German Monetary Mythology

By World on The Run

Handelsblatt – We have all seen those grainy photographs: Wheelbarrows filled to the brim with cash. Kids building small castles with wads of banknotes. To this day, the hyperinflation of 1922-3 plays a powerful role in Germany’s story of itself, and that of its central bank, the Bundesbank, which turns 60 this Tuesday. But much in this story is myth.

To be sure, the German hyperinflation really was a traumatic experience. Savings became worthless overnight. And the episode helped to discredit…


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