What Was "Mickey Mouse Money" in the Philippines?


Quick Answer

During World War II, Southern Development Bank Notes, a Japanese fiat currency used to replace Filipino money, were referred to as "Mickey Mouse money." The invading Japanese declared all earlier Philippines currency worthless and required the inhabitants to trade it in for their notes.

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Full Answer

Filipinos, like others in Japanese-occupied lands, were contemptuous toward the new currency, believing it to be worthless. Over the course of the war, it decreased in value as the Japanese printed more in order to fund war efforts. At the same time, the United States printed counterfeit notes, often using them as propaganda leaflets, and Filipino guerrilla fighters printed their own currency. By the end of the war, even a small transaction often required a wheelbarrow of notes.

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