Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jeff Desjardins — The History of Consumer Credit in One Giant Infographic

Consumer credit may seem like a fairly new invention – but it’s actually been around for more than 5,000 years!
In fact, many millennia before the credit score became ubiquitous, there is historical evidence that cultures around the world were borrowing for various reasons. From the writings in Hammurabi’s Code to the exchanges documented by the Ancient Romans, we know that credit was used for purposes such as getting enough silver to buy a property or for agricultural loans made to farmers.
In today’s infographic from Equifax, we look at the long history of consumer credit – everything from the earliest writings of antiquity to the modern credit boom that started in the 20th century....


Andrew Anderson said...

Over the course of several millennia, there have been credit booms, game-changing innovations, and even periods such as the Dark Ages when the practice of charging interest (also known as “usury”) was considered immoral by some people. from http://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-consumer-credit-one-infographic/

Interest is unnecessary since loans can be over-collateralized instead. This avoids the problem of interest that might not even exist in aggregate (thus making at least some defaults inevitable). Also, the Bible does allow interest from foreigners (Deuteronomy 23:19-20), just not from one's fellow countrymen.

Common stock is another means to avoid interest since the common stock is itself a form of private money, ie., why rent someone else's money when one can create one's own?

MRW said...

Andrew, you need to get off your duff and go to the British Museum. There you can see the Sumerian clay tablets (4000-3500 BC) that recorded the debits and credits the Sumerians accumulated over the course of bringing in the crops from early planting in March until harvest in September, among other financial transactions recorded.

You’re fixated on interest and your version of unChristian usury (because some scribe in the fucking Bible wrote it 1500 years ago and you buy that shit) when you need to go and see the actual history of credit and debit, interest, and debt cancellation that predates the introduction of gold coins in 700 BC.

Money lenders had no reason to loan the money for six months every year without a fee, or specified interest, which is what is also recorded on those clay tablets. The same applied to the spice traders from the East who plied their wares along the route from Asia and the central Caucasus to Northern Africa and Italy. Interest payments existed in the Bronze Age.

Credits, debits, and various fee structures used by different societies, as well as debt jubilees, were in common use for at least 2800 years before the Greek temples introduced gold coins as a tribute. 2800 years is just because we have the clay tablets and the latest info has not reached museums.

Michael Hudson as the editor for the latest book for the colloquia of the experts who convene at Harvard describes Labor in the Ancient World. You can listen to it or read the transcript. At least read the first four paragraphs to understand who these experts are.

This is one Michael Hudson article you should enjoy, however: ”THE LOST TRADITION OF BIBLICAL DEBT CANCELLATIONS”