Paul Seabrook is the author of “GERMAN DOLLAR BONDS Issued between in 1924 and 1937”. This book gives details on 156 bond issuances and has a German and English index, it is written in the English language, has 229 pages and 113 almost exclusively coloured pictures of the bond certificates.
F. Paul Seabrook is an Englishman and a former Member of the London Stock Exchange. He is an experienced bond trader and has been interested, for many decades, in old securities. His specialised collector’s field is German External Loan Bonds, in particular German Dollar Bonds issued between 1924 and 1937. After the beginning of his retirement in 1999 he devoted much time into researching this subject and gathered all information and illustrations available to him. The result of this many years’ work is something to be proud of.
The saga of German Dollar Bonds marks an important point in American and German financial history. It was the first time that American Investment banks appeared in the international arena in their now familiar role. Well organized teams of bankers actively and aggressively competing for mandates to raise dollar loans for a variety of German concerns. The bonds, priced to appeal to American investors, offered interest payments well in excess of the levels that could be obtained domestically. Payments were in dollars using a format familiar in the American market and bankers did their best to assure investors of the underlying security of the states, cities and utilities. The bonds proved popular.
The vast bulk of the bonds were raised between 1924 and 1931 and, at its height, 2 or 3 issues per month were coming to market, the total raised was in excess of $1.5 billion, a very significant sum in the 1920s.
The Wall Street crash and the severe erosion of German foreign exchange reserves signalled an end to this period. Germany introduced stringent controls which resulted in holders of bonds receiving interest payments in a mix of Reichsmarks and US dollars. Predictably bond prices fell steeply and activated widespread `buyback’ programmes. In 1953 it was decided to repay these loans, including some provision for back interest. Because of doubts about ownership of these bearer bonds a system of validation was introduced. Many were repaid or refunded but many were not and remain so to this day. It has been maintained that quantities of bonds were looted at the end of the Second World War and consequently ownership of these bearer bonds remained clouded.
Paul Seabrook has identified 156 separate German Dollar issuances for the period 1924-1937. Each of these issues is described with the English and German title together with relevant information up to the London Debt Agreement of 1953. Almost all issues appear in colour. In addition, the financial-historical background which forms the basis of all dollar issues are described briefly by the
- glossary with explanation of some technical details,
- listing of the issue houses, trustees, etc.,
- explanation of the specific features of issues placed in Holland,
- description of the repurchase programs 1933-1945 by the German Conversion Office, the German Gold Discount Bank and the German External Bond Valuation of 1952,
- listing of Dollar Bonds privately placed and Bonds in nonconvertible Dollars.
A German and an English index afford a quick and easy identification of any issue. An interesting book which has enriched the Scripophily market.
F. Paul Seabrook, GERMAN DOLLAR BONDS Issued between 1924 and 1937, Details on 156 bonds with German and English Index, 229 pages, 113 coloured pictures of bond certificates. Available from amazon.de