Notgeld

DEFINITION of 'Notgeld'

A German term that means "emergency money." Notgeld denotes a form of quasi-currency that is issued by a body other than a central bank - which is generally the only official issuer of a nation's currency - and therefore, is not legal tender. The term is widely used to describe such emergency money following its best-known example, the colossal amount of notgeld paper money printed in Germany during the period of hyperinflation after World War I.

BREAKING DOWN 'Notgeld'

While notgeld is most commonly issued in the form of paper money, it has also been issued in other forms such as coins and stamps. Notgeld was printed in abundance and in a variety of styles in Germany after World War I, with 36,000 different types of notes issued by over 3,500 towns, cities and firms. With an estimated total face value of over 500 trillion marks printed in Germany, most notgelds had very little intrinsic monetary value.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Legal Tender

    Any official medium of payment recognized by law that can be ...
  2. Hyperinflation

    Extremely rapid or out of control inflation. There is no precise ...
  3. Lawful Money

    Any form of currency issued by the United States Treasury and ...
  4. Paper Money

    A country's official, paper currency that is circulated for transaction-related ...
  5. Money

    An officially-issued legal tender generally consisting of currency ...
  6. Inflation

    The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    An Introduction To Hyperinflation

    Hyperinflation isn't some historical curiosity. It is a very real risk that countries and governments still struggle with today.
  2. Markets

    Understanding Hyperinflation

    Hyperinflation is an economic term describing rapid, uncontrolled price increases.
  3. Trading

    The History Of Money: Currency Wars

    Find out how conflicts have changed the role money plays in our lives.
  4. Markets

    Is The EU Holding Germany Back?

    As Germany agrees to initiate bailout talks with Greece once again, could all of the EU's economic turmoil result in Germany being better off alone?
  5. Markets

    Why Didn't Quantitative Easing Lead to Hyperinflation?

    Hyperinflation is an exponential rise in prices and tends to occur not when countries print too much money, but is instead associated with a collapse in the real underlying economy.
  6. Markets

    Economic Conditions That Helped Cause World War II

    Dire economic conditions following the First World War intensified antagonisms between nations that would eventually lead to the outbreak of World War II.
  7. Managing Wealth

    Introduction To Commercial Paper

    Commercial paper is a short-term instrument that can be a viable alternative for retail fixed-income investors looking for a better rate of return on their money.
  8. Markets

    The German Economic Miracle

    After World War II, Germany was in ruins. Learn about the country's quick rise to the third strongest economy in the world.
  9. Markets

    How Currency Works

    Currency offers key advantages over economies based on direct trade. It provides sellers with a broader market for their goods and services, and provides a durable asset with which people can ...
  10. Markets

    Worst Hyperinflations in History

    Here are the three worst episodes of hyperinflation in history. Each makes Venezuela's current inflation crisis seem modest in comparison.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some historic examples of hyperinflation?

    Learn how skyrocketing prices can result in an economy spiraling into hyperinflation, as happened in Germany, Zimbabwe and ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the most common signs of impending hyperinflation?

    Learn why supply shocks in commodities such as oil and a rapidly expanding money supply are two potential signs of impending ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between fiat money and legal tender?

    Learn more about fiat currency and legal tender. Find out how these terms are used by economists to describe different types ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between hyperinflation and inflation?

    Learn the difference between inflation, which can be a normal part of economic fluctuation, and potentially economy-killing ... Read Answer >>
  5. Can a business ever be too small to issue commercial paper?

    See why market forces regulate the size of companies that issue commercial paper, even though there are no official regulations ... Read Answer >>
  6. Who decides when to print money in the US?

    Learn who decides to print money in the United States. Many people relate credit creation, which is the Fed's job, with printing ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  2. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  3. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  4. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
  5. Omnibus Account

    An account between two futures merchants (brokers). It involves the transaction of individual accounts which are combined ...
  6. Weighted Average Life - WAL

    The average number of years for which each dollar of unpaid principal on a loan or mortgage remains outstanding. Once calculated, ...
Trading Center