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In Zimbabwe, where money has been reduced to worthless paper due to hyperinflation, citizens are forced to panning for gold to pay for bread to stave off hunger.

Hyperinflation is an economic phenomenon, the root of which can be complex–but generally blamed on an increase in money supply, which consequently reduces the value of the money in stock. In Zimbabwe, as of 2008, the inflation rate is estimated at 516,000,000,000,000,000,000% (516 quintillion).

The sordid history of how great increases in money supply led to hyperinflation is chronicled in the wiki entry for Hyperinflation In Zimbabwe, which started with the government printing new currency to pay off international debts in 2006.

We previously featured Glenn Beck’s hockey stick presentation of potential US inflation. Are the US and European bailouts simply another Zimbabwe?

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