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Will Governments Respond Globally or Just Act Independently?

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QUESTION: Is there any comparison to be made between the current suppression of interest rates by the Fed and its suppression of interest rates in the 1920s? With sovereign defaults on the horizon, it seems that history could be repeating itself.

ANSWER: The Fed’s attempt to lower rates in 1927 to help Europe backfired. It sent capital rushing out of Europe and into the US share market as well as real estate. The Fed had to then abandon its international policy and focus on domestic policy objectives. That will most likely take place again. Despite this crisis becoming a global contagion, each country will defend itself and adopt its own measures independently. That is where the risk will truly lie because politicians are used to running on promises of power. They are not ready to surrender domestic policy objectives for international ones. I suspect we will need such a crisis before we can understand we are all connected.