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Ben Bernanke: Low interest-rate-policies benefit trade

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seen on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. The Federal Reserve's low interest-rate policies are giving key support to an economy still burdened by high unemployment, Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday. Bernanke signaled that the Fed's efforts to keep borrowing costs low will continue. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON — Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies are helping to boost growth around the world and have created markets for products made in developing nations.

In a speech at the London School of Economics, Bernanke staunchly defended the Fed's policies and similar stimulus efforts pursued by other central banks since the 2008 financial crisis.

Last week, the Fed stood by its efforts to keep borrowing costs at record lows, saying the U.S. economy still required the support to help lower high unemployment.

Critics have argued that the low-interest-rate policies could feed a global currency war, which is lowering currency values to make products more competitive on global markets.

Some have blamed such policies for making the Great Depression worse during the 1930s. Countries devalued their currencies and raised tariffs, which made foreign-made goods more expensive and stunted trade. They became known as "beggar-thy-neighbor" policies.


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