A little while back we were talking about "multiple rates of interest" and "own rates of interest", and I argued that "own rates", while they are going to be compared to the interest rate charged for credit in making any investment decision, don't matter in a Wicksellian sense at all. Andrew Laiton links to that discussion, and Nick Rowe links to Andrew.
I don't know Andrew's affiliations but he offers what I generally think of as an Austrian-flavored approach. Credit expansion changes real patterns of production, and so you can't just ignore credit expansion or pretend that the different production structure does not matter.
My respones to that has always been that the logic of it all makes sense, but I have a hard time believing that these real distortions of the capital structure matter all that much. Neat theory. I even "believe it" insofar as I'm sure there isn't absolutely no impact on the real structure of the economy. But it doesn't seem to explain the really crucial elements of macroeconomic fluctuations.
Nick takes a position closer to my initial position. Basically that while you can't preserve all the relative prices it doesn't really matter because that's simply not what is being targeted (and the reason why it's not being targeted is presumably related to the point I made earlier - that the primary concern here, unless you're an Austrian, is not preserving a particular structure of production).
Nick makes an interesting point at the end about how the Sraffa problem causes trouble if you change your target, and that a lot of the tacit knowledge central bankers amass about one target don't always carry over to others.
3 hours ago