UBS Issues Hyperinflation Warning For US And UK

HJ: As the days go by, the collapse of the old monetary system continues.  Now we are seeing increased warnings and foreshadowings from some of the worlds largest financial institutions.  Whether it is legitimate or has a hidden agenda (likely a combination of the two), is up for debate.  None the less it signals a major shift from the former practice of pretending everything is ‘ok’ when, in fact, it is obvious that is not. – Truth

By Tyler Durden on 07/18/2012 14:22 -0400

Supposedly warnings about the latent inflationary threat posed by simply ridiculous non-financial debt levels (as presented most recently here yesterday), not to mention financial debt (which as MF Global’s rehypothecated implosion demonstrated so vividly can be any number between minus and plus infinity, thank you London “regulators”) from the blogosphere can be ignored ($15 trillion melting ice cube that is shadow banking which also doubles as the best inflationary buffer known to man, notwithstanding). After all, what does the blogosphere know: remember, Libor has been repeatedly proven to not be manipulated, as the mainstream media so strenly claimed year after year after year until it had no choice but to do a 180 and pretend its advertiser paid for lies in the past 3 years never existed. But when these same warnings emanate from the “very serious people” at UBS, economists with a Ph.D. at that, it may be a little more difficult to dismiss them. So here it is: “Hyperinflation Revisited”from Caesar Lack, PhDeconomist.

From UBS, highlights ours.

Global Risk Watch: Hyperinflation Revisited

Hyperinflation: Paper money only has a value because of the confidence that the money can be exchanged for a certain quantity of goods or services in the future. If this confidence is eroded, hyperinflation becomes a threat. If holders of cash start to question the future purchasing power of the currency and switch into real assets, asset prices start to rise and the purchasing power of money starts to fall. Other cash holders may realize the falling purchasing power of their money and join the exit from paper into real assets. When this self-reinforcing cycle turns into a panic, we have hyperinflation. The classic examples of hyperinflation are Germany in the 1920s, Hungary after the Second World War, and Zimbabwe, where hyperinflation ended in 2009. Indeed, hyperinflation is not that rare at all. Economist Peter Bernholz has identified no fewer than 28 cases of hyperinflation in the 20th century.

Our monthly global inflation barometer tracks the risks to our global inflation outlook as part of our “Global risk watch” series. Apart from deflation and high inflation, we identify hyperinflation as a third risk to our view of moderate global inflation rates. We currently see it as very unlikely that any of these three risk scenarios will materialize over the next 12 months, i.e. we estimate their probability at below 10%. However, given the devastating effects hyperinflation would have, we want to explore the risk of hyperinflation in more detail.