WASHINGTON -- Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies are helping to boost growth around the world, rejecting criticism that they could lead to a global currency war.

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 policies 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 lower a country's currency value and make its 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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