As we approach a century on from the horrors of hyperinflation in Germany, its effects still have a strong hold on the German approach to economic policy – a strong aversion to inflation and a visceral dislike of anything that smacks of ‘printing money’. All these years on, it sill does much to explain Germany’s frequent reluctance to support proposals for rescuing the Euro.
Yet ‘hyperinflation’ is itself a fairly bland phrase. So much is best this, biggest that, supersized special that it is easy to miss quite what hyperinflation meant.
Which is where this classic photo comes in. No numbers, no graphics, no economic theory; instead an extremely powerful image that tells the story in a much more memorable way – bank notes so devalued that even in large bundles they are worth nothing more than children’s playthings.