Economic Catastrophes 


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A Case of Inflation

I cannot find any good clips of the German Hyperinflation, but here are three clips showing hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. In the first Al Jazeera reports on Zimbabwe hyperinflation in its early stages (April 15, 2008), when people were still spending small bills of only a few million Zimbabwe dollars. Who is hurt by hyperinflation and why?

The second clip is from July 30, 2008. By this time the central bank had chopped many zeros off the currency but the reporter is still talking in terms of billions of Zimbabwe dollars.

By January 25, 2009 the Zimbabwe dollar finally collapsed and merchants were allowed to accept foreign currency.

A Case of Unemployment

There are a number of videos from the 1930s on youtube, and some are available in later sections of the text (for example, here, here, and here). Below are two popular songs from the early 1930s. The first is from 1933, "Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf." Obviously, the wolf is the Depression.

Here is a bit of backstory to the song.

Finally, one of the most popular songs of the 1930s was "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime." Many singers recorded it. Here is Bing Crosby, with pictures of the period added by whoever made this video for youtube.

There is additional information about this song on wikipedia at,_Can_You_Spare_a_Dime%3F.

What do each of these clips tell you about life during the Great Depression?

These links were checked on May 27, 2009.
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Copyright Robert Schenk