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Beggar Thy Neighbor

Sigma Investment Counselors

October 21, 2019

According to Wikipedia, a beggar-thy-neighbor policy is an economic policy through which one country attempts to remedy its economic problems by means that tend to worsen the economic problems of other countries.

The term, beggar-thy-neighbor, was originally devised to characterize policies of trying to cure domestic depression and unemployment by shifting demand away from imports into domestically produced goods.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines beggar-thy-neighbor as an action or policy that produces gains for one group at the expense of another.

Investors should recognize that any benefits from beggar-thy-neighbor policies may be short-lived, at best, prompt retaliation, and have material, unintended consequences.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA

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