There is a natural conflict between the need to avoid a scarcity of cash and credit, such that all opportunities for increases in productivity within the economy can be exploited, and the fact that fiat money and fiat credit tend to mask, obscure and distort the information that would come from climbing interest rates.
The general strategy has been to monitor the interest rate. However, the interest rate alone is not a sufficient barometer because a) people ‘flock’ or ‘school’ to over exploit opportunities — and b) unfortunately, (and this is becoming a topic of interest by the serious mathematicians in the field due to the plethora of data collected from the boom) it appears the entire economy is becoming governed, not by opportunities and not by productivity, but by nothing more than *responses to the discount rate.* Which means, (as the austrians have said for a century), the distortion caused by fiat money is cumulatively, and recursively the source of booms and busts.
Of course, the fact that those of us say it is logically obvious is countered by the short term quants who fall into the ludic fallacy of probabilism.
There is a way out of this problem. But we would need a long and deep discussion about the nature of government to fix it. We are using a system of lawmaking and taxation that was invented for an agrarian era when the unit of work was at best a season, but accounts were settled annually. We live today in a world where the month is a meaningless topic, and only weeks and quarters are of informational value.
Instead, by the combination of pooling accounts (the error of aggregation of plastic categories under quantitative analysis), taxes (which are disconnected from the causal actions that produce profits), and fiat money and fiat credit (which obscure information signals) we effectively launder causality from the pricing system which is the entire purpose of HAVING a pricing system.
If we issued loans rather than collected taxes, this problem would right itself quite quickly, and both our political rhetoric, and abuses by the government would be much more rational and tangible if we did. Or rather we taxed what we should (income against an averaged three year balance sheet) and we gave loans rather than provided general liquidity, we would allow private money to pursue it’s ends and public money it’s ends.
Furthermore, tagging all financial transactions, then treating the internet, and the financial network as a utility that can tolerate failure through multiple layers of redundancy wouldn’t hurt either. There is nothing magic about this series of prescriptions. They simply prevent the laundering of causal information from the pricing system by the error of aggregation.
In the simplest terms, tax pooling and general funds are money laundering. Loans are causally transparent. Taxes are causally opaque. We cannot have a RATIONAL government if the data that they rely upon is by DEFINITION, IRRATIONAL, null, and void of rational content.
THE DISCOUNT RATE IS, FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, AN ERROR OF AGGREGATION.
THIS ERROR THEN “FINACIAL-IZES” THE ECONOMY OUT OF THE PURSUIT OF PRODUCTIVITY.
(Of course, under that scenario the profits of the big banks would be captured by the public sector.)