From 1971, when President Richard Nixon's administration decided to take the dollar off the gold standard, economic growth in the Western world has been spurred by a massive increase in credit, according to von Greyerz.
The US debt increased from $9 trillion in 1971 to $59 trillion currently, while nominal gross domestic produce rose only from $1.1 trillion to $14.5 trillion in the same period, according to aresearch paper written by von Greyerz.
"The wealth that has been created in the last 40 years is not due to good times. The good times were created by credit creation," he said.
In 2008 and 2009, after the beginning of the world financial crisis, governments worldwide issued or guaranteed a total of about $20 trillion, von Greyerz estimated.
This gave a temporary boost to stock markets but "none of the problems in the banking systems have been solved, the toxic assets are still there, derivatives are still there," he said.
This burst determined by cash injections "had no effect on ordinary people," as 8 million became unemployed in the US and government deficits went up all over the world, von Greyerz added.
But central banks are going to keep resorting to printing money, causing hyperinflation, because the alternative will be a deflationary collapse in which debts owed to banks will not be paid, he said.