Trade in Times of Hyperinflation

A useful skill can help feed your family

I feel strongly that we will soon enter a period of high inflation.  All the signs are there and our government continues to print money.  How it will affect us depends on the rate of inflation.  There are several historic examples that we can consider.

If we have massive inflation like the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920’s or in Argentina during the 1990’s, the dollar will become worthless.  In the Weimar Republic, the value of the Papiermark declined from 4.2 per US dollar at the outbreak of World War I in 1914 to 1 million per dollar by August 1923.

In 1989, after years of massive budget deficits, Argentina was left with so much debt that no one was willing to lend it any more money.  The leaders then resorted to the printing press, which resulted in hyperinflation.

In Argentina, the items in the grocery stores did not have prices on them.  A man with a microphone would announce the prices of various items at irregular intervals.  The price often increased every few hours by 30% or more.  Workers would rush to cash their paychecks and buy something, because by the end of the week their pay would be worthless.  This resulted in empty shelves.  The US dollar was king, and with it, you could purchase things at amazing prices.

In 2009, Argentina inflation was still at 18%.  They ranked third in the IMF inflation list.  The Congo was at the top with 31.2%, followed by President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela with 28%.

What will you do after hyperinflation, economic collapse, or EMP attack?  How will your family fare if $500.00 cash will not buy you a loaf of bread?  Now this does not mean that all trade will stop, you will just use different currency.  Business will be conducted in hard money, hard money (gold and silver) or food.

For example in Argentina, swap meets popped up all over the place.  Trading became an art form.  Food, clothing, tools, weapons, gold, silver, and any other useful items replaced currency.  Local entrepreneurs who charged for sales space organized the swap meets.  They also provided protection, often hiring off duty police officers.

This is something you should take into consideration.  If you  have a skill or tradable products you will be able to negotiate for items that you need.  If you have a good stock of food and other necessary supplies, you may want to think about acquiring some junk silver.  I am defining junk silver as silver U.S. coins made before 1965.  These can often be purchased in small amounts at coin and pawnshops, for cash.  This does not leave a record of your purchases.

The big reason I like the coins is that they are easily recognizable, are very hard to counterfeit and have a known value.  Just be sure and get your food first.


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6 Responses to Trade in Times of Hyperinflation

  1. David says:

    I was just thinking about barter this morning and something I saw in my travels. When arriving in a new town by train, there were sometimes guys offering to find us hotels, a day taxi, give guided tours, etc for a fee. Sometimes they would have a pocket sized notebook with testimonials written by former clients that the hustler was honest, helped them find interesting stuff they wouldn’t have otherwise and the like. All kinds of different languages and handwriting tended to indicate authenticity, we also looked for pages ripped out (there weren’t). This might be a good idea for trading with people you don’t know, have a notebook with people you’ve traded with in the past that it was a fair trade. Even in a local area there are people you don’t know but your potential customer might.
    Spiral notebooks are not so good for this type of thing because of the ease of tearing out bad reviews, but on any notebook, numbering the pages in advance all they way to the end can help.

  2. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    For right now I can’t worry about “things” to barter. It’s all I can do just to maintain and keep myself supplied.
    When I get extra funds IMO it’s more important to use it to train or buy items I can’t otherwise. To me this takes a much higher precedence than obtaining items that someone else “might” want that I won’t need. I won’t do ammo because they may kill me with it. I won’t do alcohol because people are stupid and become more so with it.
    I totally agree with you that more barter is done with skill in 3rd world holes I’ve been in than items anyway. You get mechanic work for doctoring, you get your garden tilled for lodging, you get sewing for building a fence and you get some food items for some work sometimes. In many of these cases the people know each other and have established relationships of at least neighbors or co-workers. They are not the ones wandering the wasteland and showing up at the door “looking for the job pulling security”, like in the popular fiction books, because no one on their right mind is going to have that much trust.
    Also pre 65 nickels offer no silver and there is a ton of fake gold/silver coins and bars going around right now. Not only that, I’m a common man and I have no idea what a little bar of gold is worth for eggs, carrots or something along those lines. You mention the American dollar in Argentina being used perhaps we will be using the Yen then!?! Realistic but sad food for thought.
    The swap meets are also where this barter/trade needs to happen, never do it at your place if possible. There might be exceptions like blacksmiths or dentistry where shop is just to hard to move around sometimes.

  3. admin says:

    You are right I forgot to mention most pre 1965 nickels have no silver value. Stay with dimes, quarter, half dollars and dollars. The reason I like the silver U.S. coins is that most of them are not worth enough to go to the trouble of counterfeiting. I avoid most gold and bullion for the reason you stated, too hard to place a value on.

    I agree with you on liquor and ammo, the last thing I would want would be a drunk shooting at me with ammo he just got in trade.

  4. NM Patriot says:

    It sounds to me like you just regurgitated old FerFal posts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not necessary

    • Matt in Oklahoma says:

      ” NM Patriot says: January 28, 2013 at 5:02 am It sounds to me like you just regurgitated old FerFal posts.”
      Perhaps there are things that are the same however it doesnt make it wrong and there are also an equal number of statements in this blurp that have nothing to do with him as current events are mentioned. There is little that can be said about Argentina that wouldnt have been covered by him as he has made a living speaking, writing and becoming a SME on that collapse. The message is still relevant and much needed and this is an open discussion among adults.

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