Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 528

On the mend?

11 March 2011 / Issue 528

The truth about the US recovery


  • The Fed's disastrous experiment
  • How to profit from the soaring oil price
  • Does China face an Egypt-style revolution?


When money dies

I saw Adam Fergusson, author of When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Weimar Hyper-Inflation, earlier this week. I last saw him at Christmas, and given the state of Libya, I asked if he was getting more or less nervous about inflation. “More,” he said. He is also beginning to see sales of his book as a canary in the coal mine.

Before Ben Bernanke launched his great experiment with the world’s reserve currency there wasn’t much interest in Adam’s book, which was first published in the 1970s. But within months of the launch of quantitative easing (QE), old copies were changing hands for hundreds of dollars. The book was republished and has sold well ever since. Then last week, when things began to get really nasty in Libya, sales leapt: Adam sold more than 1,000 copies in a week, prompting a note from his publisher asking if he’d been doing any extra publicity. He hadn’t.

We agreed that everyone knows how this debt juggling and money-printing crisis will end. Everyone knows that the US Federal Reserve is not, as James Mackintosh puts it in the Financial Times, “immune from the laws of supply and demand”…

• Read the full editor’s letter here: When money dies

Follow Merryn on Twitter