Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, November 14, 2008

Currency, Finance and Banking

I've written previously about financial matters in Taiwan and this is the chapter from The Taiwan Report (1973) on that subject.

I honestly don't recall the "Savings Deposit Program" described here, but that 10% return rate looks pretty good by today's standards. Of course the inflation rate in 1973 was 6.16% and in 1974 it was 11.03%, so those participating in this program would have just about broken even.


Anonymous said...

According to the document "Pay and allowances are paid in American currency"

OK, something must have changed between 1966 and 1973 as I clearly recall that we (HSA) were paid in NT Dollars back in 65-66. Please comment as to what currency you were paid in and what year(s) you served...or am I just not remembering correctly as that's possible as this was long ago?

Don said...

I'm fairly certain that I was paid in $US in 73-74. As I recall, I always had to convert of $US to $NT for rent and other off-base expenses.

Anonymous said...


Then perhaps I was paid in US dollars and then converted those US dollars to NT dollars at the paymaster station when being paid. I think the paymaster offered that option. That must be it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Boy do I remember that Savings
Program. In our four years on
the island my wife and I managed to have $10,000 saved when we got
back to the States. Sure made
going back to CONUS much easier.

That was one of the Governments better ideas!!

Jim Sartor

Sarj Bloom said...

During my tour (61 / 63) we got paid in U.S. dollars but were told to pay our rent and maid or any other local people with NT dollars only. Everyone wanted to get paid in US$ because they could then go downtown to the Black Market Exchange and make a few extra NT dollars in the process. Where that place was downtown....I don't know? Honestly Man I Don't Know!

John W. Hurst said...


I also took advantage of the 10% Savings Plan - saved about $4000. If I remember correctly, it was Nixon's idea to stem some of the currency flow in the Far East. Us GI's sure did spend alot over there!!


John Hurst

Anonymous said...

In 1959/60, we were paid in U. S. currency. We used that currency in U. S. military-operated facilites and used NT currency in the local economy. I don't remember a 10% U. S. savings deposit program while I was there, but that could just be my lack of memory. I do remember a couple of brave souls in the photo lab who told me they had savings accounts in local banks paying 25% per year. I was never brave enough to open an account in a local bank.

Bfamily96 said...

I was a member of the Army Finance Detachment on Taiwan from 1976 to 1979, and we were paid in U.S. Dollars. When I sold my Mercury Monarch auto (at a profit) after two years on-island, I received a "brick" of NT. I deposited the many thousands of NT in the local post office, where I received a modest return. I gradually spent those NT on rent, food, etc. until I ran out about six months before I departed in March, 1979.