Posted Feb 26, 2013 by Martin Armstrong
Throughout history there has been countless two-tier monetary systems as well as local currencies emerge when there have been shortages. Pictured here is an Indian imitation of a Roman gold Aureus of Septimus Severus (193-211AD). This is not a counterfeit for it actually was gold and it weighed more than the real thing. This is an example of local currency that has historically appeared during shortages. This is a repeating human response when commerce is curtailed because of a lack of money.
Here is what has been known as Depression Scrip from the United States. While hyperinflation takes place in revolutionary governments for they lack any resources and capital remains in hiding as it is hoarded, in a major economy with a bond market governments cannot hyperinflate and STILL expect to sell bonds. They normally turn against the people hunting down anyone with capital they can confiscate. This produces a collapse in the VELOCITY of money and suddenly a shortage appears that is filled with local currency.
Much of the real monetary history has been masked with propaganda. Take Henry VIII (1509-1563). The image is he broke away from the Catholic Church because it was corrupt and he wanted to divorce. Well the Pope was threatened by the Holy Roman Emperor with imprisonment if he granted Henry a divorce since it was his family member who was married to Henry. Then, Henry VIII was in dire financial condition and he embarked on a massive debasement campaign. He revalued gold 10% higher in 1536 and then raised it again by 20% in 1544. Yes he broke away from the Catholic Church and then confiscated all its land and wealth, which was collateral damage?
Fiscal irresponsibility is systemic throughout history. There have been countless deflations, debasements, inflations, various monetary systems using one form of currency for domestic use and another for international trade. It is a fascinating historical account that leaves us many options for the future.