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The Economic Crisis of 1619 to 1623

Charles P. Kindleberger
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 149-175
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2123055
Page Count: 27
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The Economic Crisis of 1619 to 1623
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Abstract

Various states in the Holy Roman Empire prepared for the Thirty Years' War by creating new mints and debasing the subsidiary coinage. The process spread through Gresham's Law: bad money was taken by debasing states to their neighbors and exchanged for good. The neighbor typically defended itself by debasing its own coin. The resulting hyperinflation was terminated early in the war by an agreement to return to the Imperial Augsburg Ordinance of 1559. The Kipper- und Wipperzeit, as the period is called, illuminates the geographic spread of financial crises, German hyperinflations of this century, and current proposals for "free banking."

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