N: While Hammond acknowledges that extraordinary times warrant extraordinary measures, he’s mindful of the difficult decisions that we now face, and the international cooperation that is required to extract ourselves from this situation.
PH: It's much easier for governments to get involved, intervene, than it is to unwind that intervention.
Some of the things that are being done by governments around the world, and that need to be done, just a few weeks ago, would have been described as unfair trade practices and would have invited potential trade retaliation in what has been an increasingly prickly trade environment in the world.
So there does need to be coordination at the level of the G20, the OECD to ensure that there is some coordinated understanding of what is legitimate and for how long and that on the down curve we don't find people playing games around unfair competitive trade advantage trying to keep intervention measures in place to unfairly advantage the businesses and industries of one country over another.
In a crisis it's relatively easy to get people to play along, once the crisis is over and we're on the recovery slope, the temptations to game the system will, I'm afraid, come back very quickly.
Within domestic economies some of the interventions that are made will be quite difficult to undo quickly - let me give an example. It seems likely that governments will have to intervene to support the airline industry across the world and yet the airline industry is at the forefront of another very controversial debate around climate change and global warming.
If we end up in a world where our governments control our airlines, those who would seek a more radical solution to addressing climate change will want governments to use that control in a very political way and governments extracting themselves from control of the airline industry, for example, may prove to be quite difficult and controversial politically.