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Friday, February 25, 2005

Who Is Ludwig Erhard?
Yesterday I commented on how much I enjoy hearing the little-known stories of history ... etc. (see Bratislava post below). Well, funny thing, here's another. And, coincidentally, it comes from another Impromptus by J-Nord. Jay is talking about a New York Sun editorial about Ahmed Chalabi. In the process we learn about Ludwig Erhard.
His reference was to the great West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, who some would argue did more, by setting the stage for free-market policies in free Germany, than any other man of his time to ensure the triumph of his country in the great contest with communist-controlled East Germany. He did this when West Germany was flat on its back, its stores barren of goods, and its people falling into fights over single potatoes. In 1948, he withdrew the old fiat currency and issued a new hard currency called the deutsche mark. Overnight - meaning within hours - his nation's economy sprang to life. It set the stage for Erhard's accession as chancellor 15 years later and ultimately, given the importance of Germany in the heart of Europe, for the West's victory in the Cold War.
"Within hours"! I love it. Well, that's the story on Ludwig. But there's more to read - about Chalabi, and Condi. Go see it!

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