How to Profit from the Coming Hyperinflation

Description

264 pages
$19.95
ISBN 0-458-98220-2

Year

1984

Contributor

Reviewed by Robert B. Shortly

Robert B. Shortly was a chartered accountant in Toronto.

Review

Another “how to” book, which, like all the others, can be summed up by the old economic saying, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” The reader who thinks the magic road to wealth lies in buying books such as this will find once again such nice abstract suggestions as “determine how strong [your] position is and what [your] chances are of having an increasing income over the next twenty or twenty-five years” or “[you] must examine [your] methods of investing” or “cultivate a hobby or skill which can be turned into a profitable small business venture” or “diversify in a strong foreign currency” and so on. As to what hobby, what currency, there are no specifics.

But if one can avoid the “How to Profit” hook in the title, the book describes a very interesting scenario, a scenario that looks at five countries which have hyperinflation — Italy, Israel, Argentina, Spain, and Mexico. One of the authors spent 52 days travelling through these countries; his countless interviews and his personal observations provide a fascinating picture of how people actually live in hyperinflation. Their pragmatic strategies become apparent (bartering, untaxed second income, black market dealings, obtaining basic possessions such as a house and car). Obviously the authors cannot explicitly condone all of the behaviour that prevails in these counties, but by describing it in such candid detail, they suggest that the same scenario could become a way of life in Canada, in that they believe hyperinflation is inevitable here. They offer some suggestions as to how to avoid it, but, as these are politically sensitive, they doubt their implementation. If you can avoid being taken in by the hype (no pun intended) of the jacket cover and inside flap, and focus on the descriptions within the book, you will find a “how to” book with an interesting and perhaps useful theme to ponder. It just may happen.

Citation

Zimmer, Henry B., and Dave Greber, “How to Profit from the Coming Hyperinflation,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/36782.