Sunday, February 7, 2016

Studies of Failed Currencies

Somehow I have been credited with a study of 599 failed currencies, though I have not done such a study.   There have been studies of the history of failed currencies and it seems good to have a post where we can collect such studies into one place.   If anyone knows of other interesting studies  please post them in the comments and I will add them to this list.

1) History of Fiat and Paper Money Failures by Mike Hewitt.

Has a list of 177 current currencies and when they were started. I count only 16 of these as existing prior to 1900.

It has a list of 609 currencies that no longer circulate and says 153 of these died of hyperinflation.

2) Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire by Arto Bendiken

Detailed history of Roman inflation.

3) Fiat Currency: Using the Past to See into the Future by Nick Jones at Daily Reckoning.

Looks at Rome, China, France, and Germany. Says China's paper money was called "flying money" was because "because it could just fly from your hands.". To clarify, people would spend hyperinflating paper money as fast as they got it and hold onto silver coins.

4) Fiat Money Inflation in France by Andrew Dickson White

Fantastic book (free online) with detailed history of a French hyperinflation.

5)  5 Failed Currencies And Why They Crashed by Investopedia

Looks at Germany, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Peru, and Chile.

Referenced but not located studies.

1)  " 775 fiat currencies by" but the domain does not work.  Wonder if someone has a copy.


  1. Hi Vincent. That's funny! The author credited you eh?

    Also, I don't know if you every noticed that Jason answered your last question here.

  2. Noah Smith looks at hyperinflation:
    But if your pseudonym is "Vincent Cook" then you already know that. :D

  3. Thanks. Nope, Vincent Cook is not my pseudonym. :-) I commented on Noah's thing but my comment is awaiting approval. I put in 4 links and they may have tripped something...

  4. Hi Vincent, what do you think about the Yens latest strengthening?

    1. My theory is that it is due to many investors doing the paired trade of long Nikkei and short Yen. When the Nikkei goes down many investors are getting out of the trade, both sides. This means that when the Nikkei is going down the Yen usually goes up, for now. I still think eventually the Yen will go down.

  5. Hi Vincent,
    you can find the via Wayback Machine, the internet’s archive:

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