The World History of Hyperinflation - Is America Next?
Too many Americans seem to think their own country is somehow immune to hyperinflation. America is too "advanced," they say, and the Federal Reserve wouldn't let it happen here. Yet it's the Federal Reserve that's causing the inflation! A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money!
World history is full of examples of hyperinflation, and this collection of hyperinflation events (from Wikipedia) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation) reveals many. What's important to note is that in each of these cases, the People lost their life savings! It's the People who are always the victims of runaway currency creation, and America is headed for precisely the same outcome.
What world history clearly demonstrates is that hyperinflation is the easiest way for the power elite to steal money from the people without having to put a gun to anyone's head or collect any new taxes. It's the secret, "stealth robbery" of money from the People. In fact, it's happening right now in America, and almost nobody seems to notice. This is all helped, of course, by the fact that many Americans can no longer do math, nor do they have any real understanding of money, economics or fractional-reserve banking. Money illiteracy, it seems, makes stealing from the population all the easier.
Angola went through its worst inflation from 1991 to 1995. In early 1991, the highest denomination was 50,000 kwanzas. By 1994, it was 500,000 kwanzas. In the 1995 currency reform, 1 kwanza reajustado was exchanged for 1,000 kwanzas. The highest denomination in 1995 was 5,000,000 kwanzas reajustados. In the 1999 currency reform, 1 new kwanza was exchanged for 1,000,000 kwanzas reajustados. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 new kwanza = 1,000,000,000 pre 1991 kwanzas.
Argentina went through steady inflation from 1975 to 1991. At the beginning of 1975, the highest denomination was 1,000 pesos. In late 1976, the highest denomination was 5,000 pesos. In early 1979, the highest denomination was 10,000 pesos. By the end of 1981, the highest denomination was 1,000,000 pesos. In the 1983 currency reform, 1 Peso argentino was exchanged for 10,000 pesos. In the 1985 currency reform, 1 austral was exchanged for 1,000 pesos argentinos. In the 1992 currency reform, 1 new peso was exchanged for 10,000 australes. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 (1992) peso = 100,000,000,000 pre-1983 pesos.
Between 1921 and 1922, inflation in Austria reached 134%. With the highest banknote in denominations of 500,000 Austro-Hungarian krones.
Belarus went through steady inflation from 1994 to 2002. In 1993, the highest denomination was 5,000 rublei. By 1999, it was 5,000,000 rublei. In the 2000 currency reform, the ruble was replaced by the new ruble at an exchange rate of 1 new ruble = 1,000 old rublei. The highest denomination in 2008 was 100,000 rublei, equal to 100,000,000 pre-2000 rublei.
Bolivia went through its worst inflation between 1984 and 1986. Before 1984, the highest denomination was 1,000 pesos bolivianos. By 1985, the highest denomination was 10 Million pesos bolivianos. In 1985, a Bolivian note for 1 million pesos was worth 55 cents in US dollars, one-thousandth of its exchange value of $5,000 less than three years previously. In the 1987 currency reform, the Peso Boliviano was replaced by the Boliviano at a rate of 1,000,000 : 1.
Bosnia-Hezegovina went through its worst inflation in 1993. In 1992, the highest denomination was 1,000 dinara. By 1993, the highest denomination was 100,000,000 dinara. In the Republika Srpska, the highest denomination was 10,000 dinara in 1992 and 10,000,000,000 dinara in 1993. 50,000,000,000 dinara notes were also printed in 1993 but never issued.
From 1986 to 1994, the base currency unit was shifted three times to adjust for inflation in the final years of the Brazilian military dictatorship era. A 1967 cruzeiro was, in 1994, worth less than one trillionth of a US cent, after adjusting for multiple devaluations and note changes. A new currency called real was adopted in 1994, and hyperinflation was eventually brought under control. The real was also the currency in use until 1942; 1 (current) real is the equivalent of 2,750,000,000,000,000,000 of those old reals (called réis in Portuguese).
Beginning in 1971, during the presidency of Salvador Allende, Chilean inflation began to rise and reached peaks of 1,200% in 1973. As a result of the hyperinflation, food became scarce and overpriced. A 1973 coup d'état deposed Allende and installed a military government led by Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet's free-market economic policy ended the inflation and except for an economic depression in 1981 the economy has recovered. Overall impact of the inflation: 1 current Chilean Peso = 1,000 Escudos.
As the first user of fiat currency, China has had an early history of troubles caused by hyperinflation. The Yuan Dynasty printed huge amounts of fiat paper money to fund their wars, and the resulting hyperinflation, coupled with other factors, led to its demise at the hands of a revolution. The Republic of China went through the worst inflation 1948-49. In 1947, the highest denomination 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 1 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 the renminbi was instituted by the new communist government, hyperinflation ceased with a revaluation of 1:10,000 old Renminbi in 1955.
Free City of Danzig
Danzig went through its worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 1,000 Mark. By 1923, the highest denomination was 10,000,000,000 Mark.
Georgia went through its worst inflation in 1994. In 1993, the highest denomination was 100,000 coupons [kuponi]. By 1994, the highest denomination was 1,000,000 coupons. In the 1995 currency reform, a new currency lari was introduced with 1 lari exchanged for 1,000,000 coupons.
Germany went through its worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 50,000 Mark. By 1923, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 Mark. In December 1923 the exchange rate was 4,200,000,000,000 Marks to 1 US dollar. In 1923, the rate of inflation hit 3.25 × 106 percent per month (prices double every two days). Beginning on November 20, 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.
Greece went through its worst inflation in 1944. In 1942, the highest denomination was 50,000 drachmai. By 1944, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 drachmai. In the 1944 currency reform, 1 new drachma was exchanged for 50,000,000,000 drachmai. Another currency reform in 1953 replaced the drachma at an exchange rate of 1 new drachma = 1,000 old drachmai. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 (1953) drachma = 50,000,000,000,000 pre 1944 drachmai. The Greek monthly inflation rate reached 8.5 billion percent in October 1944.
Hungary went through the worst inflation ever between the end of 1945 and July 1946. In 1944, the highest denomination was 1,000 pengo. By the end of 1945, it was 10,000,000 pengo. The highest denomination in mid-1946 was 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo. A special currency the adópengo - or tax pengo - was created for tax and postal payments . The value of the adópengo was adjusted each day, by radio announcement. On January 1, 1946 one adópengo equaled one pengo. By late July, one adópengo equaled 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 2×1021pengo. When the pengo was replaced in August 1946 by the forint, the total value of all Hungarian banknotes in circulation amounted to one-thousandth of one US dollar.  It is the most severe known incident of inflation recorded, peaking at 1.3 × 1016 percent per month (prices double every 15 hours)  . The overall impact of hyperinflation: On 18 August, 1946 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 4×1029 (four hundred octillion [ short scale ] ) pengo became 1 forint.
One source  states that this hyperinflation was purposely started by trained Russian Marxists in order to destroy the Hungarian middle and upper classes. The 1946 currency reform changed the currency to forint. Previously, between 1922 and 1924 inflation in Hungary reached 98%.
Inflation accelerated in the 1970s, rising steadily from 13% in 1971 to 111% in 1979. From 133% in 1980, it leaped to 191% in 1983 and then to 445% in 1984, threatening to become a four-digit figure within a year or two. In 1985 Israel froze all prices by law. That same year, inflation more than halved, to 185%. Within a few months, the authorities began to lift the price freeze on some items; in other cases it took almost a year. By 1986, inflation was down to 19%.
After WW II, Japan went through the highest denomination at that time, which was a 75,000,000,000 Yen bank cheque. The Japan wholesale price index (relative to 1 as the average of 1934 to 1936) shot up to 16.3 in 1946, 127.9 in 1948 and 342.5 in 1951. In the early 1950s, after achieving independence from USA, Japan controlled its own money. Through its rapidly growing export trade, Japan stabilized the Yen quickly.
Krajina went through the worst inflation in 1993. In 1992, the highest denomination was 50,000 dinara. By 1993, the highest denomination was 50,000,000,000 dinara. Note that this unrecognized country was reincorporated into Croatia in 1998.
The Malagasy franc had a turbulent time in 2004, losing nearly half its value and sparking rampant inflation. On 1 January 2005 the Malagasy ariary replaced the previous currency at a rate of one ariary for five Malagsy francs. In May 2005 there were riots over rising inflation, although falling prices have since calmed the situation.
Nicaragua went through the worst inflation from 1987 to 1990. From 1943 to April 1971, one US dollar equalled 7 córdobas. From April 1971 to early 1978, one US dollar was worth 10 córdobas. In early 1986, the highest denomination was 10,000 córdobas. By 1987, it was 1,000,000 córdobas. In the 1988 currency reform, 1 new córdoba was exchanged for 10,000 old córdobas. The highest denomination in 1990 was 100,000,000 new córdobas. In the 1991 currency reform, 1 new córdoba was exchanged for 5,000,000 old córdobas. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 (1991) córdoba = 50,000,000,000 pre-1988 córdobas.
Peru went through its worst inflation from 1988 to 1990. In the 1985 currency reform, 1 inti was exchanged for 1,000 soles. In 1986, the highest denomination was 1,000 intis. But in September 1988, monthly inflation went to 132%. In August 1990, monthly inflation was 397%. The highest denomination was 10,000,000 intis by 1991. In the 1991 currency reform, 1 nuevo sol was exchanged for 1,000,000 intis. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 nuevo sol = 1,000,000,000 (old) soles.
Poland went through its worst inflation between 1990 and 1993. The highest denomination in 1989 was 200,000 zlotych. It was 1,000,000 zlotych in 1991 and 2,000,000 zlotych in 1992. In the 1994 currency reform, 1 new zloty was exchanged for 10,000 old zlotych. Previously, between 1922 and 1924, Polish inflation reached 275%.
Republika Srpska was the breakaway region of Bosnia. As with Krajina, it pegged its currency, the Republika Srpska dinar, to that of Yugoslavia. Their bills were almost the same as Krajina's, but they issued fewer and didn't issue currency after 1993.
Romania is still working through steady inflation. The highest denomination 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 leu was replaced by the new leu at 10,000 old lei = 1 new leu. Inflation in 2005 was 9%. In 2006 the highest denomination is 500 lei (= 5,000,000 old lei).
Between 1921 and 1922 inflation in Soviet Russia reached 213%.
In 1992, the first year of post-Soviet economic reform, inflation was 2,520%, the major cause being the decontrol of most prices in January. In 1993 the annual rate was 840%, and in 1994, 224%. The ruble devalued from about 40 r/$ in 1991 to about 30,000 r/$ in 1999.
Throughout the 1990s Turkey dealt with severe inflation rates that finally crippled the economy into a recession in 2001. The highest denomination in 1995 was 1,000,000 lira. By 2005 it was 50,000,000 lira. Recently Turkey has achieved single digit inflation for the first time in decades, and in the 2005 currency reform, introduced the New Turkish Lira; 1 was exchanged for 1,000,000 old lira.
Ukraine went through its worst inflation between 1993 and 1995. In 1992, the Ukrainian karbovanets was introduced, which was exchanged with the defunct Soviet ruble at a rate of 1 UAK = 1 SUR. Before 1993, the highest denomination was 1,000 karbovantsiv. By 1995, it was 1,000,000 karbovantsiv. In 1996, during the transition to the Hryvnya and the subsequent phase out of the karbovanets, the exchange rate was 100,000 UAK = 1 UAH. This translates to a hyperinflation rate of approximately 1,400% per month. And to this day Ukraine holds the world record for most inflation in one calendar year, which was set in 1993. 
During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress authorized the printing of paper currency called continental currency. The easily counterfeited notes depreciated rapidly, giving rise to the expression "not worth a continental."
Between January 1861 and April 1865, the Lerner Commodity Price Index of leading cities in the eastern Confederacy states increased from 100 to over 9000. As the U.S. Civil War dragged on the Confederate States of America dollar had less and less value, until it was almost worthless by the last few months of the war.
Yugoslavia went through a period of hyperinflation and subsequent currency reforms from 1989 to 1994. 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. But before the year was over, 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: 1 novi dinar = 1 × 1027~1.3 × 1027 pre 1990 dinars. Yugoslavia's rate of inflation hit 5 × 1015 percent cumalative inflation over the time period 1 October 1993 and 24 January 1994.
Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Zaire went through a period of inflation between 1989 and 1996. In 1988, the highest denomination was 5,000 zaires. By 1992, it was 5,000,000 zaires. In the 1993 currency reform, 1 nouveau zaire was exchanged for 3,000,000 old zaires. The highest denomination in 1996 was 1,000,000 nouveaux zaires. In 1997, Zaire was renamed the Congo Democratic Republic and changed its currency to francs. 1 franc was exchanged for 100,000 nouveaux zaires. The overall impact of hyperinflation: 1 franc = 3 × 1011 pre 1989 zaires.
The 1,000 Zimbabwe dollar note was so worthless that it was used as toilet paper.
At Independence in 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar was worth about USD 1.25. Since then, rampant inflation and the collapse of the economy have severely devalued the currency, causing many organisations to favour using the US dollar or South African rand instead. Inflation was stable until Robert Mugabe began a program of land reforms that primarily focused on taking land from white farmers and redistributing those properties and assets to black farmers; this in turn sent food production and revenues from export of food plummeting.
Early in the 21st century Zimbabwe started to experience chronic inflation. Inflation reached 624% in 2004, then fell back to low triple digits before surging to a new high of 1,730% in 2006. During that time, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe revalued their currency on August 1, 2006 at a rate of 1,000 old Zimbabwean dollars to 1 revalued Zimbabwean dollar. In June 2007, inflation in Zimbabwe had risen to 11,000% year-to-year from an earlier estimate of 9,000%. On May 5th, 2008 the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued bank notes or "bearer cheques" for the value of ZWD 100 million and ZWD 250 million.. Ten days later on May 15th, new bearer cheques with a value of ZWD 500 million (then equivalent to about USD 2.5) were issued . Five days later on May 20th, a new series of notes in the form of "agro cheques" were issued in denominations of ZWD 5 billion, ZWD 25 billion and ZWD 50 billion. An addition agro cheque was issued for ZWD 100 billion on July 21st.  Meanwhile inflation has officially surged to 2,200,000%  with some analysts estimating figures surpassing 9,000,000 percent . As of July 22nd, 2008, the value of the ZWD had fallen to approximately 688 billion per 1 USD, or 688 trillion pre-August 2006 Zimbabwean dollars.  On August 1, 2008, the Zimbabwe dollar was redenominated by removing 10 zeroes. ZWD 10 billion became 1 dollar after the redenomination. . On August 19, 2008, official figures announced for June estimated the inflation over 11,250,000 percent  Zimbabwe's annual inflation was 231,000,000% in July.  (Prices doubling every 17.3 days). At the beginning of November, 2008, the inflation rate was calculated to be at 516 quintillion percent (516,000,000,000,000,000,000%). The monthly inflation was 13.2 billion percent.
Zimbabwe hyperinflation is set to surpass post Second World War Hungary's hyperinflation (12.95 quadrillion percent per month, ie. prices doubling every 15.6 hours) by the end of 2008.