Hyperinflation is rampant inflation or inflation gone 'out of control'. It is a monetary effect owing itself either or to simultaneously large increases in the supply of money or increases in the velocity of money over short intervals. In prevailing theories of hyperinflation, the 'confidence model' suggests that monetary velocity or the frequency with which a particular bill or unit of currency changes hands in a specified time interval, spirals upwards rapidly when sellers demand a higher premium over and above the (nominal) value of that currency either due to: a) speculation that the issuing authority: the Central Reserve Bank will not remain solvent or b) due to consumers unwilling to hold on to notes they conceive will loose value rapidly or become valueless, primarily due to a cataclysmic event or series of events such as stock runs or losses in war. In the 'monetary model', hyperinflation results on account of a cyclical cumulative causative effect of a rapid increase in the volume of the circulating medium. Analogous to any other inflation, the issuing body prints more currency to bankroll fiscal deficits as a result of lax fiscal policy or other exigent circumstances. To match the policy of rapid currency expansion, prices are marked up by private entrepreneurs to cover the expected erosion in currency value. As a result, the Central Bank accelerates the rate at which it prints currency to cover the increase in prices. What results is a spiralling erosion in the value of the currency, or what we call 'hyperinflation'. 'Living standards', depending on how that is defined, may not necessarily decline in the interim in countries with sufficiently well established market economies during hyperinflation. Because real output, and therefore per capita real output, does not decline in well-entrenched economies until the very last, terminal stages of the economy (if indeed hyperinflation is allowed to proceed that far). The only thing that has changed is the nominal and real value of money (the ratio of money supply to price level), which, if economies are sufficiently well-established can be offset by intra-day loans, incomes policies, specie, and holding a currency based on assets loaned against by banks (as with the Rentenmark in pre-WW2 Deutschland). Though in countries making a transition from central to market-orientation, output does decrease drastically because state enterprises must roll back production drastically in order to mitigate financial losses. Hyperventilation is what your boy 'badguy2000' does when he sees an article remotely upbraiding of China. In other parts of the world, the two together is what'd be called a 'barb'.