Government

The Friday Podcast: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

Images of the new noted of the Brazilian
AFP

On today's Planet Money:

Brazil is booming, but for most of the 20th century it was an economic mess.

For a while, inflation was so high that grocery stores were raising their prices every day. Shoppers would run ahead of the guy changing the price tags, so they could pay the previous day's price.

A series of leaders tried and failed to stop inflation. One guy instituted a price freeze. Another froze peoples' bank accounts. None of it worked.

Then, the government brought in in four economists who had been talking to each other for years about how to fix Brazil's inflation problem. Their solution: Create a currency that doesn't exist. No coins, no bills.

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