MANAGING a crisis as complex as this one has so far called for nuance and pragmatism rather than stridency and principle. Should governments prop up credit markets by offering guarantees or creating bad banks? Probably both. What package of fiscal stimulus would be most effective? It varies from one country to the next. Should banks be nationalised? Yes, in some circumstances. Only the foolish and the partisan have rejected (or embraced) any solutions categorically.
But the re-emergence of a spectre from the darkest period of modern history argues for a different, indeed strident, response. Economic nationalism-the urge to keep jobs and capital at home-is both turning the economic crisis into a political one and threatening the world with depression. If it is not buried again forthwith, the consequences will be dire.