Debt

The Mathematical Economics of Compound Rates of Interest: A Four-Thousand Year Overview Part II

April 24, 2001
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2. Why Economies Develop Debt Crises: The Mathematics of Compound Interest The past century’s economic schoolbooks have described a universe running down from entropy. Production is assumed to be plagued by diminishing returns, so that each additional unit of input produces less and less output. Even if technology were recognized to raise the productivity...

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How Interest Rates Were Set, 2500 BC – 1000 AD

March 24, 2000
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Originally published in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 43 (Spring 2000):132-161 Máš, tokos and fænus as metaphors for interest accruals* * An earlier draft of this paper has benefited from comments by William Hallo, the late W. F. Leemans, Johannes Renger, Piotr Steinkeller, Cornelia Wunsch and Norman Yoffee. For...

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The Lost Tradition of Biblical Debt Cancellations

March 24, 1992
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This article can be downloaded from here.

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Did the Phoenicians Introduce the Idea of Interest to Greece and Italy – and if so When?

March 15, 1992
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(from the Temples of Enterprise book in progress) Delivered at a symposium at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, March 15th-16th, 1990, this article was published in Gunter Kopcke and Isabelle Tokumaru, eds, Greece between East and West: 10th – 8th Centuries BC (Mainz: Verlag Phillip von Zabern, 1992). This paper seeks...

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