No doubt about no debt

In Germany, for the most part, cash-only is the only way to go

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Bailouts? Fine, but only if countries agree to strict austerity measures to get their financial houses in order. Print money? Not a chance, Germans say, still haunted by the memory of the hyperinflation of the early 20th century that helped create the conditions for Hitler’s rise.

Germany’s attitude to credit and debt largely stem from the financial trauma of the years that preceded the Nazi era. In the wake of massive reparation payments after the loss of World War I, the German mark went from its wartime level of about 4 or 5 per dollar to several trillion to the dollar.

Germany only agreed to eventually give up the mark in favor of the euro because the European Central Bank was designed just like the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, as an anti-inflation watchdog whose mandate does not include political considerations — such as stimulating job growth like the U.S. Federal Reserve.

AP writer Louise Nordstrom contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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