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Money

 

On Janurary 1st, 1960 the exchange rate for the DeutscheMark (DM) was approximately DM 4.19 to $1.00 on the open market.

At that date, however, we were paid in "military payment certificates". The only Amercan coin in use -within any American facility--- was the penny. Military payment certificates came in denominations from the five cent bill to the $20 bill. Military payment certificates carried value only within American facilities -- and to anybody else who would accept them in payment.

 

Series 541. Issued May 27, 1958. Withdrawn May 26, 1961.

We also received US $20 bills.

So for personal use, we could exchange --at the most favorable rate-- our bills for DeutscheMarks at the US Army Finance Office. Of course, the US $20's worked at any currency exchange -- such as the train station-- but not at a favorable rate.

Currency restrictions --such as the maximum amount of local currency which could be taken legally into some countries-- prompted the "Quick Drive to Zurich." A pleasant morning sitting at an outdoor cafe, outside a Zurich bank, filling orders for friends going on leave. Especially leaves in countries with currency restrictions. Zurich banks traded at free market rates. Some countries, such as Greece, encouraged tourists to bring dollars and buy their drachmas --at the official rate-- in Greece. Normally the difference between these official rates and the free market rates covered the cost of traveling and enjoying Zurich.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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