Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?

By M. Hudson (University of Missouri) and C. Goodhart (LSE) As published by the Center for Economic Policy Research. Abstract In this paper we recall the history of Jubilee debt cancellations, emphasizing what their social purpose was at that time. We note that it would not be possible to copy that procedure exactly nowadays, primarily because most debt/credit relationships are intermediated via financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, etc., rather than by governments or wealthy families directly. But we argue that the underlying social purpose of such Jubilees – to keep debt within the reasonable ability to be paid without social and economic polarisation – could be recreated via alternative mechanisms, and we discuss the politico-economic arguments for, and against, doing so. Keywords: ...

He died for our debt, not our sins

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Cross posted from our friends at Renegade Inc. As many people turn towards their Christian and Jewish faiths this Christmas and Hanukkah in an attempt to make sense of the year that was, at least one economist says we have been reading the bible in an anachronistic way.
 In fact he has written an entire book on the topic. In ‘...And Forgive them their Debts: Credit and Redemption’ (available this spring on Amazon), Professor Michael Hudson makes the argument that far from being about sex, the bible is actually about economics, and debt in particular. 
"The Christianity we know today is not the Christianity of Jesus," says Professor Hudson. Indeed the Judaism that we know today is not the Judaism of Jesus either. 
The economist ...

The Land Belongs to God

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Speech to the Union Theological Seminary, Columbia. The focus of my talk today will be Jesus' first sermon and the long background behind it that helps explain what he was talking about and what he sought to bring about. I've been associated with Harvard University's Peabody Museum for over thirty years in Babylonian economic archeology. And for more than twenty years I've headed a group out of Harvard, the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE), writing a new economic history of the ancient Near East. The five colloquia volumes that we've published began in 1994. We decided we have to re-write the history to free it from the modern ideological preconceptions that have distorted much popular understanding. When I ...