The Economist was a moderate British journal which commented on political
issues as well as economic issues.
This particular article focused on the agreements reached at Potsdam. It
was generally critical of the agreements, as it felt that they would not bring
peace to Europe.
This extract focuses on the question of reparations from Germany. The Economist
believed that these should be taken from Germany, but over a very long time.
It also felt that the reparations should be less severe than Stalin wanted.
The Economist article also acknowledged that western banks were unwilling
to lend the USSR money to help rebuild itself after the war (reconstruction
credits). It accepted that this was one reason why Stalin was determined to
take large reparations from Germany.