W.R. HAMMONS .COM. THE MAN. THE LEGEND. THE WEBSITE.
“As Minister of Economics, it is your job to find ways, creative ways, as I’m sure it will be necessary, to finance a, for now, clandestine rearmament of Germany.”
“Yes, mein Führer.”
“Just a few ideas I might give to you, though I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty of your own. The first idea is to use the printing press. Just print the bank notes that are needed to pay for our military hardware. Naturally, this will cause inflation, but that inflation will play into our hands. We will blame the inflation on the Allies and their damn reparation payments. As we speak, Herr Frick should be meeting with the Commission in Paris to plead our case that we’ll soon collapse under the burden of reparations.”
“As we shall, at their current level,” Schacht interjected helpfully.
“Oh, no, Herr Doktor,” Halstead retorted. “The reparations are a heavy burden, but it is a burden that can be carried for now. We simply let the mark become worthless paper, let the industrialists pay off their war debts with that paper, then stabilize the currency and begin adequate taxation. Expect the new taxes to take effect at the beginning of the new year.”
Halstead neared the end of his circuit of the table. “We will build the Wehrmacht from scratch, and in secret. At first with the aforementioned printing presses,” Halstead paused to suck in fresh air, and, for a moment, left Schacht’s scribbling on a notepad as the only sound in the room, “and then, beginning in Twenty-Four, with Mefo bills.”
Schacht looked up with a furrowed brow. “‘Mefo’ bills, mein Führer?”
“Bills used to pay armament manufacturers, issued by the central bank and guaranteed by the Reich. They will appear in neither the published statements of the bank nor in the Reich’s budget, and thus will help maintain secrecy as to our rearmament. Of course, I’ll leave you to your own devices. General Lossow.”