The "Deutsche Bundesbank" is the German Central Bank. It's offices are located at Wilhelm-Epstein-Straße 14, 60431 Frankfurt am Main.

After the country was unified as the Kaiserreich in 1871, a central bank for the whole of Germany came into existence for the first time in 1876, called the Reichsbank. During the Weimar Republic, the currency of the time, the Reichsmark, unfortunately suffered hyperinflation in 1923 (another outcome of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles) and collapsed yet again during and after World War II, due to the Nazis' irresponsible fiscal policy.

So clearly something new had to be created. That was no easy task considering that Germany was divided into 4 different occupation zones (American, French, British and Soviet). In 1948 a new currency, the Deutsche Mark, was adopted in the western zones, and the Bank Deutscher Länder and several "Landeszentralbanken" were founded. The system was modeled after the Federal Reserve Bank in the US. Shortly thereafter the eastern part got a currency as well as a central bank ("Deutsche Notenbank") of its own, thus deepening the rift between what was to become East Germany (DDR/GDR) and West Germany (BRD/FRG).

In 1951 the western Allies ceded control over the central bank to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which had been founded in 1949. In 1957 the "Gesetz über die Deutsche Bundesbank" changed the name of the central bank into "Deutsche Bundesbank" and made it very independent of politics, with the supreme goal of guarding over monetary stability, besides of course the other common duties of a central bank (issuing banknotes, interest rate policy and inter-bank settlements, managing inter-bank and government lending, supervision of commercial banks, etc). It did its job very well and established the good reputation of the rock solid "Deutschmark".

However, it has lost much of its importance in the last few years as the realization of the European Monetary Union (EMU) on 1.1.1999 (and the final introduction of the Euro bar money on 1.1.2002) transferred many of its powers to the European Central Bank (ECB). Fortunately the Euro has so far been just as stable (at least concerning the internal economy of the Euro zone) as the Deutschmark was.

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