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A Return to Hard Currency in Post-World War II Germany and France under DeGaulle

“Now (a return to the gold standard) has been attempted in modern times by several people; for example, it was attempted by Ludwig Ehrhard and Konrad Adenauer in Germany after World War II with astonishing success. Germany went from a highly inflated currency, which was the old Reichsmark of the Hitler period (by 1947, it had slipped in value until it was worth about 1/600 of a dollar) to a very hard currency, the new Deutsche Mark, contrary to the advice given by the American and British economists who had been sent over to help the Germans. This was done to a certain extent at the instigation of the Genevan economist, Wilhelm Roepke, who was German by birth. It proved, as you know, a tremendous success, leading to what was called the Wirtchafts-wunder, the economic miracle of German post-war recovery.

Any description of what happened in the days of the economic reform in Germany in 1948 is extremely fascinating. Even on the day before the reform, secrecy was well kept. Overnight the old currency was abolished; everyone was given forty marks in the new currency to start with, and overnight the stores, which had been empty because no one was willing to sell the things which eh actually had in stock for the old currency at any price, suddenly became full again. People found that there were goods which could be sold, as long as it was know that they would get something in return

General DeGaulle, in the early days following his return to power in 1958, also made an attempt to re-establish a hard currency in France. Although French currency is not entirely hard, at the moment (1978), it is harder than American currency and certainly the subsequent economic recovery of France, which DeGaulle initiated, is due in large measure to the fact that he established a sounder currency.” (Emphases are mine.)

Harold O. J. Brown, "Before the Crash -- A Biblical Basis for Economics," Christian Studies Center, 1978, pages 14-15.


 

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