George Soros is a billionaire, businessman, philanthropist. As an economist he should know what hyperinflation is. He knows the subject even better because he survived and even made some money as a teenager trading during the greatest hyperinflation of all the times – the one in Hungary 1945-1946.

Hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or “out of control”. The prices increase rapidly as a currency loses its value.

The first hyperinflation I remember was 1992 – the year of post-Soviet economy – inflation was 2,520%. My parents who worked years in the USSR lost the value of their lifesaving which were in rubles. The money they saved for a bigger apartment was enough for them to buy a VCR – a recording one.

Coincidentally 1992 was the year George Soros got really rich.

Officially he made his billions following the crisis of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism of September 1992, when the Bank of England was forced to abandon efforts to stabilize the pound sterling. Soros emerged from the mess to announce that he had personally made over $1 billion in speculation against the British pound.

In his bio Soros likes to brag about his role in support of the decedents that fought communism in Eastern Europe.

Soros also distributed funds to the underground Solidarity movement in Poland, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet physicist-dissident Andrei Sakharov. In 1982, Soros named his philanthropic organization the Open Society Fund, in honor of Karl Popper, and began granting scholarships to students from Eastern Europe.

Poland went through four digit hyperinflation between 1989 and 1991 while Solidarity was coming in power.

Things tend to come out of control when regimes transition and when societies undergo fundamental transformations. In the hype of the change people who have inside information have opportunities to make good money. One way to get inside information is to grant some poor but smart people a good education. They come back in their counties and take sweet and powerful positions. Soros’s scholarship grants program was something like an affirmative action for the communist Eastern Europe. Very few had a chance for a western education at the time. At the end of communism Soros had quite a few well educated friends in Eastern Europe.

The second hyperinflation I survived was in 1997 in my native Bulgaria. It was over 300% inflation. My boss was generous and gave us raises every two weeks. I would take the money and buy US dollars immediately before the paper in my hands becomes worthless. By the end of the hyperinflation Bulgaria was on the verge to become a country in which everybody is a millionaire, but the government printed new money and took the zeros away. I was very close to be a hyperinflation millionaire – a slum dog one. A currency board was established that pegged the Bulgarian currency to the Deutsche Mark (and consequently to the euro).

At the time Soros was meddling into the monetary market in Russia. And as the Eastern Europe was becoming more independent George Soros was looking for other places where fundamental transformations were about to occur. In 1997 he established his headquarters in South Africa – just in time for another decedent on Soros’s philanthropic support to be inaugurated for president – Nelson Mandela.

Soros’s Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa expanded into 10 countries in the region including… Zimbabwe where the second worst hyperinflation in the history recently took place. You can buy the Zimbabwe One Hundred Trillion Dollars banknote – in uncirculated condition on E-bay for $2.99 here.

To make money in hyperinflation you really need inside info and good connections. You can, for example, have lots of debt in a currency that is going down and quickly pay the devalued debt with the currency that is stable. But you got to know where when and what to trade. And those who know these answers are probably billionaires. God bless them! I simply keep some dry food and emergency supplies… just in case some fundamental transformation comes my way.