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Tower of Basel by Adam LeBor

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CHAPTER SEVEN

REASSURING WALL STREET

          “He believes that the Germans—at least those connected with the Reichsbank—desire his return [to Basel] and that some way will be found to make it possible.”

           — American intelligence report on Thomas McKittrick and the BIS, December 14, 19421

The BIS had pioneered swift movements of international capital but could do little to speed its president across the Atlantic with enough cash in his pocket. In late 1942 Thomas McKittrick planned to travel to France, Portugal, Spain, and Britain, and then head to the United States. But even with his privileged status, he was still subject to currency control laws that allowed him to take a maximum of 1,000 French francs into France. “Can French ...

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