…Calls It Purely “A Fiscal Phenomenon”
‘Ultimately, hyperinflation is a fiscal phenomenon; that is, hyperinflation results from unsustainable fiscal deficits. Peter Bernholz notes that historically, cases of hyperinflation have been preceded by the central bank monetizing a significant proportion of the government deficit. After investigating 29 hyperinflationary episodes, 28 of which happened in the 20th century, Bernholz writes: “We draw the conclusion that the creation of money to finance a public budget deficit has been the reason for hyperinflation.”
When government deficits become unsustainable, austerity is often the first reaction. Austerity is deflationary, recessionary, and painful. If the austerity necessary to balance the budget is deemed to be too painful, a government can either choose to default or to inflate the currency.
If the country concerned has its own currency, it will usually choose to inflate it. If government finances do not improve sufficiently, confidence in the currency may evaporate at some point and hyperinflation may arise. Hyperinflation is more closely related to deflation than to “normal” high inflation, as hyperinflation can be viewed as the result of a failed attempt at printing money to avoid the deflation that would be caused by austerity.’