The text is replete with exhortations and promised blessings  for those who lend freely to those in need. Indeed, the interest-free loan seems to have been central to the OT welfare system.
It was the duty of close relatives to lend to their kin in need, and redeem them from debt. Hence, being in debt per se was not wrong or sinful.
How Interest Rate Hikes Will Trigger The Next Financial Crisis
It may have arisen from misfortune or ill-judgement. However, it was an opportunity of blessing for those who could help out, interest-free. Repayment of debt is a serious obligation. Security could legitimately be taken by the lender to enforce repayment  and subsequent failure to pay could result in servitude to make good the debt. Being in debt is tantamount to servitude itself because of the solemn promise to repay.
It is the lender who dictates terms as the borrower sacrifices his or her financial liberty. Yet our financial system pretends that spending on credit expresses our personal freedom. As with all worldly dissimulations the reality is the opposite of the advertisement. Our society lauds individual liberty while simultaneously enslaving through debt.
Micah We know this instinctively from our own experience. If we lend to a neighbour or family member and seek to charge interest, we know we are demonstrating a tight fist, not a soft heart. In the OT law, interest  was prohibited within the Israelite community especially in the context of lending to the poor Exodus ; Leviticus , 37 but also between all fellow citizens Deuteronomy This prohibition is then upheld by David Psalm , Ezekiel , 13, 17; and Nehemiah — As we have seen, Jesus assumes the prevalence of interest-free lending within his society and then radicalises the OT teaching for his disciples Luke , Moreover, he further condemns the taking of interest in the Parables of the Talents Matthew —30 and Ten Minas Luke — As such, it is antithetical to both love of God and neighbour.
The corollary is that financial investments that explicitly share profit and loss through partnerships or equity  are positively encouraged, as long as any reasonable profit is fairly obtained.
Credit crunch book: ways to survive the crisis | This is Money
Such arrangements explicitly acknowledge that profit is uncertain and not presumed upon. In addition, a return from property can be derived from rents and leases. Exodus —15 describes a rental contract where hire charges act as compensation for the owner given that they retain the risk of ownership of the goods hired out. Leasehold contracts on land are also envisaged Leviticus —16, 29— Why is such a distinction made between interest on loans and a return from profit-sharing investments or rentals? The answer lies in the allocation of risk within the various forms of contract.
In a loan, ownership of the item lent and its associated obligations are transferred to the borrower, whereas in a profit-share partnership or rental contract, ownership and ultimate risk remains with the supplier of finance, or owner of property. A return on financial investment is only justified if legal ownership is retained, with the concomitant risk of loss.
The most difficult issue for the church has been how to apply this teaching in the context of wider society. For the OT text itself contains an exception for lending at interest to those outside the community of Israel Deuteronomy , as well as an exception to the seven-year cancellation of loans Deuteronomy The response is two-fold. Second, if we understand the priority of healthy relationships within public policy, we need to ask whether a debt-based financial system fosters them.
It is to this question we now turn. Yet the briefest reflection shows that, in practice, the mere passage of time builds nothing and benefits no-one in a fallen world.
Surviving the crunch
More pointedly in the context of the current crisis, interest-based finance embodies assumptions about the future. Borrowers hope they will have the wherewithal to repay while lenders believe that their security and the pooling of risk mean that the interest charged will cover any defaults. Essentially, debt finance is based on making working assumptions about the future and making promises based on those projections.
This works well in calm times, but its inherent fragility becomes apparent when shocks occur, as they invariably do, and the debt system then works to amplify the crisis and its costs. If we arranged our financial system around equity contracts, that embody no such assumptions about future returns and act as shock absorbers rather than amplifiers, it would be far more robust. But it is in our relationships to our neighbour that the problems with debt-based finance become most pointed.
To profit from the slavery of others is one of the worst of crimes, and yet that is effectively what happens with every interest-bearing loan once the layers of intermediation and obfuscation are stripped away. We may comfort ourselves by thinking that using a bank absolves us of such turpitude. The problem is that, as we have learned again to our cost since , the debt-based system and its banks only survive by holding the economy hostage and so pass the costs of their failures onto ill-informed or powerless third parties. As such, the debt system institutionalises injustice and exploitation.
Indeed, a good case can be made for believing that we have a financial system dedicated to inflation  because a debt-based system cannot survive if prices fall for a sustained period as occurred under the Great Depression.
Cookies on the BBC website
Central banks will now seemingly do anything to stop prices from falling in order to prevent the real value of debts from rising. There would still be economic fluctuations, no doubt, but they would not be amplified by the debt cycle, and the system could survive with a stable price level in the long run. Now we can see once again, in the light of bitter experience, that it does so for sound economic and financial reasons.
By severing the relationship between lender and borrower, the debt-based system economises on costs in the short-term only to impose them on innocent third parties in the long run. It has far-reaching implications for our personal money management, church finances, and public policy. On an individual or family level, these biblical injunctions most clearly point to the desirability of being debt-free. High debt levels and the resulting money worries constrain our service of God through career choice, often force both spouses to work, and can lead to marital pressures and divorce.
If occupying a house, seek alternatives to avoid a mortgage or minimise its size be that renting, using lease-to-buy arrangements,  or raising equity stakes from family members or friends. Then, use money to foster loving relationships rather than maximise financial return.
- Will you be laid off? 10 financial tips that can help you survive a job crisis.
- Download PDF Credit Crunch Survival Guide: 36 Ways to Make More Money?
- Every Essential Element.
- “Shut UP!” He Explained: A Writer’s Guide to the Uses and Misuses of Dialogue (Classic Wisdom on Writing).
- Will you be laid off? 10 financial tips that can help you survive a job crisis?
- Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach?
- Sheila Power An Entertainment.
Of course, all these desirable actions need to be tempered with prudence and wisdom, benefiting from the advice of others. This is unlikely to yield the best financial returns but it will embody relationally-positive principles in monetary form. Congregations could consider raising funds for interest-free loan funds in addition to grants to those in need.
Members could be trained to provide debt counselling within the church and community. Any essential longer-term savings held by the church should be held principally in property or equity with a close knowledge of the economic ends to which such resources are put. If their church or congregation cannot follow these principles, Christians should seek governance reforms until they can.
Societies ignore it at their peril. The overarching goal embodied in the biblical-based financial system is to move to a society with minimal long-term debt and investment channelled through interest-free, rental, or equity-type contracts. This radical objective touches almost every area of financial policy. The government responded with a set of regulations called the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of Someone who remembers the savings and loan crisis all too well is William Black.
They hate government involvement of any kind. Second, imagine yourself answering the … question of why did none of you get this right? The most memorable was the stock market crash. The causes are still debated.
Much blame has been placed on the growth of programme trading, where computers were executing a high number of trades in rapid fashion. Many were programmed to sell as prices dropped, creating something of a self-inflicted crash. Roger Ibbotson, a finance professor at Yale University and chairman of Zebra Capital, has written extensively about the crash. He recalls teaching a class when it was happening, and every few minutes a new student would drop in to his class saying the market had hit another low.
A lot of people tried to set up brokerage accounts to take advantage of some of the valuations. It was ultimately a short-lived event. The market continued to fall into November, but by December it was up and it ended the year positively. Ibbotson says things basically just went back to normal.
- The Spanking Collection: a charity anthology.
- More from IFR Special Report magazine?
- The Complete Works of Emile Zola.
- A History of the World Since 9/11.
- A history of the past 40 years in financial crises | IFR?
- Thomas DArcy McGee: 1.
A few changes were made, notably the introduction of circuit breakers that could halt trading, but apart from that, many people just shrugged and went back to making money. Junk bond crash — Next up was the junk bond collapse, which resulted in a significant recession in the US. The culmination of the crash is considered to be the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert, which was forced into bankruptcy in early , largely due to its heavy involvement in junk bonds.
At one point it had been the fifth-largest investment bank in the US. Ted Truman, now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, was then director of the international finance division at the Federal Reserve. He remembers the crisis as having similar undertones to the more recent financial and sovereign debt crises, where banks were underwater and the government had to bail out various institutions to avert further problems.
There is a view out there that any time there is a rescue, it encourages people to take risks.
A history of the past 40 years in financial crises
The system is rescued not the perpetrators. Reputations are besmirched. Analysts regard the crisis as being triggered by a reversal in economic policy in Mexico, whereby the new president, Ernesto Zedillo, removed the tight currency controls his predecessor had put in place.
Prior to Zedillo, banks had been lending large amounts of money at very low rates. It also hit markets across the developed world. Three years later it was able to repay all of its US Treasury loans. Numerous rate increases including a 0. Back then we knew rates needed to go up, but the speed and swiftness of the move derailed the market for a long time and we saw a dramatic collapse in volumes, and serious strains in the financial system.
It was one of the most problematic years ever in fixed income. It was a reminder to all participants that this is the real world and the real economy at stake.
Related Credit Crunch Survival Guide: 36 Ways to Make More Money
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved