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The Price of Capital: Serving Your Interests, Incidentally

The assumption that credit ought to always remain cheaply available for the spurious investment, business or otherwise, is predicated upon the belief that advancements are linear, that they occur as a function of time, not as a consequence of thoughtful deliberation. 

Of course, it is the latter which determines a worthwhile investment, whereas the former simply creates busy work which was rendered feasible by the aforementioned easy access to credit and the artificially low costs of failure. 

Of course, credit creation is a luxury of savings, neither an entitlement nor an absolute benefit to the economy realized through its mere transition through the spending phase. 

The political Left tends to construct an emotionally-appealing narrative to establish the illusion that lives would improve if credit were only made more widely available for those mired in misfortune. 

Well, the theories of economics are not alone in disproving this fallacy, as even real examples of recent history illustrate the risks of artificially manipulating credit to pave the road to the purported American dream. 

After all, this was precisely the cause of the long-forgotten housing bubble and the ensuing financial crisis, and it has remained an insidious agent in the falsification of the U.S. bond and stock markets, in addition to auto loans, consumer credit, college tuition and even the reflation of an out-of-whack real estate industry. 

In summary, economic improvements take time to develop, and there is only so much savings to justify credit. 

The only way that this credit, and the risks attending its extension to hungry bidders, can be adequately assessed is through the appreciation developed through the laborious acquisition of said capital and thus the commensurate exposure to its potential loss. 

This is the point at which loss is most palpably evaluated, where the object acquires its incipient human appraisal. 

So while the sophist may produce a compelling diorama of what is possible, he is always far more likely to exhaust limitless resources to the sensational tune of promising nirvana, while the disciplined businessman operates within the reality of scarcity and shoulders the whole loss and thus conducts due diligence to ensure that resources are not going to waste, that the recipients are appropriately positioned to seriously manage the costly resources and pay back the principal and interest of the loan: this justification, known as profit potential, is the mark of a worthwhile venture, as buyers and sellers progressively coordinate services and supplies where they are most highly valued. 

This is the most objective measure by which we can reliably gauge the efficacy of resource allocation: not by what people say or promise, but rather by what they execute and deliver. 

And this is precisely why the price of capital is so profoundly important to the whole structure of an economy. 

It must be priced, first, to represent its own scarcity and its time value; second, it must act as an organic gatekeeper, preserving the capital for use based on risk, both economic and monetary, and the historic credit quality of the debtor. 

Finally, it must be priced to represent the real demand of the market, to favor viable business investment over reckless consumer extravagance. 

Incidentally, the economic community is far more handsomely rewarded by the careful employment of resources in such a way that it yields value beyond its mere cost of production than it might otherwise be by spendthrifts squandering it into oblivion. 

As renowned economist Milton Friedman once said, “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as he spends his own.”

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