Jeff Clark, Senior Precious Metals Analyst
SEP 15, 2017
You may not know how old your national currency is, or even know what the word “fiat” means, but the following pictorial will tell you what’s happened to all of them.
No fiat currency has lasted forever. Eventually, they all fail.
That’s the message from Mike Maloney in the first installment of his band new video series, The Top 10 Reasons I Buy Gold and Silver. We’re counting down his Reasons, and #10 is that “all the world’s currencies are fiat, and fiat currencies always fail.”
The word “fiat” sounds obscure, even mystical, but it’s actually simple. Fiat is Latin for “let it be done,” or “it shall be.” Apply that definition to money and it simply means that the currency we use is “money” because a government says it’s money. The dollar bill in your wallet is money by government decree.
Have all fiat currencies really failed?
I began to look through history to provide documentation of Mike’s claim. But I ran into a problem: there were too many to include in an article!
So I thought I’d look at just those that went bust since the beginning of the 20th century. There were still too many.
So I looked at just those since I was born in 1958. You guessed it, still too many.
I decided to cut it off at 1975, the year gold was made legal to own again in the US. I still found 17 of them—and that’s not even a comprehensive figure.
As you glance through the pictures, keep in mind that every single one of these currencies is now worthless. They’ve all gone bust, whether they got there quickly or took a century or more. And they’re not all from third world countries, either.
How can this possibly be? As Mike explains, a fiat currency relies on faith—and if it’s not backed by anything (like gold), leaders eventually succumb to the temptation to create more and more currency to solve their financial problems. And that dilution has always and inevitably led to extinction.
The scary part? For first time in recorded history, all of today’s currencies are fiat.
That’s why Mike believes that before the end of this decade, an economic crisis will hit that will eclipse the Great Depression and 1929 stock market crash.
Yes, bad things will happen soon—but it could be best thing that happens to you if you own gold and silver. Keep that in mind as you look at all the currencies that have gone bust since 1975…
Chilean peso, 1975
Bolivian peso bolivianos, 1985
Argentinian peso, 1985
Peruvian intis, 1989
Nicaraguan córdobas, 1990
Zaire zaires, 1992
Russian ruble, 1992
Yugoslavian dinar, 1993
Brazilian cruzeiro reais, 1993
Bosnian dinar, 1993
Georgian laris, 1994
Angolan kwanza reajustado, 1995
Ukrainian karbovantsiv, 1995
Turkish lira, 1997
Romanian lei, 2001
Venezuelan bolívare, 2002
Zimbabwe dollar, 2006
And here are a few examples of fiat currencies from earlier in history that have gone bust. Again you see that these are not all from third world countries…
Central Bank of China CGU, 1947
Hungarian pengo, 1945
Greek drachma, 1943
German mark, 1923
French livre, 1793
All told, since the year 1500, a whopping 617 fiat currencies have gone poof! About a quarter of those was due to hyperinflation.
History has a clear message for us: all fiat currencies eventually go to zero!
With the US dollar backed by nothing, debt piling higher every month, all managed by central bankers and politicians that haven’t learned anything from history, it’s up to us to protect our assets with the one currency that can’t be debased, devalued, or destroyed. Any excuse you make now will be meaningless and irrelevant when the next crash occurs.
Mike has nine more Reasons he buys gold and silver. We’ll be releasing them over the next two weeks, so subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive them!