From ancient Greece to the Middle Ages, the practice of charging interest on loans was branded unproductive and immoral. It was condemned as "usury", a word that connotes wickedness; and money-lenders throughout history have been viewed as parasites and villains. Although the ancient prohibitions on money-lending have been relaxed since the Middle Ages, they continue to affect public policy, and people's view of finance, even today. Dr. Brook discusses the historical and philosophical context for the condemnations of money-lending, and reveals the substantial consequences of those condemnations. He demonstrates both the economic importance and the moral desirability of money-lending.
This lecture was recorded at the 2001 Objectivist Summer Conference in Anaheim, CA.
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