When Money Dies, 100 Years Later, by Jeff Deist

Money can be devalued until its dead. Most people have no idea how modern money works, or that it can die. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:

When Money Dies, Adam Fergusson’s cautionary account of hyperinflation in Weimar-era Germany, is the book Americans desperately need to read today.

Ours is a nation willfully lacking in knowledge and understanding of money; a cynic might think this lack of apprehension is by design. Money is seldom discussed in schools, popular media, or politics. And almost a century after the stark lessons of 1923 Germany, the West is convinced it can’t happen here. In our overwhelming material abundance, aided by the natural deflationary pressures of markets, we simply have lost our ability to imagine a hyperinflationary scenario. Sure, there have been currency meltdowns since the two world wars in places like Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, and Argentina. Yes, Venezuela and arguably Turkey face currency crises today. But we need not worry about this, because modern central banks—especially the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank—have tamed inflation through sheer technocratic expertise and a willingness to use extraordinary monetary policy tools. Asset purchases and balance sheet expansion, ultralow or negative interest rates, and a determination to provide as much “liquidity” as an economy needs are the new normal for central bankers. Thanks to this open embrace of centrally planned money, former Fed chair (and likely future Treasury secretary) Janet Yellen assured us we need not expect another financial crisis in our lifetime.

To believe this, one has to believe policy is more important than production, and that an express policy of inflation is the mechanism to forestall too much inflation. This is a curious position.

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