There are discussions on the internet of a scheme by which the United States government could continue to function without raising the debt ceiling. This scheme boils down to the use of a loophole that would allow for a trillion dollar coin to be minted.

I'm curious what the effects of such an act would be, but I'd like something grounded in history. Has any government minted this much money at once before? I'm not asking for a 1:1 match here given the large amount of currency we're dealing with, just a significant amount of money. For example, one trillion dollars is between 1/3 and 1/4 of US Federal Spending in 2011, so if a country has minted currency on a similar scale as 1/4th of the government's total spending, that's acceptable.

1 Answer 1


Zimbabwe did it with their dollar 3 times. You can read about it on wikipedia

The Weimar Republic did it in the 1920's in an attempt to avoid war reperations

Hungary did it in 1946

Wikipedia has a list of other times it was done here.

  • Of course, the first two cases ended up with archetypal examples of hyperinflation
    – user4012
    Jan 9, 2013 at 20:33
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    @DVK - Well actually they all did... but I am sure it will be different this time. After all doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is just fine... Jan 9, 2013 at 20:36
  • Chad, yes, but persons never do anything over and over again, although people all over the world go through remarkable things. I am certain you too have been through; +1, without hiding @DVK is right, though.
    – user271
    Jan 9, 2013 at 20:48
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    Could you add some math that shows how much money was minted in one of these examples to show it meets the criteria I put in my question? Reading the links, they make mention of various large numbers of currency, but without any measuring stick it's hard to tell how ridiculous these amounts are.
    – Keen
    Jan 9, 2013 at 21:09
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    @Chad Not sure what that has to do with my request for more detail...
    – Keen
    Jan 9, 2013 at 21:22

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