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It's not only the interest. When something is lent in abundance times and claimed back in meager times, you morally get the same shovel/excavator situation.

Besides, banks do not lend anything technically. They do not give something they have and then want that back (plus interest). The money they "lend" is not theirs nor anyone's. It's just money creation "out of thin year" - we discussed that.

What does that mean morally? For one thing, banks are in a privileged position. While everything goes right, banks get profit from the interest on money they did not have. When things get tough... at least for now, banks are the first to get a bailout, while obligations of the others remain the same (or grow).

Obligations is the thing to look in this money alchemy. For someone to earn a million someone has to borrow a million. The urge of lenders can easily be larger than the urge of borrowers. Even if borrowers follow their own will, is the urge of lenders morally impeccable? Or aren't they worse than cash hoarders, as on balance they stockpile money faster?

Say, you are the only millionaire on an isolated island. Is it bad for you if other fellows on the island borrow from you? You actually need borrowers, because otherwise you would have to grow crops and build a hut yourself eventually. That "refraining yourself" from spending the cash is actually evil, as it enslaves others, especially when barbarous interest eventually claims more than the whole island produces.

by das monde on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 05:17:01 AM EST
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