The first D-Mark notes were printed by US based Bureau of Engraving and Printing..

Interesting speech by Mr Burkhard Balz, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank. The speech is about US-Germany relations.

Your decision to invite me, a representative from the Bundesbank, to speak on this topic today is particularly fitting. That is because the Bundesbank has been nurturing major transatlantic relations from day one.

To be precise, the very creation of the Deutsche Bundesbank – or should I say, that of its predecessor, the Bank Deutscher Länder – is very much tied up with an American, and British, project: the currency reform in 1948.

The Allies deemed this reform necessary in order to combat the steady depreciation of the German currency. To put the project into practice, it was also necessary to create the right German institutions.

But the Americans’ support didn’t end there. Would you believe that the first Deutsche Mark banknotes were designed and printed in the United States?

Take a look at one of these original Deutsche Mark notes and you will quickly see the signature style of the responsible Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the similarity to US dollar notes. So the Bundesbank – and its predecessor, the Bank deutscher Länder – enjoy close and amicable relations with the Federal Reserve System that go back a long way.

For one thing, there is the quasi-institutionalised cooperation at the international level which came into being when the Deutsche Mark was pegged to the US dollar as part of the Bretton Woods monetary system.

Nowadays, the Federal Reserve and the Bundesbank meet at regular intervals to share their views, such as within the G 20 framework or at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel.

And for another thing, the Bundesbank has been a fixture at the New York financial centre since back in 1963, and it has had its own representative office there since 1986. You see, the United States and the New York financial centre were becoming increasingly important for the Bundesbank’s operations. We do, after all, hold a great deal of our reserve assets in US dollars.



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