MONEY: The Unjustified Crisis

When West German Economics Minister Hans Friderichs sat down to lunch last Thursday with Bonn's foreign press corps, he found a single dollar bill laid across his plate by a U.S. newsman. Wearily, the man at the center of the world's latest—and most shockingly timed—currency crisis looked up and cracked: "If that were the only one."

It was anything but. Before the day had ended, the German Bundesbank had to buy up a staggering $2.7 billion of unwanted greenbacks with marks, the largest sum ever paid out by a government in one day in an effort to keep its own...

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