Wilhelm Lautenbach

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Dr. Wilhelm Lautenbach (1891-1948) was a German official at the Economics Ministry at the beginning of the 1930s.

He is known primarily for the so-called Lautenbach Plan[1] which was a proposal for Germany to default on foreign debts and implement a plan of domestic non debt-financed public works by The German State printing debt free national currency using paper and ink. The mentioned amounts were spent on tangible projects like building a highway system. The most important aspect was only to use German materials (no imports) and labour. Essentially this plan allowed Hitler to rearm Germany from nothing. Apart from Hitler's inhuman ideology and military ambitions one of the main reasons the international financial community turned against Hitler was that he built an economy without taking loans from them. Winston Churchill actually admitted this after the war.[2]

The Plan was discussed at the Reichsbank on September 15, 1931 and first rejected but then implemented with great success.[3] He has been called a "a pre-Keynes Keynesian"[4] but this is disputed by Knut Borchardt who notes that, before the United Kingdom abandoned the Gold Standard Lautenberg had called for deflation of costs and prices;[5] an orthodox neo-classical and non-Keynesian view.


  1. ^ Nicholls, p, 53-55
  2. ^ Juergen Backhaus (January 2002). "Fiscal sociology: What for?". American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 
  3. ^ Kindleberger, p.171
  4. ^ Charles Kindleberger (Sep–Oct 1999). "The Manichaean character of economics". Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs. p. 2. 
  5. ^ Knut Borchardt: Zur Aufarbeitung der Vor- und Frühgeschichte des Keynesianismus in Deutschland. 1982