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By Dow, J. C. R.; Saville, I. D.

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To provide room for that we argue that, within a range, interest rates are indeterminate in terms of the factors that figure in long-run equilibrium theory; these however remain important, in that they set bounds to the short-term fluctuation of interest rates. Within this range, we argue that market opinion about future interest rates can be influenced by centralbank rate, which is nevertheless an instrument of limited capability; if pushed too far, it would cease to seem to market operators a credible policy, and thus would lose its grip over market forces.

For these reasons, in relating the course of the financial 6 Introduction aggregates to that of nominal GDP, we take the course of output and prices as largely given, influenced only marginally by the pace of bank lending, and confine ourselves to an analysis of how banks behave in this given environment; we have not regarded it as essential to our task to provide an explanation of what determines that environment. Had we been constructing a model of long-term equilibrium, we would probably have taken bank lending in the long term to be completely endogenous, dependent on the course of output and prices, and the latter as determined entirely by non-monetary factors.

Assessment of creditworthiness cannot be an objective procedure; lenders cannot hope to obtain enough information to assess prospective borrowers' prospects in each probable future state of the world, or to calculate the probability of each state; nor, consequently, are they able to summarize the result of their evaluations in terms of the probable expected distribution of returns on possible loans. 20 The Behaviour of the Financial System In general, the risks of lending to an individual borrower are likely to be less the smaller the loan extended to him.

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