Thursday, July 24, 2008

Congress repealed the law against usury. It was done in 1980 by a Democratic Congress, Democratic President.

Nightmare on Wall Street: Washington Can't Bail out the Sea of Red Ink

Moyers: Usury? Greider: Usury, to be clear about it, is rich people taking advantage of poor people by lending them money on terms that are sure to make them fail. All three of the great religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, had a moral prohibition against usury because they recognized that society can't function like that. People of great wealth and their institutions like banks naturally have the power to overwhelm people of lesser means. And you can't allow that in a decent society. It won't survive. Moyers: Where were the gatekeepers? Where were the watchdogs? Why did it take the Fed so long to put an end to predatory practices? Greider: To make the story overly crude, Congress repealed the law against usury.

Posted by malct @ 07:38 PM (1056 views)
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6 thoughts on “Congress repealed the law against usury. It was done in 1980 by a Democratic Congress, Democratic President.

  • Apologies malct for this off topic missive on your posting, but has anyone noticed an increase in spam mail recently. I’ve been getting loads of [email protected] on viagra, fake watches, willy enlargement (don’t need that one), make money at home, etc? I was thinking that somebody I know had given my address to ‘spam your enemy’, but if anyone else on here is getting it, it may be associated with malicious software from one of the oddball sites links are posted to. Time to get rid of that e mail address I think.

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  • Informed, powerful and enlightened people working together and abusing their power to exploit the uneducated, naive, ignorant and disempowered masses. The method being to entice people into taking out mortgages and loans that they can never repay under terms which they could never be expected to understand. The system of exploitation we live in is nothing short of a discrace and natural selection is a silly excuse.

    People, generally, need to wake up, take responsibily and empower themselves but rather than aid them in doing so it appears our elite have their interests in keeping the masses where they are. We’re being farmed like cattle.

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  • shipbuilder says:

    Interesting how usury came to mean ‘lending at a high rate of interest’ rather than just lending and charging interest.

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  • you’re welcome p.off.

    I don’t seem to have the problem you describe and as far as I am aware I have done nothing to direct such timewasting [email protected] towards you or anyone else. Not sure how it could work through your email address without the website knowingand/or participating. Think that is unlikely, they have enough problems coping with us as it is.

    unplugged ‘informed attitude’

    shipbuilder – yup I wasn’t aware of that specically until this last week or so. Credible? I think there’s room for agreement where there wasn’t previously.

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  • As usual, it’s not as straight forward as being suggested. I’ve looked into and written about this myself. There have been clear benefits for poor people gaining access to credit – buying their own homes, investing in poor neighbourhoods etc. The downside is that those that don’t make it lose everything.

    http://diaryofapropertybear.blogspot.com/2008/05/bit-more-about-subprime-before-i-move.html

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  • It’s interesting in the sense that the ability to charge reasonable interest is fundamental to capitalism: risk vs reward. If there was no reward for lending (the interest), no-one would be prepared to incur any risk by doing so. In other words, the only lending that would go on would be between people who already knew each other well e.g. friends and family. There would be no capitalist economy in any sense we recognise.

    I can look at the current situation as the banks getting the risk/reward equation wrong, accidentally AND deliberately. The deliberate part was, of course, what we now call sub-prime lending. For those clients (risk), the interest rates (reward) should have been much higher, but fudging and fraud made the risk look smaller, and teaser interest rates lured in customers who should have been rolling out the door laughing… 8-/

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