: The Origins, Policies, Operations and Impact of the International Bank for Reconstruction." (Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 1973), 29. پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک); پارامتر |پیوند= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  7. [اPhillip Cagan, The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation, in Milton Friedman (Editor), Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money, Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1956). اPhillip Cagan, The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation, in Milton Friedman (Editor), Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money, Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1956).] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  8. [ter 5.3 Palairet, Michael R. (2000). The Four Ends of the Greek Hyperinflation of 1941-1946 ter 5.3 Palairet, Michael R. (2000). The Four Ends of the Greek Hyperinflation of 1941-1946] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). کاراکتر line feed character در |نشانی= در موقعیت 8 (کمک); پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  9. [Parsson, Jens (1974). Dying of Money (Chapter 17: Velocity). Boston, MA: Wellspring Press. pp. 112–119. / Parsson, Jens (1974). Dying of Money (Chapter 17: Velocity). Boston, MA: Wellspring Press. pp. 112–119. /] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  10. [" Wolfgang Chr. Fischer (Editor), German Hyperinflation 1922/23 – A Law and Economics Approach, Eul Verlag, Köln, Germany 2010, p. 124. " Wolfgang Chr. Fischer (Editor), German Hyperinflation 1922/23 – A Law and Economics Approach, Eul Verlag, Köln, Germany 2010, p. 124.] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  11. Edward S. Mason and Robert E. Asher. [" "] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  12. ۱۲٫۰ ۱۲٫۱ ۱۲٫۲ [اقتصاد کلان سیداحمدمیر مطهری اقتصاد کلان سیداحمدمیر مطهری] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  13. [مایکل سالمی / مترجم: محمدصادق الحسینی، محسن رنجبر مایکل سالمی / مترجم: محمدصادق الحسینی، محسن رنجبر] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  14. [الف-ابرتورم الف-ابرتورم] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)
  15. [آندرس اسلاند-مترجمان: محمدصادق الحسینی، محسن رنجبر آندرس اسلاند-مترجمان: محمدصادق الحسینی، محسن رنجبر] مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). پارامتر |عنوان= یا |title= ناموجود یا خالی (کمک)

Hyperinflation in Venezuela represented by the time it would take for money to lose 90% of its value (301-day rolling average, inverted logarithmic scale).

In economics, hyperinflation is very high and typically accelerating inflation. It quickly erodes the real value of the local currency, as the prices of all goods increase. This causes people to minimize their holdings in that currency as they usually switch to more stable foreign currencies, often the US Dollar.[1] Unlike low inflation, where the process of rising prices is protracted and not generally noticeable except by studying past market prices, hyperinflation sees a rapid and continuing increase in nominal prices, the nominal cost of goods, and in the supply of money.[2] Typically, however, the general price level rises even more rapidly than the money supply as people try ridding themselves of the devaluing currency as quickly as possible. As this happens, the real stock of money (i.e., the amount of circulating money divided by the price level) decreases considerably.[3]

Hyperinflation is often associated with some stress to the government budget, such as wars or their aftermath, sociopolitical upheavals, a collapse in aggregate supply or one in export prices, or other crises that make it difficult for the government to collect tax revenue. A sharp decrease in real things revenue coupled with a strong need to maintain government spending, together with an inability or unwillingness to borrow, can lead a country into hyperinflation.[3]

Definition

In 1956, Phillip Cagan wrote The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation, the book often regarded as the first serious study of hyperinflation and its effects[4] (though The Economics of Inflation by C. Bresciani-Turroni on the German hyperinflation was published in Italian in 1931[5]). In his book, Cagan defined a hyperinflationary episode as starting in the month that the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%, and as ending when the monthly inflation rate drops below 50% and stays that way for at least a year.[6] Economists usually follow Cagan’s description that hyperinflation occurs when the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%.[4]

The International Accounting Standards Board has issued guidance on accounting rules in a hyperinflationary environment. It does not establish an absolute rule on when hyperinflation arises. Instead, it lists factors that indicate the existence of hyperinflation:[7]

  • The general population prefers to keep its wealth in non-monetary assets or in a relatively stable foreign currency. Amounts of local currency held are immediately invested to maintain purchasing power
  • The general population regards monetary amounts not in terms of the local currency but in terms of a relatively stable foreign currency. Prices may be quoted in that currency;
  • Sales and purchases on credit take place at prices that compensate for the expected loss of purchasing power during the credit period, even if the period is short;
  • Interest rates, wages, and prices are linked to a price index; and
  • The cumulative inflation rate over three years approaches, or exceeds, 100%.

Causes

While there can be a number of causes of high inflation, most hyperinflations have been caused by government budget deficits financed by money creation. Peter Bernholz analysed 29 hyperinflations (following Cagan's definition) and concludes that at least 25 of them have been caused in this way.[8] A necessary condition for hyperinflation is the use of paper money, instead of gold or silver coins. Most hyperinflations in history, with some exceptions, such as the French hyperinflation of 1789–1796, occurred after the use of fiat currency became widespread in the late 19th century. The French hyperinflation took place after the introduction of a non-convertible paper currency, the assignats.

Money supply

Hyperinflation occurs when there is a continuing (and often accelerating) rapid increase in the amount of money that is not supported by a corresponding growth in the output of goods and services.

The increases in price that result from the rapid money creation creates a vicious circle, requiring ever growing amounts of new money creation to fund government deficits. Hence both monetary inflation and price inflation proceed at a rapid pace. Such rapidly increasing prices cause widespread unwillingness of the local population to hold the local currency as it rapidly loses its buying power. Instead they quickly spend any money they receive, which increases the velocity of money flow; this in turn causes further acceleration in prices. This means that the increase in the price level is greater than that of the money supply.[9] The real stock of money, M/P, decreases. Here M refers to the money stock and P to the price level.

This results in an imbalance between the supply and demand for the money (including currency and bank deposits), causing rapid inflation. Very high inflation rates can result in a loss of confidence in the currency, similar to a bank run. Usually, the excessive money supply growth results from the government being either unable or unwilling to fully finance the government budget through taxation or borrowing, and instead it finances the government budget deficit through the printing of money.[10]

Governments have sometimes resorted to excessively loose monetary policy, as it allows a government to devalue its debts and reduce (or avoid) a tax increase. Monetary inflation is effectively a flat tax on creditors that also redistributes proportionally to private debtors. Distributional effects of monetary inflation are complex and vary based on the situation, with some models finding regressive effects[11] but other empirical studies progressive effects.[12] As a form of tax, it is less overt than levied taxes and is therefore harder to understand by ordinary citizens. Inflation can obscure quantitative assessments of the true cost of living, as published price indices only look at data in retrospect, so may increase only months later. Monetary inflation can become hyperinflation if monetary authorities fail to fund increasing government expenses from taxes, government debt, cost cutting, or by other means, because either

  • during the time between recording or levying taxable transactions and collecting the taxes due, the value of the taxes collected falls in real value to a small fraction of the original taxes receivable; or
  • government debt issues fail to find buyers except at very deep discounts; or
  • a combination of the above.

Theories of hyperinflation generally look for a relationship between seigniorage and the inflation tax. In both Cagan's model and the neo-classical models, a tipping point occurs when the increase in money supply or the drop in the monetary base makes it impossible for a government to improve its financial position. Thus when fiat money is printed, government obligations that are not denominated in money increase in cost by more than the value of the money created.

The price of gold in Germany, 1 January 1918 – 30 November 1923. (The vertical scale is logarithmic).

From this, it might be wondered why any rational government would engage in actions that cause or continue hyperinflation. One reason for such actions is that often the alternative to hyperinflation is either depression or military defeat. The root cause is a matter of more dispute. In both classical economics and monetarism, it is always the result of the monetary authority irresponsibly borrowing money to pay all its expenses. These models focus on the unrestrained seigniorage of the monetary authority, and the gains from the inflation tax.

In neo-classical economic theory, hyperinflation is rooted in a deterioration of the monetary base, that is the confidence that there is a store of value that the currency will be able to command later. In this model, the perceived risk of holding currency rises dramatically, and sellers demand increasingly high premiums to accept the currency. This in turn leads to a greater fear that the currency will collapse, causing even higher premiums. One example of this is during periods of warfare, civil war, or intense internal conflict of other kinds: governments need to do whatever is necessary to continue fighting, since the alternative is defeat. Expenses cannot be cut significantly since the main outlay is armaments. Further, a civil war may make it difficult to raise taxes or to collect existing taxes. While in peacetime the deficit is financed by selling bonds, during a war it is typically difficult and expensive to borrow, especially if the war is going poorly for the government in question. The banking authorities, whether central or not, "monetize" the deficit, printing money to pay for the government's efforts to survive. The hyperinflation under the Chinese Nationalists from 1939 to 1945 is a classic example of a government printing money to pay civil war costs. By the end, currency was flown in over the Himalayas, and then old currency was flown out to be destroyed.

Hyperinflation is a complex phenomenon and one explanation may not be applicable to all cases. In both of these models, however, whether loss of confidence comes first, or central bank seigniorage, the other phase is ignited. In the case of rapid expansion of the money supply, prices rise rapidly in response to the increased supply of money relative to the supply of goods and services, and in the case of loss of confidence, the monetary authority responds to the risk premiums it has to pay by "running the printing presses."

Nevertheless, the immense acceleration process that occurs during hyperinflation (such as during the German hyperinflation of 1922/23) still remains unclear and unpredictable. The transformation of an inflationary development into the hyperinflation has to be identified as a very complex phenomenon, which could be a further advanced research avenue of the complexity economics in conjunction with research areas like mass hysteria, bandwagon effect, social brain, and mirror neurons.[13]

Supply shocks

A number of hyperinflations were caused by some sort of extreme negative supply shock, often but not always associated with wars, the breakdown of the communist system or natural disasters.[14]

Models

Since hyperinflation is visible as a monetary effect, models of hyperinflation center on the demand for money. Economists see both a rapid increase in the money supply and an increase in the velocity of money if the (monetary) inflating is not stopped. Either one, or both of these together are the root causes of inflation and hyperinflation. A dramatic increase in the velocity of money as the cause of hyperinflation is central to the "crisis of confidence" model of hyperinflation, where the risk premium that sellers demand for the paper currency over the nominal value grows rapidly. The second theory is that there is first a radical increase in the amount of circulating medium, which can be called the "monetary model" of hyperinflation. In either model, the second effect then follows from the first—either too little confidence forcing an increase in the money supply, or too much money destroying confidence.

In the confidence model, some event, or series of events, such as defeats in battle, or a run on stocks of the specie that back a currency, removes the belief that the authority issuing the money will remain solvent—whether a bank or a government. Because people do not want to hold notes that may become valueless, they want to spend them. Sellers, realizing that there is a higher risk for the currency, demand a greater and greater premium over the original value. Under this model, the method of ending hyperinflation is to change the backing of the currency, often by issuing a completely new one. War is one commonly cited cause of crisis of confidence, particularly losing in a war, as occurred during Napoleonic Vienna, and capital flight, sometimes because of "contagion" is another. In this view, the increase in the circulating medium is the result of the government attempting to buy time without coming to terms with the root cause of the lack of confidence itself.

In the monetary model, hyperinflation is a positive feedback cycle of rapid monetary expansion. It has the same cause as all other inflation: money-issuing bodies, central or otherwise, produce currency to pay spiraling costs, often from lax fiscal policy, or the mounting costs of warfare. When business people perceive that the issuer is committed to a policy of rapid currency expansion, they mark up prices to cover the expected decay in the currency's value. The issuer must then accelerate its expansion to cover these prices, which pushes the currency value down even faster than before. According to this model the issuer cannot "win" and the only solution is to abruptly stop expanding the currency. Unfortunately, the end of expansion can cause a severe financial shock to those using the currency as expectations are suddenly adjusted. This policy, combined with reductions of pensions, wages, and government outlays, formed part of the Washington consensus of the 1990s.

Whatever the cause, hyperinflation involves both the supply and velocity of money. Which comes first is a matter of debate, and there may be no universal story that applies to all cases. But once the hyperinflation is established, the pattern of increasing the money stock, by whichever agencies are allowed to do so, is universal. Because this practice increases the supply of currency without any matching increase in demand for it, the price of the currency, that is the exchange rate, naturally falls relative to other currencies. Inflation becomes hyperinflation when the increase in money supply turns specific areas of pricing power into a general frenzy of spending quickly before money becomes worthless. The purchasing power of the currency drops so rapidly that holding cash for even a day is an unacceptable loss of purchasing power. As a result, no one holds currency, which increases the velocity of money, and worsens the crisis.

Because rapidly rising prices undermine the role of money as a store of value, people try to spend it on real goods or services as quickly as possible. Thus, the monetary model predicts that the velocity of money will increase as a result of an excessive increase in the money supply. At the point when money velocity and prices rapidly accelerate in a vicious circle, hyperinflation is out of control, because ordinary policy mechanisms, such as increasing reserve requirements, raising interest rates, or cutting government spending will be ineffective and be responded to by shifting away from the rapidly devalued money and towards other means of exchange.

During a period of hyperinflation, bank runs, loans for 24-hour periods, switching to alternate currencies, the return to use of gold or silver or even barter become common. Many of the people who hoard gold today expect hyperinflation, and are hedging against it by holding specie. There may also be extensive capital flight or flight to a "hard" currency such as the US dollar. This is sometimes met with capital controls, an idea that has swung from standard, to anathema, and back into semi-respectability. All of this constitutes an economy that is operating in an "abnormal" way, which may lead to decreases in real production. If so, that intensifies the hyperinflation, since it means that the amount of goods in "too much money chasing too few goods" formulation is also reduced. This is also part of the vicious circle of hyperinflation.

Once the vicious circle of hyperinflation has been ignited, dramatic policy means are almost always required. Simply raising interest rates is insufficient. Bolivia, for example, underwent a period of hyperinflation in 1985, where prices increased 12,000% in the space of less than a year. The government raised the price of gasoline, which it had been selling at a huge loss to quiet popular discontent, and the hyperinflation came to a halt almost immediately, since it was able to bring in hard currency by selling its oil abroad. The crisis of confidence ended, and people returned deposits to banks. The German hyperinflation (1919–November 1923) was ended by producing a currency based on assets loaned against by banks, called the Rentenmark. Hyperinflation often ends when a civil conflict ends with one side winning.

Although wage and price controls are sometimes used to control or prevent inflation, no episode of hyperinflation has been ended by the use of price controls alone, because price controls that force merchants to sell at prices far below their restocking costs result in shortages that cause prices to rise still further.

Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman said "We economists don't know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can't sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you'll have a tomato shortage. It's the same with oil or gas."[15]

Effects

Germany, 1923: banknotes had lost so much value that they were used as wallpaper.

Hyperinflation effectively wipes out the purchasing power of private and public savings; distorts the economy in favor of the hoarding of real assets; causes the monetary base, whether specie or hard currency, to flee the country; and makes the afflicted area anathema to investment.

One of the most important characteristics of hyperinflation is the accelerating substitution of the inflating money by stable money—gold and silver in former times, then relatively stable foreign currencies after the breakdown of the gold or silver standards (Thiers' Law). If inflation is high enough, government regulations like heavy penalties and fines, often combined with exchange controls, cannot prevent this currency substitution. As a consequence, the inflating currency is usually heavily undervalued compared to stable foreign money in terms of purchasing power parity. So foreigners can live cheaply and buy at low prices in the countries hit by high inflation. It follows that governments that do not succeed in engineering a successful currency reform in time must finally legalize the stable foreign currencies (or, formerly, gold and silver) that threaten to fully substitute the inflating money. Otherwise, their tax revenues, including the inflation tax, will approach zero.[16] The last episode of hyperinflation in which this process could be observed was in Zimbabwe in the first decade of the 21st century. In this case, the local money was mainly driven out by the US dollar and the South African rand.

Enactment of price controls to prevent discounting the value of paper money relative to gold, silver, hard currency, or other commodities fail to force acceptance of a paper money that lacks intrinsic value. If the entity responsible for printing a currency promotes excessive money printing, with other factors contributing a reinforcing effect, hyperinflation usually continues. Hyperinflation is generally associated with paper money, which can easily be used to increase the money supply: add more zeros to the plates and print, or even stamp old notes with new numbers.[17] Historically, there have been numerous episodes of hyperinflation in various countries followed by a return to "hard money". Older economies would revert to hard currency and barter when the circulating medium became excessively devalued, generally following a "run" on the store of value.

Much attention on hyperinflation centers on the effect on savers whose investments become worthless. Interest rate changes often cannot keep up with hyperinflation or even high inflation, certainly with contractually fixed interest rates. For example, in the 1970s in the United Kingdom inflation reached 25% per annum, yet interest rates did not rise above 15%—and then only briefly—and many fixed interest rate loans existed. Contractually, there is often no bar to a debtor clearing his long term debt with "hyperinflated cash", nor could a lender simply somehow suspend the loan. Contractual "early redemption penalties" were (and still are) often based on a penalty of n months of interest/payment; again no real bar to paying off what had been a large loan. In interwar Germany, for example, much private and corporate debt was effectively wiped out—certainly for those holding fixed interest rate loans.

Ludwig von Mises used the term "crack-up boom" (German: Katastrophenhausse) to describe the economic consequences of an unmitigated increasing in the base-money supply.[18] As more and more money is provided, interest rates decline towards zero. Realizing that fiat money is losing value, investors will try to place money in assets such as real estate, stocks, even art; as these appear to represent "real" value. Asset prices are thus becoming inflated. This potentially spiraling process will ultimately lead to the collapse of the monetary system. The Cantillon effect[19] says that those institutions that receive the new money first are the beneficiaries of the policy.

Aftermath

Hyperinflation is ended by drastic remedies, such as imposing the shock therapy of slashing government expenditures or altering the currency basis. One form this may take is dollarization, the use of a foreign currency (not necessarily the U.S. dollar) as a national unit of currency. An example was dollarization in Ecuador, initiated in September 2000 in response to a 75% loss of value of the Ecuadorian sucre in early 2000. But usually the "dollarization" takes place in spite of all efforts of the government to prevent it by exchange controls, heavy fines and penalties. The government has thus to try to engineer a successful currency reform stabilizing the value of the money. If it does not succeed with this reform the substitution of the inflating by stable money goes on. Thus it is not surprising that there have been at least seven historical cases in which the good (foreign) money did fully drive out the use of the inflating currency. In the end the government had to legalize the former, for otherwise its revenues would have fallen to zero.[16]

Hyperinflation has always been a traumatic experience for the people who suffer it, and the next political regime almost always enacts policies to try to prevent its recurrence. Often this means making the central bank very aggressive about maintaining price stability, as was the case with the German Bundesbank, or moving to some hard basis of currency, such as a currency board. Many governments have enacted extremely stiff wage and price controls in the wake of hyperinflation, but this does not prevent further inflation of the money supply by the central bank, and always leads to widespread shortages of consumer goods if the controls are rigidly enforced.

Currency

In countries experiencing hyperinflation, the central bank often prints money in larger and larger denominations as the smaller denomination notes become worthless. This can result in the production of unusually large demoninations of banknotes, including those denominated in amounts of 1,000,000,000 or more.

  • By late 1923, the Weimar Republic of Germany was issuing two-trillion mark banknotes and postage stamps with a face value of fifty billion marks. The highest value banknote issued by the Weimar government's Reichsbank had a face value of 100 trillion marks (1014; 100,000,000,000,000; 100 million million).[20][21] At the height of the inflation, one US dollar was worth 4 trillion German marks. One of the firms printing these notes submitted an invoice for the work to the Reichsbank for 32,776,899,763,734,490,417.05 (3.28 × 1019, roughly 33 quintillion) marks.[22]
  • The largest denomination banknote ever officially issued for circulation was in 1946 by the Hungarian National Bank for the amount of 100 quintillion pengő (1020; 100,000,000,000,000,000,000; 100 million million million) image. (A banknote worth 10 times as much, 1021 (1 sextillion) pengő, was printed but not issued image.) The banknotes did not show the numbers in full: "hundred million b.-pengő" ("hundred million trillion pengő") and "one milliard b.-pengő" were spelled out instead. This makes the 100,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwean dollar banknotes the note with the greatest number of zeros shown.
  • The Post-World War II hyperinflation of Hungary held the record for the most extreme monthly inflation rate ever – 41.9 quadrillion percent (4.19 × 1016%; 41,900,000,000,000,000%) for July 1946, amounting to prices doubling every 15.3 hours. By comparison, recent figures (as of 14 November 2008) estimate Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate at 89.7 sextillion (1021) percent.[23] The highest monthly inflation rate of that period was 79.6 billion percent (7.96 × 1010%; 79,600,000,000%), and a doubling time of 24.7 hours.

One way to avoid the use of large numbers is by declaring a new unit of currency. (As an example, instead of 10,000,000,000 dollars, a central bank might set 1 new dollar = 1,000,000,000 old dollars, so the new note would read "10 new dollars".) A recent example of this is Turkey's revaluation of the Lira on 1 January 2005, when the old Turkish lira (TRL) was converted to the New Turkish lira (TRY) at a rate of 1,000,000 old to 1 new Turkish Lira. While this does not lessen the actual value of a currency, it is called redenomination or revaluation and also occasionally happens in countries with lower inflation rates. During hyperinflation, currency inflation happens so quickly that bills reach large numbers before revaluation.

Some banknotes were stamped to indicate changes of denomination, as it would have taken too long to print new notes. By the time new notes were printed, they would be obsolete (that is, they would be of too low a denomination to be useful).

Metallic coins were rapid casualties of hyperinflation, as the scrap value of metal enormously exceeded its face value. Massive amounts of coinage were melted down, usually illicitly, and exported for hard currency.

Governments will often try to disguise the true rate of inflation through a variety of techniques. None of these actions addresses the root causes of inflation; and if discovered, they tend to further undermine trust in the currency, causing further increases in inflation. Price controls will generally result in shortages and hoarding and extremely high demand for the controlled goods, causing disruptions of supply chains. Products available to consumers may diminish or disappear as businesses no longer find it economic to continue producing and/or distributing such goods at the legal prices, further exacerbating the shortages.

There are also issues with computerized money-handling systems. In Zimbabwe, during the hyperinflation of the Zimbabwe dollar, many automated teller machines and payment card machines struggled with arithmetic overflow errors as customers required many billions and trillions of dollars at one time.[24]

Notable hyperinflationary episodes

Rome

During the Crisis of the Third Century, Rome underwent hyperinflation caused by years of coinage devaluation.[25]

Austria

Hanke Krus Hyperinflation Table that lists 56 episodes of hyperinflation (following Cagan's definition)

In 1922, inflation in Austria reached 1,426%, and from 1914 to January 1923, the consumer price index rose by a factor of 11,836, with the highest banknote in denominations of 500,000 Austrian krones.[26][a] After World War I, essentially all State enterprises ran at a loss, and the number of state employees in the capital, Vienna, was greater than in the earlier monarchy, even though the new republic was nearly one-eighth of the size.[28]

Observing the Austrian response to developing hyperinflation, which included the hoarding of food and the speculation in foreign currencies, Owen S. Phillpotts, the Commercial Secretary at the British Legation in Vienna wrote: "The Austrians are like men on a ship who cannot manage it, and are continually signalling for help. While waiting, however, most of them begin to cut rafts, each for himself, out of the sides and decks. The ship has not yet sunk despite the leaks so caused, and those who have acquired stores of wood in this way may use them to cook their food, while the more seamanlike look on cold and hungry. The population lack courage and energy as well as patriotism."[29]

  • Start and end date: October 1921 – September 1922
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: August 1922, 129%[30]

Bolivia

Increasing hyperinflation in Bolivia has plagued, and at times crippled, its economy and currency since the 1970s. At one time in 1985, the country experienced an annual inflation rate of more than 20,000%. Fiscal and monetary reform reduced the inflation rate to single digits by the 1990s, and in 2004 Bolivia experienced a manageable 4.9% rate of inflation.[31]

In 1987, the Bolivian peso was replaced by a new boliviano at a rate of one million to one (when 1 US dollar was worth 1.8–1.9 million pesos). At that time, 1 new boliviano was roughly equivalent to 1 U.S. dollar.

Brazil

Brazilian hyperinflation lasted from 1985 (the year when military dictatorship ended) to 1994, an accumulated inflation of 184,901,570,954.39%[32] caused by uncontrolled printing of money.[33][34] There were many economic plans that tried to contain hyperinflation with zeros cuts, price freeze and even confiscation of bank accounts.[33][35]

The highest value was in March 1990, when the government inflation index reached 82.39%.[33][36] Hyperinflation ended in July 1994 with the Real Plan during the government of Itamar Franco.[37] During the period of inflation Brazil adopted a total of six different currencies, as the government constantly changed due to rapid devaluation and increase in the number of zeros.[37][33]

  • Start and End Date: Jan. 1985 – Mid-Jul. 1994
  • Peak Month and Rate of Inflation: Mar. 1990, 82.39%[36][38]

China

As the first user of fiat currency, China was also the first country to experience hyperinflation. Paper currency was introduced during the Tang Dynasty, and was generally welcomed. It maintained its value, as successive Chinese governments put in place strict controls on issuance. The convenience of paper currency for trade purposes led to strong demand for paper currency. It was only when discipline on quantity supplied broke down that hyperinflation emerged.[39] The Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) was the first to print large amounts of fiat paper money to fund its wars, resulting in hyperinflation. Much later, the Republic of China went through hyperinflation from 1948 to 1949. In 1947, the highest denomination bill was 50,000 yuan. By mid-1948, the highest denomination was 180,000,000 yuan. The 1948 currency reform replaced the yuan by the gold yuan at an exchange rate of 1 gold yuan = 3,000,000 yuan. In less than a year, the highest denomination was 10,000,000 gold yuan. In the final days of the civil war, the silver yuan was briefly introduced at the rate of 500,000,000 gold yuan. Meanwhile, the highest denomination issued by a regional bank was 6,000,000,000 yuan (issued by Xinjiang Provincial Bank in 1949). After renminbi was instituted by the new communist government, hyperinflation ceased, with a revaluation of 1:10,000 old yuan in 1955.

  1. First episode:
    • Start and end date: July 1943 – August 1945
    • Peak month and rate of inflation: June 1945, 302%
  2. Second episode:
    • Start and end date: October 1947 – mid May 1949
    • Peak month and rate of inflation: April 5,070%[40]

France

During the French Revolution and first Republic, the National Assembly issued bonds, some backed by seized church property, called assignats.[41] Napoleon replaced them with the franc in 1803, at which time the assignats were basically worthless. Stephen D. Dillaye pointed out that one of the reasons for the failure was massive counterfeiting of the paper currency, largely through London. According to Dillaye: "Seventeen manufacturing establishments were in full operation in London, with a force of four hundred men devoted to the production of false and forged Assignats."[42]

  • Start and end date: May 1795 – November 1796
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: mid August 1796, 304%[43]

Germany (Weimar Republic)

5 Million Mark coin would have been worth $714.29 in January 1923, about 1 thousandth of one cent by October 1923.

By November 1922, the value in gold of money in circulation had fallen from £300 million before World War I to £20 million. The Reichsbank responded by the unlimited printing of notes, thereby accelerating the devaluation of the mark. In his report to London, Lord D'Abernon wrote: "In the whole course of history, no dog has ever run after its own tail with the speed of the Reichsbank."[44][45] Germany went through its worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 50,000 marks. By 1923, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 (1014) Marks. In December 1923 the exchange rate was 4,200,000,000,000 (4.2 × 1012) Marks to 1 US dollar.[46] In 1923, the rate of inflation hit 3.25 × 106 percent per month (prices double every two days). Beginning on 20 November 1923, 1,000,000,000,000 old Marks were exchanged for 1 Rentenmark, so that 4.2 Rentenmarks were worth 1 US dollar, exactly the same rate the Mark had in 1914.[46]

  1. First phase:
    • Start and end date: January 1920 – January 1920
    • Peak month and rate of inflation: January 1920, 56.9%
  2. Second phase:
    • Start and end date: August 1922 – December 1923
    • Peak month and rate of inflation: November 1923, 29,525%[30]

Greece (German–Italian occupation)

With the German invasion in April 1941, there was an abrupt increase in prices. This was due to psychological factors related to the fear of shortages and to the hoarding of goods. During the German and Italian Axis occupation of Greece (1941–1944), the agricultural, mineral, industrial etc. production of Greece were used to sustain the occupation forces, but also to secure provisions for the Afrika Korps. One part of these "sales" of provisions was settled with bilateral clearing through the German DEGRIGES and the Italian Sagic companies at very low prices. As the value of Greek exports in drachmas fell, the demand for drachmas followed suit and so did its forex rate. While shortages started due to naval blockades and hoarding, the prices of commodities soared. The other part of the "purchases" was settled with drachmas secured from the Bank of Greece and printed for this purpose by private printing presses. As prices soared, the Germans and Italians started requesting more and more drachmas from the Bank of Greece to offset price increases; each time prices increased, the note circulation followed suit soon afterwards. For the year starting November 1943, the inflation rate was 2.5 × 1010%, the circulation was 6.28 × 1018 drachmae and one gold sovereign cost 43,167 billion drachmas. The hyperinflation started subsiding immediately after the departure of the German occupation forces, but inflation rates took several years before they fell below 50%.[47]

  • Start and end date: June 1941 – January 1946
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: December 1944, 3.0 × 1010%

Hungary

The 100 million b.-pengő note was the highest denomination of banknote ever issued, worth 1020 or 100 quintillion Hungarian pengő (1946). B.-pengő was short for "billió pengő", i.e. 1012 pengő.

The Treaty of Trianon and political instability between 1919 and 1924 led to a major inflation of Hungary's currency. In 1921, in an attempt to stop inflation, the national assembly of Hungary passed the Hegedűs reforms, including a 20% levy on bank deposits, which precipitated a mistrust of banks by the public, especially the peasants, and resulted in a reduction in savings and in the amount of currency in circulation.[48] Due to the reduced tax base, the government resorted to printing money, and in 1923 inflation in Hungary reached 98% per month.

Between the end of 1945 and July 1946, Hungary went through the highest inflation rate ever recorded. In 1944, the highest banknote value was 1,000 pengő. By the end of 1945, it was 10,000,000 pengő, and the highest value in mid-1946 was 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1020) pengő. A special currency, the adópengő (or tax pengő) was created for tax and postal payments.[49] The value of the adópengő was adjusted each day, by radio announcement. On 1 January 1946 one adópengő equaled one pengő, but by late July, one adópengő equaled 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 2×1021 (2 sextillion) pengő.

When the pengő was replaced in August 1946 by the forint, the total value of all Hungarian banknotes in circulation amounted to ​11,000 of one US cent.[50] Inflation peaked at 1.3 × 1016% per month (i.e. prices double every 15 hours).[51] On 18 August 1946, 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 4×1029 pengő (four hundred quadrilliard on the long scale used in Hungary, or four hundred octillion on short scale) became 1 forint.

  • Start and end date: August 1945 – July 1946
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: July 1946, 41.9×1015%[52]

North Korea

North Korea has most likely experienced hyperinflation from December 2009 to mid-January 2011. Based on the price of rice, North Korea's hyperinflation peaked in mid-January 2010, but according to black market exchange-rate data, and calculations based on purchasing power parity, North Korea experienced its peak month of inflation in early March 2010. These data are unofficial, however, and therefore must be treated with a degree of caution.[53]

Peru

In modern history, Peru underwent a period of hyperinflation period in the 1980s to the early 1990s starting with President Fernando Belaúnde's second administration, heightened during Alan García's first administration, to the beginning of Alberto Fujimori's term. Over 3,210,000,000 old soles would be worth one USD. Garcia's term introduced the inti, which worsened inflation into hyperinflation. Peru's currency and economy were pacified under Fujimori's Nuevo Sol program, which has remained Peru's currency since 1991.[54]

Poland

Poland has gone through two episodes of hyperinflation since the country regained independence following the end of World War I, the first in 1923, the second in 1989–1990. Both events resulted in the introduction of new currencies. In 1924, the złoty replaced the original currency of post-war Poland, the mark. This currency was subsequently replaced by another of the same name in 1950, which was assigned the ISO code of PLZ. As a result of the second hyperinflation crisis, the current new złoty was introduced in 1990 (ISO code: PLN). See the article on Polish złoty for more information about the currency's history.

The newly independent Poland had been struggling with a large budget deficit since its inception in 1918 but it was in 1923 when inflation reached its peak. The exchange rate to the American dollar went from 9 Polish marks per dollar in 1918 to 6,375,000 marks per dollar at the end of 1923. A new personal 'inflation tax' was introduced. The resolution of the crisis is attributed to Władysław Grabski, who became prime minister of Poland in December 1923. Having nominated an all-new government and being granted extraordinary lawmaking powers by the Sejm for a period of six months, he introduced a new currency, established a new national bank and scrapped the inflation tax, which took place throughout 1924.[55]

The economic crisis in Poland in the 1980s was accompanied by rising inflation when new money was printed to cover a budget deficit. Although inflation was not as acute as in 1920s, it is estimated that its annual rate reached around 600% in a period of over a year spanning parts of 1989 and 1990. The economy was stabilised by the adoption of the Balcerowicz Plan in 1989, named after the main author of the reforms, minister of finance Leszek Balcerowicz. The plan was largely inspired by the previous Grabski's reforms.[55]

Philippines

The Japanese government occupying the Philippines during World War II issued fiat currencies for general circulation. The Japanese-sponsored Second Philippine Republic government led by Jose P. Laurel at the same time outlawed possession of other currencies, most especially "guerrilla money". The fiat money's lack of value earned it the derisive nickname "Mickey Mouse money". Survivors of the war often tell tales of bringing suitcases or bayong (native bags made of woven coconut or buri leaf strips) overflowing with Japanese-issued bills. Early on, 75 Mickey Mouse pesos could buy one duck egg.[56] In 1944, a box of matches cost more than 100 Mickey Mouse pesos.[57]

In 1942, the highest denomination available was 10 pesos. Before the end of the war, because of inflation, the Japanese government was forced to issue 100-, 500-, and 1000-peso notes.

  • Start and end date: January 1944 – December 1944
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: January 1944, 60%[58]

Japanese-occupied Malaya

Banana banknotes issued by the Japanese Government during the occupation of Malaya. The term "banana money" originates from the motifs of banana trees on the currency's 10 dollar banknote.

Malaya and Singapore were under Japanese occupation from 1942 until 1945. The Japanese issued banana money as the official currency to replace the Straits currency issued by the British. During that time, the cost of basic necessities increased drastically. As the occupation proceeded, the Japanese authorities printed more money to fund their wartime activities, which resulted in hyperinflation and a severe depreciation in value of the banana note.

From February to December 1942, $100 of Straits currency was worth $100 in Japanese scrip, after which the value of Japanese scrip began to erode, reaching $385 on December 1943 and $1,850 one year later. By 1 August 1945, this had inflated to $10,500, and 11 days later it had reached $95,000. After 13 August 1945, Japanese scrip had become valueless.[59]

Soviet Union

A seven-year period of uncontrollable spiralling inflation occurred in the early Soviet Union, running from the earliest days of the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917 to the reestablishment of the gold standard with the introduction of the chervonets as part of the New Economic Policy. The inflationary crisis effectively ended in March 1924 with the introduction of the so-called "gold ruble" as the country's standard currency.

The early Soviet hyperinflationary period was marked by three successive redenominations of its currency, in which "new rubles" replaced old at the rates of 10,000:1 (1 January 1922), 100:1 (1 January 1923), and 50,000:1 (7 March 1924), respectively.

Between 1921 and 1922, inflation in the Soviet Union reached 213%.

Venezuela

The value of one US dollar in Venezuelan bolivares fuertes on the black market through time, according to DolarToday.com. Blue vertical lines represent every time the currency has lost 90% of its value. This has happened five times since 2012, meaning that the currency is worth, as of June 2018, 100,000 times less than in August 2012, since it has lost more than 99.999% of its value.

Venezuela's hyperinflation began in November 2016.[60] Inflation of Venezuela's bolivar fuerte (VEF) in 2014 reached 69%[61] and was the highest in the world.[62][63] In 2015, inflation was 181%, the highest in the world and the highest in the country's history at that time,[64][65] 800% in 2016,[66] over 4,000% in 2017,[67][68][69][70] and 1,698,488% in 2018,[71] with Venezuela spiraling into hyperinflation.[72] While the Venezuelan government "has essentially stopped" producing official inflation estimates as of early 2018, one estimate of the rate at that time was 5,220%, according to inflation economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University.[73]

Venezuelan bolívar fuerte banknotes ranging from 2 bolivares to 100,000 bolivares printed within a 10-year period. The magnitude of the currency scalars signifies the extent of the hyperinflation. The banknotes were demonetized in 2018 following the introduction of the bolívar soberano, with 5 fewer zeros.

Inflation has affected Venezuelans so much that in 2017, some people became video game gold farmers and could be seen playing games such as RuneScape to sell in-game currency or characters for real currency. In many cases, these gamers made more money than salaried workers in Venezuela even though they were earning just a few dollars per day.[74] During the Christmas season of 2017, some shops would no longer use price tags since prices would inflate so quickly, so customers were required to ask staff at stores how much each item was.[75]

The International Monetary Fund estimated in 2018 that Venezuela's inflation rate would reach 1,000,000% by the end of the year.[76] This forecast was criticized by Steve H. Hanke, professor of applied economics at The Johns Hopkins University and senior fellow at the Cato Institute. According to Hanke, the IMF had released a "bogus forecast" because "no one has ever been able to accurately forecast the course or the duration of an episode of hyperinflation. But that has not stopped the IMF from offering inflation forecasts for Venezuela that have proven to be wildly inaccurate".[77]

In July 2018, hyperinflation in Venezuela was sitting at 33,151%, "the 23rd most severe episode of hyperinflation in history".[77]

In April 2019, the International Monetary Fund has estimated that inflation would reach 10,000,000% by the end of 2019.[78] However, the Central Bank of Venezuela officially estimates that inflation is at 53,798,500% between 2016 and April 2019.[79]

In May 2019, the Central Bank of Venezuela released economic data for the first time since 2015. According to this release, the inflation of Venezuela was 274% in 2016, 863% in 2017 and 130,060% in 2018.[80] The new reports imply a contraction of more than half of the economy in five years, according to the Financial Times "one of the biggest contractions in Latin American history".[81] According two undisclosed sources from Reuters, the release of this numbers was due to pressure from China, a Maduro ally. One of this sources claims that the disclosure of economic numbers may bring Venezuela into compliance with the IMF, making it harder to support Juan Guaidó during the presidential crisis.[82] At the time, the IMF was not able to support the validity of the data as they had not been able to contact the authorities.[82]

  • Start and end date: November 2016 – present
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: April 2018, 234% (Hanke estimate);[83] September 2018, 233% (National Assembly estimate)[84]

Yugoslavia

A 500 billion Yugoslav dinar banknote circa 1993, the largest nominal value ever officially printed in Yugoslavia, the final result of hyperinflation.

Yugoslavia went through a period of hyperinflation and subsequent currency reforms from 1989 to 1994. One of several regional conflicts accompanying the dissolution of Yugoslavia was the Bosnian War (1992–1995). The Belgrade government of Slobodan Milošević backed ethnic Serbian forces in the conflict, resulting in a United Nations boycott of Yugoslavia. The UN boycott collapsed an economy already weakened by regional war, with the projected monthly inflation rate accelerating to one million percent by December 1993 (prices double every 2.3 days).[85]

The highest denomination in 1988 was 50,000 dinars. By 1989 it was 2,000,000 dinars. In the 1990 currency reform, 1 new dinar was exchanged for 10,000 old dinars. In the 1992 currency reform, 1 new dinar was exchanged for 10 old dinars. The highest denomination in 1992 was 50,000 dinars. By 1993, it was 10,000,000,000 dinars. In the 1993 currency reform, 1 new dinar was exchanged for 1,000,000 old dinars. Before the year was over, however, the highest denomination was 500,000,000,000 dinars. In the 1994 currency reform, 1 new dinar was exchanged for 1,000,000,000 old dinars. In another currency reform a month later, 1 novi dinar was exchanged for 13 million dinars (1 novi dinar = 1 German mark at the time of exchange). The overall impact of hyperinflation was that 1 novi dinar was equal to 1 × 1027 – 1.3 × 1027 pre-1990 dinars. Yugoslavia's rate of inflation hit 5 × 1015% cumulative inflation over the time period 1 October 1993 and 24 January 1994.

  1. First episode:
    • Start and End Date: Sept. 1989 – Dec. 1989
    • Peak month and rate of inflation: December 1989, 59.7%
  2. Second episode:
    • Start and end date: April 1992 – January 1994
    • Peak month and rate of inflation: January 1994, 313,000,000%[86]

Zimbabwe

The 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar banknote (1014 dollars), equal to 1027 (1 octillion) pre-2006 dollars.

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe was one of the few instances that resulted in the abandonment of the local currency. At independence in 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWD) was worth about US$1.25. Afterwards, however, rampant inflation and the collapse of the economy severely devalued the currency. Inflation was steady until British Prime Minister Tony Blair reneged on land reform agreements arrived at between Margaret Thatcher and Robert Mugabe that continued land redistribution from the white farming community in 1998, resulting in reductions in food production and the decline of foreign investment. Several multinational companies began hoarding retail goods in warehouses in Zimbabwe and just south of the border, preventing commodities from becoming available on the market.[87][88][89][90] The result was that to pay its expenditures Mugabe's government and Gideon Gono's Reserve Bank printed more and more notes with higher face values.

Hyperinflation began early in the 21st century, reaching 624% in 2004. It fell back to low triple digits before surging to a new high of 1,730% in 2006. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe revalued on 1 August 2006 at a ratio of 1,000 ZWD to each second dollar (ZWN), but year-to-year inflation rose by June 2007 to 11,000% (versus an earlier estimate of 9,000%). Larger denominations were progressively issued in 2008:

  1. 5 May: banknotes or "bearer cheques" for the value of ZWN 100 million and ZWN 250 million.[91]
  2. 15 May: new bearer cheques with a value of ZWN 500 million (then equivalent to about US$2.50).[92]
  3. 20 May: a new series of notes ("agro cheques") in denominations of $5 billion, $25 billion and $50 billion.
  4. 21 July: "agro cheque" for $100 billion.[93]

Inflation by 16 July officially surged to 2,200,000%[94] with some analysts estimating figures surpassing 9,000,000%.[95] As of 22 July 2008 the value of the ZWN fell to approximately 688 billion per US$1, or 688 trillion pre-August 2006 Zimbabwean dollars.[96][failed verification]

Date of
redenomination
Currency
code
Value
1 August 2006 ZWN 1 000 ZWD
1 August 2008 ZWR 1010 ZWN
= 1013 ZWD
2 February 2009 ZWL 1012 ZWR
= 1022 ZWN
= 1025 ZWD

On 1 August 2008, the Zimbabwe dollar was redenominated at the ratio of 1010 ZWN to each third dollar (ZWR).[97] On 19 August 2008, official figures announced for June estimated the inflation over 11,250,000%.[98] Zimbabwe's annual inflation was 231,000,000% in July[99] (prices doubling every 17.3 days). By October 2008 Zimbabwe was mired in hyperinflation with wages falling far behind inflation. In this dysfunctional economy hospitals and schools had chronic staffing problems, because many nurses and teachers could not afford bus fare to work. Most of the capital of Harare was without water because the authorities had stopped paying the bills to buy and transport the treatment chemicals. Desperate for foreign currency to keep the government functioning, Zimbabwe's central bank governor, Gideon Gono, sent runners into the streets with suitcases of Zimbabwean dollars to buy up American dollars and South African rand.[100]

For periods after July 2008, no official inflation statistics were released. Prof. Steve H. Hanke overcame the problem by estimating inflation rates after July 2008 and publishing the Hanke Hyperinflation Index for Zimbabwe.[101] Prof. Hanke's HHIZ measure indicated that the inflation peaked at an annual rate of 89.7 sextillion percent (89,700,000,000,000,000,000,000%) in mid-November 2008. The peak monthly rate was 79.6 billion percent, which is equivalent to a 98% daily rate, or around 7×10^108% yearly rate. At that rate, prices were doubling every 24.7 hours. Note that many of these figures should be considered mostly theoretical since hyperinflation did not proceed at this rate over a whole year.[102]

At its November 2008 peak, Zimbabwe's rate of inflation approached, but failed to surpass, Hungary's July 1946 world record.[102] On 2 February 2009, the dollar was redenominated for the third time at the ratio of 1012 ZWR to 1 ZWL, only three weeks after the $100 trillion banknote was issued on 16 January,[103][104] but hyperinflation waned by then as official inflation rates in USD were announced and foreign transactions were legalised,[102] and on 12 April the Zimbabwe dollar was abandoned in favour of using only foreign currencies. The overall impact of hyperinflation was US$1 = 1025 ZWD.

  • Start and end date: March 2007 – mid November 2008
  • Peak month and rate of inflation: mid November 2008, 79.6 billion percent[105]

Examples of high inflation

Some countries experienced very high inflation, but did not reach hyperinflation, as defined as a monthly inflation rate of 50%.

Holy Roman Empire

Between 1620 and 1622 the Kreuzer fell from 1 Reichsthaler to 124 Kreuzer in end of 1619 to 1 Reichstaler to over 600 (regionally over 1000) Kreuzer in end of 1622, during the Thirty Years' War. This is a monthly inflation rate of over 20.6% (regionally over 34.4%).

Iraq

Between 1987 and 1995 the Iraqi Dinar went from an official value of 0.306 Dinars/USD (or US$3.26 per dinar, though the black market rate is thought to have been substantially lower) to 3,000 dinars/USD due to government printing of 10s of trillions of dinars starting with a base of only tens of billions. That equates to approximately 315% inflation per year averaged over that eight-year period.[106]

Mexico

In spite of increased oil prices in the late 1970s (Mexico is a producer and exporter), Mexico defaulted on its external debt in 1982. As a result, the country suffered a severe case of capital flight and several years of acute inflation and peso devaluation, leading to an accumulated inflation rate of almost 27,000% between December 1975 and late 1988. On 1 January 1993, Mexico created a new currency, the nuevo peso ("new peso", or MXN), which chopped three zeros off the old peso (One new peso was equal to 1,000 old MXP pesos).

Ecuador

Between 1998 and 1999, Ecuador faced a period of economic instability that resulted from a combined banking crisis, currency crisis, and sovereign debt crisis.[107] Severe inflation and devaluation of the Ecuadorean Sucre lead to President Jamil Mahuad announcing on January 9, 2000 that the US dollar would be adopted as the national currency.

Despite the government's efforts to curb inflation, the Sucre depreciated rapidly at the end of 1999, resulting in widespread informal use of U.S. dollars in the financial system. As a last resort to prevent hyperinflation, the government formally adopted the U.S. dollar in January 2000. The stability of the new currency was a necessary first step towards economic recovery, but the exchange rate was fixed at 25,000:1, which resulted in great losses of wealth.[108]

Roman Egypt

In Roman Egypt, where the best documentation on pricing has survived, the price of a measure of wheat was 200 drachmae in 276 AD, and increased to more than 2,000,000 drachmae in 334 AD, roughly 1,000,000% inflation in a span of 58 years.[109]

Although the price increased by a factor of 10,000 over 58 years, the annual rate of inflation was only 17.2% (1.4% monthly) compounded.

Romania

Romania experienced high inflation in the 1990s. The highest denomination in 1990 was 100 lei and in 1998 was 100,000 lei. By 2000 it was 500,000 lei. In early 2005 it was 1,000,000 lei. In July 2005 the lei was replaced by the new leu at 10,000 old lei = 1 new leu. Inflation in 2005 was 9%.[110] In July 2005 the highest denomination became 500 lei (= 5,000,000 old lei).

Transnistria

The Second Transnistrian ruble consisted solely of banknotes and suffered from high inflation, necessitating the issue of notes overstamped with higher denominations. 1 and sometimes 10 ruble become 10,000 ruble, 5 ruble become 50,000 and 10 ruble become 100,000 ruble. In 2000, a new ruble was introduced at a rate of 1 new ruble = 1,000,000 old rubles.

Turkey

Since the end of 2017 Turkey has high inflation rates. It is speculated that the new elections took place frustrated because of the impending crisis to forestall.[111][112][113] In October 2017, inflation was at 11.9%, the highest rate since July 2008.[114] The Turkish lira fall from 1.503 TRY = 1 US dollar in 2010 to 5.5695 TRY = 1 US dollar in August 2018.[115]

United States

During the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress authorized the printing of paper called continental currency, the monthly inflation rate reached a peak of 47% in November 1779 (Bernholz 2003: 48). These notes depreciated rapidly, giving rise to the expression "not worth a continental". One cause of the inflation was counterfeiting by the British, who ran a press on HMS Phoenix, moored in New York Harbor. The counterfeits were advertised and sold almost for the price of the paper they were printed on.[116]

A second close encounter occurred during the U.S. Civil War: between January 1861 and April 1865, the Lerner Commodity Price Index of leading cities in the eastern Confederacy states increased from 100 to over 9,000.[117] As the Civil War dragged on, the Confederate dollar had less and less value, until it was almost worthless by the last few months of the war. Similarly, the Union government inflated its greenbacks, with the monthly rate peaking at 40% in March 1864 (Bernholz 2003: 107).[118]

Vietnam

Vietnam went through a period of chaos and hyperinflation in the late 1980s, with inflation peaking at 774% in 1988, after the country's "price-wage-currency" reform package, led by then-Deputy Prime Minister Trần Phương, had failed.[119] Hyperinflation also occurred in the early stages of the socialist-oriented market economic reforms commonly referred to as the Đổi Mới.

Ten most severe hyperinflations in world history

Highest monthly inflation rates in history[120][121]
Country Currency name Month with highest inflation rate Highest monthly inflation rate Equivalent daily inflation rate Time required for prices to double Highest denomination
Hungary Hungarian pengő July 1946 4.19×1016 % 207.19% 15.6 hours 100 Quintillion (1020)
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe dollar November 2008 7.96 × 1010 % 98.01% 24.7 hours 100 Trillion (1014)
Yugoslavia Yugoslav dinar January 1994 3.13 × 108 % 64.63% 1.4 days 500 Billion (5×1011)
Republika Srpska Republika Srpska dinar January 1994 2.97 × 108 % 64.3% 1.41 days 10 Billion (10×1010)
Germany (Weimar Republic) German Papiermark October 1923 29,500% 20.87% 3.7 days 100 Trillion (1014)
Greece Greek drachma October 1944 13,800% 17.84% 4.3 days 100 Billion (1011)
China Chinese yuan April 1949 5,070% 14.1% 5.34 days 6 Billion
Armenia Armenian dram and Russian ruble November 1993 438% 5.77% 12.5 days 50,000 (ruble)
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan manat November 1993 429% 5.71% 12.7 days 500
Taiwan Taiwanese yen August 1945 399% 5.50% 13.1 days 1,000

Units of inflation

Inflation rate is usually measured in percent per year. It can also be measured in percent per month or in price doubling time.

Example of inflation rates and units
When first bought, an item cost 1 currency unit. Later, the price rose...
Old price New price 1 year later New price 10 years later New price 100 years later (Annual) inflation [%] Monthly
inflation
[%]
Price
doubling
time
[years]
Zero add time [years]
1
1 .0001
1 .001
1 .01
0.01
0 .0008
6931
23028
1
1 .001
1 .01
1 .11
0.1
0 .00833
693
2300
1
1 .003
1 .03
1 .35
0.3
0 .0250
231
769
1
1 .01
1 .10
2 .70
1
0 .0830
69 .7
231
1
1 .03
1 .34
19 .2
3
0 .247
23 .4
77.9
1
1 .1
2 .59
13800
10
0 .797
7 .27
24.1
1
2
1024
1.27 × 1030
100
5 .95
1
3.32
1
10
1010
10100
900
21 .2
0 .301 (3⅔ months)
1
1
31
8.20 × 1014
1.37 × 10149
3000
32 .8
0 .202 (2½ months)
0.671 (8 months)
1
129.7463
1.35 × 1021
2.04 × 10211
12874.63
50
0 .1424 (52 days)
0.4732 (5 ⅔ months)
1
1012
10120
101,200
1014
900
0 .0251 (9 days)
0.0833 (1 month)
1
1.67 × 1073
1.69 × 10732
1.87 × 107,322
1.67 × 1075
1.26 × 108
0 .00411 (36 hours)
0.0137 (5 days)
1
1.05 × 102,637
1.69 × 1026,370
1.89 × 10263,702
1.05 × 102,639
5.65 × 10221
0 .000114 (1 hour)
0.000379 (3.3 hours)

Often, at redenominations, three zeroes are cut from the bills. It can be read from the table that if the (annual) inflation is for example 100%, it takes 3.32 years to produce one more zero on the price tags, or 3 × 3.32 = 9.96 years to produce three zeroes. Thus can one expect a redenomination to take place about 9.96 years after the currency was introduced.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ A banknote with a value of one million krones was printed, but not issued.[27]

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Further reading

External links