‘On 20 June 1948 the Americans allowed Ludwig Erhard to cut this Gordian knot with the most extraordinary move in modern economic history. Personal savers with 1,000 Reichsmarks woke up with only 65 Deutschmarks. The government was virtually freed of all debt. But the Porsches, Krupps and Quandts, who had built up vast but useless Reichsmark profit balances… were allowed simply to cross out the word ‘Reichsmarks’ in their accounts and replace it with ‘Deutschmarks’.
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