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As a result of hyperinflation, there were news accounts of individuals suffering from a compulsion called zero stroke, a condition where the person has a "desire to write endless rows of [zeros] and engage in computations more involved than the most difficult problems in logarithms."
You know, considering that hyperinflation ended in 1923, I am finding the folk-history causal connection between hyperinflation and invading Poland more tenuous by the day.
When the new currency, the Rentenmark, replaced the worthless Reichsbank marks on November 16, 1923 and 12 zeros were cut from prices, prices in the new currency remained stable. The German people regarded this stable currency as a miracle because they had heard such claims of stability before with the Notgeld (emergency money) that rapidly devalued as an additional source of inflation. The usual explanation was that the Rentenmarks were issued in a fixed amount and were backed by hard assets such as agricultural land and industrial assets, but what happened was more complex than that, as summarized in the following description.

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After November 12, 1923, when Hjalmar Schacht became currency commissioner, the Reichsbank, the old central bank, was not allowed to discount any further government Treasury bills, which meant the corresponding issue of paper marks also ceased. Discounting of commercial trade bills was allowed and the amount of Rentenmarks expanded, but the issue was strictly controlled to conform to current commercial and government transactions. The new Rentenbank refused credit to the government and to speculators who were not able to borrow Rentenmarks, because Rentenmarks were not legal tender. When Reichsbank president Rudolf Havenstein died on November 20, 1923, Schacht was appointed president of the Reichsbank.

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Eventually, some debts were reinstated to partially compensate those who had been creditors. A decree of 1925 reinstated some mortgages at 25% of face value in the new Reichsmark (effectively 25,000,000,000 times their value in old marks) if they had been held 5 years or more. Similarly some government bonds were reinstated at 2-1/2% of face - to be paid after reparations were paid.  Mortgage debt was reinstated at much higher percentages than government bonds. Reinstatement of some debts, combined with a resumption of effective taxation in a still-devastated economy, triggered a wave of corporate bankruptcies.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 5th, 2011 at 10:13:42 AM EST
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