This persistence as private firms continued because it ensured the maximum of anonymity and secrecy to persons of tremendous public power who dreaded public knowledge of their activities as an evil almost as great as inflation.
On this basis, which was originally financial and goes back to George Peabody, there grew up in the twentieth century a power structure between London and New York which penetrated deeply into university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy.
In addition to their power over government based on government financing and personal influence, bankers could steer governments in ways they wished them to go by other pressures.
When goods are exchanged between countries, they must be paid for by commodities or gold. They cannot be paid for by the notes, certificates, and checks of the purchaser's country, since these are of value only in the country of issue.
Hitler's economic revolution in Germany had reduced financial considerations to a point where they played no role in economic or political decisions.