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In 1944, in the middle of WWII, Erhard wrote a little memo called "War Finances and Debt Consolidation." It sounds super-boring, but this little memo made the then-bold claim of assuming that Germany would lose the war.
From that moment on, the Allies saw Erhard as a friend to the democratic cause, and the East…well, they didn't like him very much.
As West Germany's Minister of Economics, he's largely credited with Wirtschaftswunder, the Great Economic Miracle.
Reagan gives Erhard's economically liberal views a nice verbal high-five in his speech. And who doesn't love getting a verbal high-five from the leader of the free world?