It intervened twice before AM, each time buying £300 million. Druckenmiller was manning his cockpit on the other side of the Atlantic, clamoring to sell sterling by the billion.
The Bank of England carried on intervening, not realizing how completely it was outgunned.
The devaluation of sterling was now all but inevitable.
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Helmut Schlesinger, the president of the German Bundesbank, had given an interview to the Wall Street Journal and a German financial newspaper, Handelsblatt.
According to a news agency report on his remarks, Schlesinger believed there would have to be a broad realignment of Europe's currencies. Schlesinger's remark was tantamount to calling for the pound to devalue.
Under the rules of the exchange-rate mechanism, the Bank of England was obliged to accept offers to sell sterling, but this requirement only held during the trading day in London.
With the Bank of England closed for business, it was a scramble to find buyers, particularly once word got around that Soros and Druckenmiller were selling crazily."Really? He told Bacon to wait, and a few seconds later Soros joined the call."Where did you get the market? Around 2 the next morning, Druckenmiller returned to the office.
Schlesinger's purported comments were already on news wires; traders in New York and Asia would react overnight; Schlesinger needed to issue a denial quickly.