When Money Dies

  • by Adam Fergusson
  • Narrated by Antony Ferguson
  • 9 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Money Dies is the classic history of what happens when a nation's currency depreciates beyond recovery. In 1923, with its currency effectively worthless (the exchange rate in December of that year was one dollar to 4,200,000,000,000 marks), the German republic was all but reduced to a barter economy.
Expensive cigars, artworks, and jewels were routinely exchanged for staples such as bread; a cinema ticket could be bought for a lump of coal; and a bottle of paraffin for a silk shirt. People watched helplessly as their life savings disappeared and their loved ones starved. Germany's finances descended into chaos, with severe social unrest in its wake.
Money may no longer be physically printed and distributed in the voluminous quantities of 1923. However, quantitative easing, that modern euphemism for surreptitious deficit financing in an electronic era, can no less become an assault on monetary discipline. Whatever the reason for a country's deficit - necessity or profligacy, unwillingness to tax, or blindness to expenditure - it is beguiling to suppose that if the day of reckoning is postponed economic recovery will come in time to prevent higher unemployment or deeper recession. What if it does not? Germany in 1923 provides a vivid, compelling, sobering moral tale.


What the Critics Say

“Engrossing and sobering.” (Daily Express, London)
“One of the most blood chilling economics books I’ve ever read.” (Allen Mattich, The Wall Street Journal)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This book enlightened me on many shades of the hyperinflation in Germany, both before WWI, after, and leading up to WWII. The narrator, though not so spirited, does a decent job. I think if you're not already interested in the subject, this would bore you though. It's packed with information.
Read full review

- Parola138


This book did have its interesting tidbits and the narrator is fine, so I didn't feel I wasted a credit or anything. But due to this being such a fascinating subject, I was rather disappointed. the writer wrote it like a boring history text and left me with more question then he answered. I hope I can find other books on this subject.
Read full review

- John

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios