Debasement

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Debasement

The act of lowering the value of something, especially a coin. In the past, a government would melt coins down and mix them with a metal of lower value in order to create more coins of the same denomination. This inevitably caused inflation, though it is unclear how well these governments understood that. Because few currencies are now based on a precious metal, debasement it rare.
References in periodicals archive ?
Befuddled by years of monetary-policy ineptitude and the seeming failure of drastic fiscal measures to stimulate economic activity, the Roosevelt administration turned to the treacherous financial alchemy of debasement in a desperate attempt to "reflate" the economy.
A recurrent theme in monetary history is the debasement of currency by the monetary authority.
3% debasement of the gold weight of the dollar, to 23.
The debasement of 1585-86 is also analyzed in the context of those fiscal difficulties.
The scrapping of debasement tactics represented a commitment to pure coinage whereby the state could claim a natural and immediate relation between face value and intrinsic worth.
13 The great debasement commonly describes a long-term policy inaugurated by Henry VIII lasting over a period from 1526 to 1551 rather than a single act of legislation.