One of the most important measures to eliminate the Great Patriotic war consequences was the establishment of order in the sphere of money movement. The reason for the currency reform was due to the fact that during the war the military costs increased dramatically, the production of consumer goods reduced as well as commodity circulation on the market. In order to cover the increasing imbalance, a great amount of money was put into movement. Its buying power decreased due to the lack of commodity output. Besides the Nazi issued counterfeit money in the occupied territories and this resulted its surplus in the movement.
On December 14, 1947 the USSR Ministers Council and the Central Committee of the all-Russian Communist Party of Bolsheviks approved a decree “On the currency reform and the abolishment of provisions and manufactured products cards”.
The currency reform consisted of the exchange of the cash funds being in circulation for the new ones in the ratio of 10 “old pattern” rubles for 1 “new pattern” ruble (only base coin was not to be exchanged). It was intended to make the exchange of all the cash within one week period, beginning from December 16 (only in remote regions the exchange period could be prolonged up to 2 weeks). During the entire exchange period it was allowed to make payments with “old” money but at a rate of 1/10 of its nominal cost.
In savings banks the deposits of less than 3 thousand rubles were exchanged without changes in nominal sum, those over 3 thousand on the following basis: the bigger the sum of the deposit is the cheaper every old ruble is regarding the new one. Deposits of collective farms and cooperatives in the banks were reevaluated so that their nominal cost decreased at 20%.
During the reform of 1947 all the state loans issued before were conversed (for the exception of the second state loan for the national economy restoration and development) into a new 2% loan of 1948 and the public bonds issued before were exchanged for the obligations of the conversional loan in ratio of 3:1.
The currency reform did not affect the salary of workers and intelligentsia as well as the current income of all levels of the population that were paid in new currency with regard for the previous amount.
At the same time as the currency reform was taking place, the card system for provisions and manufactured products was abolished beginning from December 16. The system was introduced in the beginning of the war in order to provide the citizens with the minimum of the essential goods at the rationed price fixed by the state. Now all the rationed and commercial prices for provisions and manufactured goods were abolished and the unitary state retail prices were introduced.
Though bread, flour, cereals and macaroni were now 10% cheaper, the majority of the prices for provisions were higher than those before the war and hardly affordable for the most part of the population. Besides on December 14 was issued the decree of the USSR Ministers Council “On the standards of selling provisions and manufactured products to one person”. These standards limited a free commerce until 1958, and for a part of products until 1963.
In the result of the reform the buying power of ruble increased, the money circulation strengthened allowing to carry out already in 1948-1950 a reform of release prices and eliminate the system of state grants and from 1958 renounce the mass state loans.
Lit.: Денежная реформа 1947 года: реакция населения по документам из «Особых папок» Сталина / подгот.: Э. Ю. Завадская, Т. В. Царевская // Отечественная история. 1997. № 6; О проведении денежной реформы и отмене карточек на продовольственные и промышленные товары // Известия. 1947. 15 дек. (№ 293 (9515); То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.oldgazette.ru/temp/14121947.html.
From the Presidential library materials: