Brendan Keenan: One small cut in rates, but a giant step in global fortunes
WANT to know how important interest rates are? Try Canada. The Canadian government is trying to slow down a housing boom -- doing all the things we now say we wish Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen had done.
The latest moves include limiting mortgages to 25 years; not lending more than would cost more than 40pc of buyers' income; and capping top-up mortgages to 80pc of house value.
Economists reckon the whole dramatic, and presumably unpopular, package is equivalent to a one per cent rise in mortgage rates. Changes in rates produce less drama, but they have big effects.