World Trade: Money & the Flag

Judging by the lessons of history, Harold Wilson's effort "to get the rogue elephant back under control"—as the Times of London last week described British sanctions against Rhodesia—will not be easy. Ever since the League of Nations in 1935 attempted the first international sanction against Italy, punishing other nations by commercial or financial boycott has been like stalking elephants with air rifles.

Russia imposed sanctions on Yugoslavia in 1948 after Tito broke with the Comintern, but Tito survived. Arabs and Israelis embargo each other's products, but the results are hardly noticeable. In spite...

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