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Interest Rates Below Germany's Bad News

August 30, 1992

After reading The Times' articles on lower long-term interest rates in Stars & Stripes, I get the impression that your newspaper is of the school that thinks the United States is the only country on this planet.

Low interest rates, whether short or long term, hurt nearly all Americans as long as those rates are significantly less than Germany's.

The reason is that Germany determines Europe's rates, and Americans have yet to produce such items as Mercedes-Benz cars, champagne (despite the propaganda out of California which costs as much as champagne anyway), fine crystal, decent beer, the Alps, Reims Cathedral, Munich's Oktoberfest, etc.

Unless one purchases only goods and services created solely from one's own country, chances are that a person holding weak currency (i.e., the U.S. dollar) is poorer than someone holding strong currency, such as the German mark.

Unfortunately for the Germans, there is very little the United States can offer them, other than cheap vacations and questionable real estate.

When the dollar was strong back in 1984, Americans had a much better deal--good prices on fine cars, European travel, leather goods, stuffed toys--almost any high-end product. We may have won the Cold War--but most Americans can hardly afford to visit the old battlefield.

DENNIS BURNSIDE

Greenland, N.H.

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