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Hyper Inflation - Some History

The pengõ (sometimes written as pengo or pengoe in English) was the currency of Hungary between 1 January 1927, when it replaced the korona, and 31 July 1946, when it was replaced by the forint. The pengõ was subdivided into 100 fillér. Although the introduction of the pengõ was part of a post-World War I stabilisation program, the currency survived only for 20 years and experienced the most serious hyperinflation ever recorded.
1 Discuss
  1. Inflation is generally considered to be bad for a countries economy. Why is that?
  2. Could you describe a situation where inflation turns out well for a particular individual because of his circumstances?
2 The Vanishing Mark - Non-defining relative clauses Read the text below quickly to find out
  1. the number of German marks which a dollar would buy at the end of 1923.
  2. the country which has had the worst inflation in recent times.
The text contains non-defining relative clauses. These are extra information, usually enclosed in commas, which can be removed from the text without changing the meaning. Read the text and decide which relative clause word is required for each gap.
Grammar focus: Refer to the grammar book if you need to check the rules.
Read the text again and complete each gap with one appropriate word, then click the green sound icon to listen and check your answers.

Hyperinflation in Germany

In the early 1920's, an inhabitant of Berlin went into a local cafe and ordered a coffee priced at 5,000 marks. By the time he had finished his coffee this unfortunate individual, (1) ____________ bill had risen by 60 per cent in just one hour, was asked to pay 8,000 marks. This collapse of the German currency is the world's most famous example of hyperinflation. At the height of the crisis, money was literally not worth the paper it was printed on. At the end of 1922, (2) ____________ the US dollar was valued at 18,000 marks, Germans thought inflation was bad. But by August 1923 a dollar would buy a million marks, and by November it was even worse, when its value was a staggering 130 thousand million.

In practice , all metal currency, (3) ____________ had disappeared from circulation, was being hoarded by ordinary people because the metal's value was far higher than the face value of the coin. So the government, (4) ____________ by this point was getting desperate, made coins of cheap porcelain instead, Eventually notes were printed on almost any material that was available - shoe leather, cloth, cardboard, even old newsprint.

The problems of living with hyperinflation were enormous. Workers, (5) ____________ were paid daily with large bundles of notes, were forced to spend their wages immediately. If they didn't they became virtually worthless, and shoppers were seen pushing heaps of money through the streets in wheelbarrows.

Although Germany presents the most famous inflation horror story, it is not the worst. That record belongs to Hungary, (6) ____________ there were bank notes in circulation in 1946 with a denomination of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo. However, then a new unit of currency was introduced called the forint, (7) ____________ was valued at an astronomical 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo.
3 Which of the sentences below is grammatically correct? Where both in a pair are correct, what is the difference in meaning?
    1. My brother, who is a solicitor, lives in Glasgow,
    2. My brother who is a solicitor lives in Glasgow.
    1. The man that owns this hotel, is married to my best friend.
    2. The man that owns this hotel is married to my best friend.
    1. The thief got in through the window which had been left open,
    2. The thief got in through the window, which had been left open.
    1. The students, who got very good marks, were allowed to go home,
    2. The students who got very good marks were allowed to go home.
    1. Why don't you tell me which evening is best for you?
    2. Why don't you tell me, which evening is best for you?
    1. The Eiffel Tower which was built in 1889 was the tallest building of its time.
    2. The Eiffel Tower, which was built in 1889, was the tallest building of its time.
4 Make questions to ask another student. Each question must contain a relative pronoun introducing a relative clause. EXAMPLE: What's the name of the American city where there was an earthquake in 1906? (San Francisco)

Stacks of cash, but is it enough?

inflation inflation

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