On the other hand, Italy deliberately chose an excessively high level for the lira. It is difficult to understand or explain what induced Signor Mussolini to stabilise the lira at 92 to the pound when it was amply evident that at that level it was over-valued. The popular explanation that he wanted to choose a higher rate than France cannot be accepted, but it is impossible to substitute for it any more acceptable explanation. In 1924, France was inspired by the same monetary policy as Italy was two years later. Had M. Poincare remained in office after the general election he would undoubtedly have stabilised the franc at an over-valued level. Having caused a spectacular recovery of the franc by " squeezing " bear speculators, he could not have resisted the temptation to stabilise as nearly as possible to the high point to which he raised it. By 1926, however, he realised the wisdom of under-valuing rather than over-valuing the currency. The other countries of the inflationary group also preferred to err on the safe side and chose a level at which the currency was under-valued rather than over-valued.