Corporate Liquidity and Financial Fragility: The Role of Investment, Debt and Interest
The paper addresses the issue of how debt deflation may arise in a capitalist economy with a sophisticated credit system. It argues that the standard argument of debt deflationists, that debt-financed investment causes a build-up of unsustainable investment, fails to recognise that debt is back by credit. A corollary of this is that the rate of interest is not a factor in investment decisions. Financial fragility is caused by heterogeneity of balance sheets, debt financed operations in financial markets and insufficient debt-financed investment, rather than too much such investment.
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