Case #1295.0

Black Wednesday: The Bundesbank Connection

Publication Date: January 01, 1995
Current Stock:

Educator Access

A review copy of this case is available free of charge to educators and trainers. Please create an account or sign in to gain access to this material.

Permission to Reprint

Each purchase of this product entitles the buyer to one digital file and use. If you intend to distribute, teach, or share this item, you must purchase permission for each individual who will be given access. Learn more about purchasing permission to reprint.

Throughout the 1980s, the lead of Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, in helping to align the currencies of the European Economic Union members appeared to serve a variety of potentially difficult-to-reconcile causes: political union in Europe, low interest rates and economic growth. But with the union of East and West Germany, the happy confluence of Germany's domestic economic policy and that of Europe generally came under great pressure. German inflation, and higher Bundesbank interest rates designed to control it, forced up rates in other EU member nations whose currencies were tied to the deutchmark through the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, but who would have preferred to lower interest rates to serve their own economic purposes.

Learning Objective:
This case tells the story of how Bundesbank officials, including its board members and economists, dealt with these conflicting internal and external pressures. It provides a rare window into the decision-making process of one of the world's most important economic planning institutions.

Other Details

Case Author:
Kirsten Lundberg
Faculty Lead:
Ernest May and Philip Zelikow
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Europe, Germany