Is Harriet’s suggestion of using the cost of debt a good or bad idea? Why?

You are the director of operations for your company, and your vice president
wants to expand production by adding new and more expensive fabrication machines. You are directed to build a business case for implementing this program of capacity expansion. Assume the company’s weighted average cost of capital is 13%, the after-tax cost of debt is 7%, preferred stock is 10.5%, and common equity is 15%. As you work with your staff on the first cut of the business case, you surmise that this is a fairly risky project due to a recent slowing in product sales. As a matter of fact, when using the 13% weighted average cost of capital, you discover that the project is estimated to return about 10%, which is quite a bit less than the company’s weighted average cost of capital. An enterprising young analyst in your department, Harriet, suggests that the project be financed from retained earnings (50%) and bonds (50%). She reasons that using retained earnings does not cost the firm anything, since it is cash you already have in the bank and the after-tax cost of debt is only 7%. That would lower your weighted average cost of capital to 3.5% and make your 10% projected return look great.
Question:
Is Harriet’s suggestion of using the cost of debt a good or bad idea? Why?
 
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