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October 03, 2012

Iranians Protest As Hyperinflation Begins

Sanctions are driving down the value of their currency.

The rial’s death spiral is wiping out the currency’s purchasing power. In consequence, Iran is now experiencing a devastating increase in prices – hyperinflation. As Nicholas Krus and I document in our recent Cato Working Paper, World Hyperinflations, there have been 57 documented cases of hyperinflation in history, the most recent of which was North Korea’s 2009-11 hyperinflation. That said, North Korea’s hyperinflation did not come close to the magnitudes reached in the recent, second-highest hyperinflation in the world, that of Zimbabwe, in 2008, nor has Iran’s hyperinflation – at least not yet.

This is spurring some light rioting.

Clashes and at least one spontaneous protest erupted in Tehran on Wednesday over the plunging value of Iran’s currency, as black-market money-changers fought with riot police who were dispatched to shut them down, and hundreds of angry citizens demonstrated near the capital’s sprawling merchant bazaar, where many shops had closed for the day. The official media reported an unspecified number of arrests including two Europeans.

...

“They spend billions of dollars to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, but now they say they have no money!,” one garment seller screamed as he was cheered on by others, witnesses reported.


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posted by Ace at 08:05 PM

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