J. M. Keynes Foundation

As CPI remains stable at 4.5% and the Bank of England’s base rate remains at the low 0.5% there have been calls for the base rate to increase.

For the foreseeable future, to increase the base rate would be economically foolhardy and damaging. In a period of weak growth, which Britain has had for the last two quarters, it is imperative to keep interest rates low.

Keynes, in The General Theory, stated:

There is always an alternative to the ownership of real capital-assets, namely the ownership of money and debts; so that the prospective yield with which the producers of new investment have to be content cannot fall below the standard set by the current rate of interest.

In other words, the ownership of debt sets a productivity standard above the rate of interest. If the productivity  standard falls below the rate of interest, which may be artificially high…

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