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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The need for a debt jubilee

It's not often that I agree with socialist economics, but in this case, my only disagreement with Michael Hudson's argument is that we are quite obviously already in a depression. It's too late to avoid it, but a debt jubilee - as commanded by the Bible - is both a way to end the depression and free the productive classes from the chains of a relentlessly rapacious and entirely anti-productive financial elite:
Even before the coronavirus appeared, many American families were falling behind on student loans, auto loans, credit card balances and other payments. America’s debt overhead was pricing its labor and industry out of world markets. A debt crisis was inevitable eventually, but covid-19 has made it immediate.

Massive social distancing, with its accompanying job losses, stock dives, and huge bailouts to debt-strapped corporations, raises the threat of a depression. But it doesn’t have to be this way. History offers us another alternative in such situations: a debt jubilee. This slate-cleaning, balance-restoring step recognizes the fundamental truth that when debts grow too large to be paid without reducing debtors to poverty, the way to hold society together and restore balance is simply to cancel the bad debts.

The word Jubilee comes from the Hebrew word for trumpet — yobel. In Mosaic Law, it was blown every fifty years to signal the Year of the Lord, in which personal debts were to be cancelled. The alternative, the prophet Isaiah warned, was for smallholders to forfeit their lands to creditors: “Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.” When Jesus delivered his first sermon, the Gospel of Luke describes him as unrolling the scroll of Isaiah and announcing that he had come to proclaim the Year of the Lord, the Jubilee Year.

Until recently, historians doubted that such a debt jubilee would have been possible in practice, or that such proclamations could have been enforced. But Assyriologists have found that from the beginning of recorded history in the Near East, it was normal for new rulers to proclaim a debt amnesty upon taking the throne. Instead of blowing a trumpet, the ruler “raised the sacred torch” to signal the amnesty.

It is now understood that these rulers were not being utopian or idealistic in forgiving debts. The alternative would have been for debtors to fall into bondage. Kingdoms would have lost their labor force, since so many would be working off debts to their creditors. Many debtors would have run away (much as Greeks emigrated en masse after their recent debt crisis) and communities would have been prone to attack from without.

The parallels to the current moment are notable. The U.S. economy has polarized sharply since the 2008 financial crisis. For far too many, the debts in place leave little income available for spending on goods and services or in the national interest. In a crashing economy, any demand that newly massive debts be paid to a financial class that has already absorbed most of the wealth gained since 2008 can only further split our society.

The way to restore normalcy today is a debt writedown. The debts in deepest arrears, and most likely to default, are student debts, medical debts, general consumer debts and purely speculative debts. They block spending on goods and services, shrinking the “real” economy. A debt writedown would be pragmatic, not merely a moral sympathy with the less affluent.
Financialization does not help the economy by making it more efficient. To the contrary, it makes the economy far more fragile while destroying the underlying society for the benefit of a few foreign invaders.

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106 Comments:

Blogger Shimshon March 24, 2020 8:48 AM  

Biblically, debts were cancelled every seven years (shmitta). Property was restored to ancestral owners every fifty (yovel).

That sounds spergy, but it gives you an idea of the perniciousness of debt enslavement if the debt was wiped out over seven times more often.

Blogger PragmaticTroll March 24, 2020 8:55 AM  

Vox, what is your position on lending in a 100% reserves money system?

Blogger cavalier973 March 24, 2020 8:56 AM  

We should also eliminate fractional reserve banking.

Proverbs 11:1 KJV — A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.


Proverbs 20:23 KJV — Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.


Abomination.

Blogger John Regan March 24, 2020 9:00 AM  

Well, having devoted some thought to this problem a while back, one of the difficulties is picking and choosing which debts, if any, could continue through the jubilee. I figured only bank deposits and currency. I never did get much feedback about it all, other than the usual criticism that this whole jubilee idea would reward financial irresponsibility.

Could be that the pandemic panic might prompt some thought about this from people who know more than I do or who can think it through better.

My thought was that basically you couldn't pick and choose. If you start down the road of debt cancellation you can't stop until you've canceled all of it. Currency and bank deposits remain only because that's the only "money" left.

Well, other than gold, because I also thought the occasion could be used to re-institute the gold standard. I also figured the liquidity problems would be quickly resolved because: a) there wouldn't be the need for liquidity that we're used to because no one would have any debts to pay; and b) mining gold would be so instantly profitable (since the legal gold price would have to be pegged at something like $50K per ounce) that a huge amount would be produced almost immediately.

Anyway, a jubilee is a tough thing to figure out. For me, anyway.

Blogger Up from the pond March 24, 2020 9:02 AM  

Every Shylock reading this will squeal like a stuck pig.

Blogger Dr. J March 24, 2020 9:02 AM  

The proposals to save big corporations - airlines, massive hospital systems, even the cruise lines amount to bailout money, and those directed to small business are all in the form of loans.

If I want to keep my business solvent, I'll be forced to put it in an unsupportable level of debt. Or perhaps common sense can reassert itself and we can go back to work.

Blogger thechortling March 24, 2020 9:04 AM  

What segment of the population would even realize that their lack of discipline and all out pursuit of "mammon" is the (not just "a" ... in this case) root cause of their ills?

is this just a "greater good" argument which ignores the savers and investors who are not super rich. They become collateral damage in a culture where greed is not just good, it's all people know.

it seems to me that we're entering a period of chastening. Probably even more painful in some ways than the 1930s. At some point there is some spare the rod, spoil the child issues with removing the consequences of headlong foolishness.

I'm prepared to receive my forty logic lashes here. I still struggle to see how keeping this one corner of the rules would work when you still have unchecked immorality in nearly every other quarter of modern existence. Jubilee had a context of operation.

Blogger Lazarus March 24, 2020 9:08 AM  

Would the debt of corporations be wiped also, or just that of human?

Blogger Stilicho March 24, 2020 9:08 AM  

Present the banksters with a choice: jubilee or defenestration.

The new normal would be shorter term loans, real collateral, actual due diligence re: ability to repay, meaningful downpayments/skin in the game, etc. "Savings" would re-enter the lexicon.

Oh, and Bankster tears. A flood of them. We might even need an ark.

Blogger SigSyndicate March 24, 2020 9:18 AM  

Just curious, how often do you think the debt jubilee should take place, Vox? Every fifty years, like in the Bible?

Blogger Doktor Jeep March 24, 2020 9:19 AM  

But Vox, I already bought everything on credit and threw 80 percent of my life's earnings into paying interest.What about meeeeeeee?

Blogger CM March 24, 2020 9:21 AM  

I never did get much feedback about it all, other than the usual criticism that this whole jubilee idea would reward financial irresponsibility.

I know what you mean. My efforts at pointing out the debt is untenable has gotten minimal movement from very few people. But I haven't even made mention of debt jubilees. Simply using the monstrous student loan fiasco, the lack of compassion on the Right is an eye opener. Simply getting them to see something is wrong with the situation is nigh impossible.

To them, all these 17 year olds signed on dotted lines with full and complete knowledge of what they were doing. Trying to show how the Financial Aid packages that were sold to families and students were obscured and misleading has been like pulling teeth out there.

I HAVE had some success on this angle in showing something is wrong. But to make the jump from bad and predatory loans to debt jubilee is a HUGE jump. I need the right amount of rhetoric to galvanize, but I want to prime enough of these people to the injustice in our loan system before doing that, elsewise, you push people who could be convinced of the idea into the never convinced pile.

Blogger nswhorse March 24, 2020 9:21 AM  

The answer to the "rewarding financial irresponsibility" whine is to simply point out that we have been doing that for many years, to the tune of trillions, but only for the financial class. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. It is everyone else's turn now. Let the bankers screech and the bowties spin.

Blogger Silly but True March 24, 2020 9:27 AM  

I can buy into a jubilee but only if the proper vampires get their dose of sunlight.

The secondary market of mortgage and loan guarantees must first be broken before the jubilee. I’m sure there are creative ways this could work to get around inevitable lawsuits. For example, dragging current Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater from his office into the street, then tarring him, feathering him, and ride him on a rail towards current Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman’s office. More forceful market correction could also be needed.

After the secondary market is scattered to the winds, then you can free up student loans so the primary lender feels the direct impact of their contributory poor decisions.

Blogger Jose Miguel March 24, 2020 9:30 AM  

I was homeless for a couple months when just after paying off my student loans, I got laid off and didn't want to get back into debt. Debt jubilee would do so much good. Thing is the financial class would still own most real wealth even with that, ergo the 50 year everyone gets their real property back. I've wondered about how that could be replicated, then saw that the federal government owns an insane amount of land West of the Mississippi.

Blogger cavalier973 March 24, 2020 9:32 AM  

If Abe lends his lawnmower to Ben, Abe does not enjoy the use of his lawnmower while Ben has it. The lawnmower is a 100% reserve item, in a way. It should work the same with someone's money. If Abe lends it to Ben then Abe cant also decide to spend it.

Abe may charge Ben a fee for borrowing the lawnmower. He may aso charge a fee for borrowing his money.

Blogger mgh March 24, 2020 9:33 AM  

Jubilee is a tough thing to figure out and to sell to the public. How about writing jubilees into the law, starting with unsecured debt? If you make your minimum payments for 7 years, you are relieved of all obligation to the bank. Make the banks figure out how to lower the spending limits and raise the minimum payment to stay profitable without putting people in debt forever.

Blogger borsabil March 24, 2020 9:41 AM  

Corona-Chan has speeded up the inevitable. We've been living with severe deflation for over a decade now, covered up by the government juicing asset prices. Western economies are being destroyed, it will take decades to recover from this and massive social unrest is baked in.

I believe that Corona is a bio-weapon, I don't think any intelligent person can look at the timeline and data and come to any other conclusion. The only question I have is who released it?

The Chinese are now reporting a complete eradication of the virus. This is not fake, they're not hiding anything, it's gone. I have many business associates in China and all of them tell me things there are back to normal. Even in Wuhan they've eliminated all transmission in 8 weeks, a remarkable achievement unprecedented in the history of viral pandemics. Corona-Chan was at pandemic levels through most of their country including in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, and it was eliminated in these regions in four weeks! Time will tell if they suffer a repeat outbreak but it looks to me like the fuckers have a vaccine for this thing.

I was in China when the outbreak got going and everyone was amazed at why the CCP not only covered up what they know was a highly contagious viral pneumonia but they were actually encouraging massive intermingling of the population including holding the largest ever party to celebrate Chinese New Year. My conclusion is they wanted a large infected population and they wanted it to spread. Wuhan is an important industrial centre and their are hundreds of thousands of migrant workers based in Europe who came home for the celebrations. Note also the CCP put enormous pressure on the WHO to advise that any travel bans from Wuhan, let alone China, would be counter productive and racist.

Another data point to consider is the enormous resources the Chinese are deploying to scrub any mention of the origin of the virus from western social media and news sites. Go on to any of the major MSM sites who allow reader comments and post that the virus originated in a Chinese food market, which is the WHO's explanation, and see what happens. They must be spending big to bribe the big media corporations, companies that are presently staring into the abyss of financial ruin, to censor like this.

I take my hat off to the fuckers. When this is over they'll have replaced the United States as the worlds premier power and no one will question how they took the throne lest they piss off the new boss.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 9:41 AM  

The main difference between lending in a 100% reserve system and a fractional reserve system is time, if usury is permitted. The 100% reserve will become a fractional reserve system by hook or crook, all in pursuit of Mammon.

Other than the rhetorical, the difference is that fractional-reserve makes all of society pay for debts in a roundabout way, whether or not they borrowed anything. Supply and demand, if there's fictional money in the system, that pushes the supply of money up and makes everything cost more even for people who aren't borrowing.

But yes, seriously, usury via complete reserve WILL turn into fractional reserve eventually. It's a known and inevitable failure path, permitting usury in the first place being the failure mode of which it is subset.

Blogger VD March 24, 2020 9:47 AM  

Would the debt of corporations be wiped also, or just that of human?

No, only natural persons. Corporations have no lifespans.

how often do you think the debt jubilee should take place, Vox? Every fifty years, like in the Bible?

I would say every 15 years, as per the common 15-year mortgage.

Blogger Carlos Carrasco March 24, 2020 9:47 AM  

Q did promise the coming Storm was going to be Biblical. A Jubilee would fit nicely in the Plan.

Blogger borsabil March 24, 2020 9:49 AM  

"My thought was that basically you couldn't pick and choose. If you start down the road of debt cancellation you can't stop until you've canceled all of it. Currency and bank deposits remain only because that's the only "money" left."

Correct. It will start of with student loans, an utterly pernicious and corrupt practice of debt enslavement which has destroyed an entire generation's ability to form stable households and have children. In most of the west these loans are government backed so they'll just be written off. If I was advising Trump I'd be telling him to use Corona-Chan as a justification to write the whole damn lot off while also confiscating all University endowments as an emergency measure. He's basically a dictator at this point, people are terrified at what's happening and he can do whatever he wants. The Dems won't block him as their base would eat them alive if they tried.

Blogger John Regan March 24, 2020 10:00 AM  

VD, why leave corporations out?

One of the things that bothers me about the financialization of everything is that corporations are specifically designed to be financed through equity purchases of stock, not debt. But in the end the publicly traded corporations, with the most access to "equity" markets, will generally opt for debt financing.

One of the reasons, I think, is that existing shareholders, or some group of them, always object to issuing more stock because their shares will be "diluted". It's always a tough sell. It's a very similar problem to the objections encountered when proposing a debt jubilee where people believe they have been responsible and are getting the shaft.

Wouldn't we rather corporations hire and produce rather than spend so much energy paying back loans?

Blogger Станислав Бартошевич March 24, 2020 10:02 AM  

For a change, I agree with Hudson in this particular case as well. Because it seems like in US' current climate BigBiz is going to have its debts forgiven one way or another, even at the cost of possible hyperinflation from enormous money injections already in the process. So letting debts of normal citizens stay would be massively unfair. Never mind likely to cause social disintegration on an epic scale.

Blogger VD March 24, 2020 10:04 AM  

VD, why leave corporations out?

Because otherwise the executives will abuse the system even worse than they do now with debt-funded stock buybacks.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 10:15 AM  

"He may aso charge a fee for borrowing his money."

Not unless it's fixed with no scaling "interest". Even then it's probably wrong, I just have to think about it more.

Blogger Damelon Brinn March 24, 2020 10:17 AM  

What segment of the population would even realize that their lack of discipline and all out pursuit of "mammon" is the (not just "a" ... in this case) root cause of their ills?

Very little, but you have to get past that. People are what they are, especially in large groups. If you could teach people to be responsible about these things, debt jubilees wouldn't be necessary in the first place.

Some foolish or irresponsible people are going to benefit, and they're going to use the opportunity to continue making bad decisions without learning a single lesson. The benefit to society outweighs that. We're going to need a lot of cash flowing around to hire people to start manufacturing here again.

Blogger John Regan March 24, 2020 10:17 AM  

@25

Well, I see the point. Maybe abuses could be separately addressed by criminalizing them, or at least allowing more robust civil enforcement.

But then the courts would have to do their job. Which is probably a pipe dream.

Blogger Tars Tarkas March 24, 2020 10:19 AM  

Would a general debt forgiveness have to come with a new law to prevent people from just immediately going back in to debt again?
What happens to things like pension plans that own a lot of this debt?

Blogger Gulo Gulo March 24, 2020 10:20 AM  

"When this is over they'll have replaced the United States as the worlds premier power"

That has been what Martin Armstrong - Armstrong Economics- has been saying for years now.

Blogger Tars Tarkas March 24, 2020 10:29 AM  

CM wrote:But to make the jump from bad and predatory loans to debt jubilee is a HUGE jump.

If the Republican politicians or Trump specifically starts saying we need to do this, all of the rationalizations for keeping the younguns chained to student loan debt, or the disgusting rationalizations of things like super high interest "pay day loans" will evaporate. These are just rationalizations and once they are told to stop holding them, they will.

The real problem is not ideological. The real problem is that a lot of the debt is held by things like pension funds and so someone else' debt forgiveness is their asset stripping. Getting pensioners to go along will not be possible. But there are probably not enough of them to matter.

Blogger Damelon Brinn March 24, 2020 10:35 AM  

Simply using the monstrous student loan fiasco, the lack of compassion on the Right is an eye opener.

As soon as you mention student debt, they instantly imagine the worst sort of whiny Millennial hipster with a degree in Marxism, sitting at Starbucks with a latte and talking to his pink-haired girlfriend about how Bernie and legal weed are the answer to everything. I know, because I see him too. No one wants to do that guy a favor.

You have to be able to see past him to all the people who honestly tried to follow the path everyone said was the responsible one, and got screwed. Most conservatives can't do that.

Blogger Crush Limbraw March 24, 2020 10:38 AM  

"Forgive Us Our Debts" - a collection of articles word searched and conveniently arranged- https://crushlimbraw.blogspot.com/search?q=Forgive+us+our+debts&updated-max=2019-04-07T11:37:00-07:00&max-results=20&by-date=false&m=0 - archived in DaLimbraw Library arranged by relevance. You can flip the list to 'by date' - latest first.
You will recognize the authors.
Just as Vox Day has said, Western Civilization is not sustainable without Christianity and Christianity is not sustainable without Jesus Christ.

Blogger Rough Carrigan March 24, 2020 10:44 AM  

#31. Two birds with one stone. Make the Fed buy all the debt. Then declare a jubilee.

Blogger Guy Incognito March 24, 2020 10:45 AM  

"Mortgage Jubilee" has a nice ring to it.

Blogger Stilicho March 24, 2020 10:46 AM  

I have little compassion for idiots taking on idiotic debt. However, I recognize the systemic problems we are all facing due to runaway debt levels, therefore I favor forgiveness of debts (for humans at least). It will be less disruptive than the collapse due to the majority of those debts defaulting anyway and orders of magnitude more moral that irresponsible debtors get a handout than handouts being given to the irresponsible, immoral,lying, and often outright evil banksters who sold the debt like crack dealers in the hood.

I say this as someone with no debt. The Boomers can kiss my ass.

Blogger Tom Bridgeland March 24, 2020 10:46 AM  

Foreign invaders and local sociopaths profit.

If only done occasionally and unexpectedly, a Jubilee would be terribly destructive. If done routinely, people would easily adapt and plan lending and borrowing accordingly, with no disruption.

I'd like to see a one to two week yearly holiday like current stay at home orders/travel restrictions, as a disease Jubilee. Timed in the late fall, it would crush the yearly cold and flu seasons. Done as we are doing now, in response to a crisis, it's an economic disaster. Planned for and yearly, the economy would take it in stride.

Blogger John Regan March 24, 2020 10:46 AM  

@29, @31

Indeed, pensions are wiped out under any effective jubilee I can think of.

Two things about that, though. There are other ways to address that problem, although I haven't been able to think of a perfect solution; and a lot of pensions get wiped out anyway. It's one of the great unreported, or at least under-reported stories of the last few decades, how people's hopes for security and income in their old age have been so frequently dashed.

I know people who spent their whole working life with General Motors, expecting a generous pension in their retirement years.

You may recall GM went bankrupt.

Blogger Gr8Again March 24, 2020 10:49 AM  

Wouldn't printing money and dropping it from helicopters (i.e. in a manner that gets the money directly to people without using banks as an intermediary) be roughly equivalent to a partial debt jubilee? We could aim for a doubling of the money supply, which would effectively halve all debt.

Blogger Oswald March 24, 2020 10:53 AM  

I will have to study up on the biblical jubilee. To a certain extent we already have debtors' prisons. If you fail to pay your child support you can be put in jail. Now of course, a real man should pay for his kids, but this situation at least partially arises from the push to allow divorce, which ultimately cheapened the marriage institution. Even gay people get married now. Talk about cheapening marriage.

Another example of debtors' prison, is in many places they have these debtors' examinations, where debtors can be forced to answer questions about their assets put forth by their judgment creditors, and if they fail to show up for the examination or answer truthfully they can be held in contempt of court, which could include being put in jail.

P.S. Just noticed a message on the computer from the World Health Organization; they have a recommendation for mental health: only check the news once or twice a day. Now they tell me.

Blogger LES March 24, 2020 10:56 AM  

Exodus 22:25

25 “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.

Proverbs 22:7

7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Deuteronomy 23:20

20 To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you shall not charge interest, that the LORD your God may bless you in all to which you set your hand in the land which you are entering to possess.

Deuteronomy 15:6

6 For the LORD your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.

Blogger CM March 24, 2020 11:03 AM  

Would a general debt forgiveness have to come with a new law to prevent people from just immediately going back in to debt again?

I would expect a regular jubilee would alter lending behavior. A lendor will only lend money it expects to get back in 7 years (or however long for the jubilee). I'd expect more loans being given out early in the cycle and fewer going out at the end of the cycle.

I don't think I'd mind indentured servitude or debtors prison if everyone is released at the jubilee, either. <- its an untested idea. I've only bounced it off my husband.

I was thinking this would lead to more natural inflationary/deflationary cycles at regular times, limiting the booms and bust cycles to create a smoother cycle and more predictable <- which means less opportunity for manipulating blind spots and taking advantage of the complex system we have now.

Blogger borsabil March 24, 2020 11:16 AM  

"As soon as you mention student debt, they instantly imagine the worst sort of whiny Millennial hipster with a degree in Marxism, sitting at Starbucks with a latte and talking to his pink-haired girlfriend about how Bernie and legal weed are the answer to everything. I know, because I see him too. No one wants to do that guy a favor."

To overcome the conservative aversion to forgiving student loans make some exceptions. Anyone who took on debt to obtain a gender studies or queer musicology degree are excluded from the program. This has the upside of being incredibly unfair and hilarious at the same time.

"Would a general debt forgiveness have to come with a new law to prevent people from just immediately going back in to debt again?"

You make the jubilee cyclical and frequent. Buyer beware. If someone is dumb enough to give Shaniqua a 15 year mortgage 2 years before the jubilee then that's on them. Will this eliminate all consumer lending? Yes, which is the point.

"What happens to things like pension plans that own a lot of this debt?"

Fucking over boomers is a feature not a bug. They have plenty of unearned wealth. Yes asset prices will take a massive dive, which they must if we're to prevent civilizational collapse. The point is they'll be left with something to retire on, that something being the actual value of their asset not the inflated prices achieved by pulling forward demand through screwing over their children and grandchildren. The alternative is we keep going as we are and they'll be left with nothing.

Blogger Yossarian March 24, 2020 11:20 AM  

With all this debt jubilee talk I'm starting to think I should take on a massive bank loan.

Blogger Monotonous Languor March 24, 2020 11:27 AM  

Financial capitalism is any especially pernicious form of capitalism in general. Once it gets locked into the economy, it sacrifices long term real assets to short term money flows, and does so on an increasingly runaway exponential basis.

Jesus came to give man release from his spiritual debts; I'm hoping that Trump has come to release us from onerous usurious debts here on earth.

Blogger Doktor Jeep March 24, 2020 11:36 AM  

The only traction we are going to get with jubilee is to spell it Jewbilee to everybody becomes afraid to oppose it.

Blogger Jeroth March 24, 2020 11:36 AM  

If Trump did something like this, I might start calling him God Emperor again. All indications say he won't. But please, surprise me.

I also saw someone trying to make the case that Trump is currently in the process of ending the Fed, which is what is causing this upheaval. Something about using the trillion dollar coin to do it. I didn't fully understand it, but it was.... interesting. To say the least.

Blogger Monotonous Languor March 24, 2020 11:36 AM  

Forgiving a certain percentage for all personal debts (i.e. not 100% of certain kinds of debt) would mitigate most of the objections I read here.

Blogger Jack Amok March 24, 2020 11:43 AM  

You have to be able to see past him to all the people who honestly tried to follow the path everyone said was the responsible one, and got screwed. Most conservatives can't do that.

Indeed. In fact, the reason the responsible kids had to go into so much debt for their accounting or engineering or pre-med degrees was because the pink-haired freaks were able to bid up the price of tuition with their irresponsible loans.

The evil of debt is that it empowers the irresponsible to out-compete the responsible for access to resources and forces nearly everyone to either go to the money-lenders or fall behind. Being smart and staying debt-free is a great long-term strategy, but hurts in the short and mid-term, and without a regular thing like a jubilee, you never know how far away the long term is.

Blogger John Rockwell March 24, 2020 11:47 AM  

There was the debt jubilee and sabbath for the land:
https://biblehub.com/bsb/leviticus/25.htm

No agrarian activity was to be done every 7 years. And 49 years was a general jubilee including return of all ancestral land and property to its original owners.

Blogger Uncle John's Band March 24, 2020 11:57 AM  

Creditors eat the debt in a jubilee, making them regular would have profound effects on behavior. Providers become accountable for their charges with major changes for the better in lending practices, lifestyle decisions, education.

To make it happen, the Pharisaical fetishization of legalism needs to change. The way contemporary law works against the good of the nation is bizarre and perverse.

Blogger Joe Smith March 24, 2020 12:00 PM  

@26 That's something I've wondered about but haven't figured out yet. Is it wrong to lend money for a flat fee? That's something like interest, but with no compounding.

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 12:08 PM  

"Vox, what is your position on lending in a 100% reserves money system?"

It's mathematically impossible.

If you have to have 100% reserves, then you can't loan even a cent.

Also, you have to charge depositors for the service of storing their wealth in a vault (or else, you're running a vault for free).

If politicians weren't naturally untrustworthy, it would be logical that the vault would be run at the municipal government level... but that would be MUCH too attractive a target -- for then every aspiring bank robber would be running for mayor.

Blogger Jehu March 24, 2020 12:11 PM  

The US has fairly decent bankruptcy laws implementing a 'roll your own' jubilee. But student loans are not discharged by it, and they need to be. There's no good reason and every reason from a who..whom perspective to eliminate that exemption.

Blogger Damelon Brinn March 24, 2020 12:12 PM  

I would expect a regular jubilee would alter lending behavior.

Even a single one would have a positive effect on it, since they'd realize it could happen again. Regular ones on a schedule would be even better.

Blogger Shimshon March 24, 2020 12:26 PM  

@36 "I have little compassion for idiots taking on idiotic debt."

You should even have less compassion for idiot bankers loaning to idiot borrowers.

Blogger James Dixon March 24, 2020 12:35 PM  

> I believe that Corona is a bio-weapon...

Covered fairly well at https://harvardtothebighouse.com/2020/01/31/logistical-and-technical-analysis-of-the-origins-of-the-wuhan-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

> What happens to things like pension plans that own a lot of this debt?

The current debt levels are unsustainable. They're screwed either way. But note Vox is only talking about personal debt, not corporate debt.

> Not unless it's fixed with no scaling "interest".

The wear and tear cost on the mower is reasonable. They do wear out eventually.

> When this is over they'll have replaced the United States as the worlds premier power

For a time, maybe. But their own internal problems will eventually bring that to an end.

> If only done occasionally and unexpectedly, a Jubilee would be terribly destructive. If done routinely, people would easily adapt and plan lending and borrowing accordingly, with no disruption.

So make all future debt subject to a periodic jubilee and deal with the existing debt separately? That might be doable.






Blogger Bibliotheca Servare March 24, 2020 12:37 PM  

I agree this is necessary. That said, if pension plans are wiped out there are gonna be a *lot* of pissed off cops, firemen, etc. Not sure how we'll handle that.

That aside, I was just thinking about how a regular debt jubilee would/will affect lenders' behavior...try enforcing laws mandating that minorities with questionable ability to repay a debt be treated (for lending purposes) no differently than your average, gainfully employed, financially stable, white, middle class person with an excellent history of repaying their debts...when unpaid debts will cease to exist every 7 or so years.

A debt jubilee might actually force lenders' to stop lending like drunk, spineless morons, terrified that they might be accused of -and investigated on the charge of- discriminatory lending practices. And forget about "predatory lending"...the prey has an inevitable escape from the creditor's clutches! It's a beautiful thought.

And while yes, the Boomers will have the 30+ year mortgages they refinanced and applied for -in an effort to spend every single possible cent their children might have inherited- forgiven...they won't be able to apply for new ones!

The debt jubilee might actually make it harder for parents to borrow off their children's future inheritance. Another joyful thought.

Blogger Moniker J March 24, 2020 12:37 PM  

AFAIK there is a near-term spectre of so-called "bail-ins"; as part of that, individual bank deposits have been (re)classified as loans made to the bank. I don't know how this figures in, if at all.

Blogger [Redacted] March 24, 2020 12:52 PM  

"Even in Wuhan they've eliminated all transmission in 8 weeks, a remarkable achievement unprecedented in the history of viral pandemics."

No they didn't. We can only know that after the dust has settled. I have been patiently waiting for Vox's take on the cultural and economic impact of this, and I can only reasonably hope for that within 6 months at the earliest. I am seeing nothing but zealous support for China and its government everywhere online while the world goes further and further into lockdowns and quarantines. If the Chinese government is so magnificent, then it would have been contained within its borders, and so would the teams of pro-China trolls and shills online. Nobody is going to walk away from this without a firm and rational resentment of Chinese people and anyone who does business with them.

Blogger Zwiebel March 24, 2020 12:55 PM  

I believe housing is a better route. It's like that: houses are exorbitantly expensive, many people can only afford shoeboxes far away from their workplace. No space for family, even hobbies!

And this affects everyone, as the high house prices also translate to high rents. You can't escape it, no matter how prudent you yourself might be.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 12:58 PM  

cavalier973 wrote:Abe may charge Ben a fee for borrowing the lawnmower. He may aso charge a fee for borrowing his money.
The prohibition against usury isn't found in the Bible. What is found in the Bible, over and over, is the command to not oppress your brother. If you are going to make a deal with someone, that deal needs to be good for him.

I think I remember that there is special mention of lending money in the Old Testament, and that is surely because money lending has so much scope for confusion and confusion gives lenders so much scope to oppress their brothers.

Easy bankruptcy is an individual mini-jubilee, and in the US it's available every 7 years, I think. Easy bankruptcy is the best defense against predatory lenders.

100% reserve banking, in which the bank lends its own capital, and cannot lend any more than the amount of capital it owns outright, would allow for commerce but would essentially eliminate predatory lending, since the bank would not be willing to risk losing its own capital to the borrower's bankruptcy. All loans of pre-existing capital would be secured by property, because no one sane would loan on any other terms.

Blogger Stilicho March 24, 2020 1:01 PM  

"You should even have less compassion for idiot bankers loaning to idiot borrowers."

I do, hence the rest of the comment which you failed to quote, particularly the part about immoral, lyng, and downright evil Banksters.

Blogger Stryker4570 March 24, 2020 1:07 PM  

The present situation regarding debt is unsustainable. A 'jubilee' or whatever you want to call it is already baked into the cake. We can cooperate and get ahead of the curve, doing it 'nicely' or it will drag us kicking and screaming into a new way of life.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 1:09 PM  

Eliminating fractional reserve banking is absolutely necessary to straightening out our economic mess. Fractional reserve banking lets banks counterfeit past production, turning Says Law in its head, and lets them engage in predatory lending with no risk to themselves at all. The lender lends nothing real, it lends a ledger entry. The borrower defaults? The bank looses its ledger entry. It can just make another ledger entry, as soon as it finds another sucker to oppress.

The fractional reserve lenders get to trade their counterfeit production for real assets, producing nothing and winding up with everything.

Ending compound interest would be necessary also. Since value would be created by production and could not be counterfeited by ledger entries, it would become obvious that the exponential money growth compound interest requires is not possible.

Loan out fake money, require the borrowers to borrow even more fake money to repay the first loan, threaten to collapse the economy if borrowers stop borrowing, all the while trading fake money for real assets: it's the ultimate grabbler scheme. (((Who))) could object to ending the ultimate grabbler scheme?

Blogger James Dixon March 24, 2020 1:16 PM  

> If you have to have 100% reserves, then you can't loan even a cent.

As long as you have a fiat currency, your reserves can be gold, silver, or any other material the public is willing accept.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 1:17 PM  

Stilicho wrote:I have little compassion for idiots taking on idiotic debt. However, I recognize the systemic problems we are all facing due to runaway debt levels, therefore I favor forgiveness of debts (for humans at least).
A rising tide lifts all boats. It's too bad that doing the right thing will help idiots who deserve worse, but we must still do the right thing.
John Regan wrote:Indeed, pensions are wiped out under any effective jubilee I can think of.
Pension and equivalent obligations add up to far more than can ever be repaid. Default is inevitable, and will wipe out pensions and entitlements.
All that is left to us is to manage the default, and try to make some good come of it.

Blogger Nathan Hornok March 24, 2020 1:17 PM  

I had this realization the other day. The economy could totally crash, the DOW drop to almost nothing, and yet in reality, we haven't lost anything real. You could still look around and see all the same houses and cars and machinery and factories and other signs of real wealth. We would still have a country mostly filled with completely capable and hard working people who are willing to work to provide goods and services to each other. So what is the whole economic crash other than a stripping away of an imaginary world based on usury and fraud?

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 1:26 PM  

@CM

1. Lay off the argument for a while.
2. Study Neuro-linguistic Programming and Hypnosis.
3. Put into practice the language patterns using imagination and vagueness ("what if ... ", " what would [X] [look/feel/sound/be] like?" "can you ...?" [a challenge of ability/competence is more powerful a motivator than a direct command], and dozens upon dozens of others).

There used to be an NLP phrase-deck developed by Yates Canipe. Lost mine. Trying to find if anybody still has any. None of his site, none on the site I obtained them from, none on e-bay :-(.

Blogger Up from the pond March 24, 2020 1:31 PM  

Everything has a context of operation. There is no action that will clean all corners simultaneously. One has to do "triage" in a bad situation: pick the most effective course with comparatively fewer long-term harms and go for it. The usual example is crashing a car to save its passengers from driving over the edge of a cliff. One ends up with a damaged car and injured passengers, which is not good, but at least they're not dead, which would be worse. And I don't think a debt jubilee would be as dire as that example although I may be wrong.

Blogger JohnofAustria March 24, 2020 1:47 PM  

It's a good idea, since the economic impacts will far outweigh the disease if we keep this up much more.

Blogger CostelloM March 24, 2020 1:52 PM  

We also have hundreds of thousands in jail/prison with continual court fees wracking up interest, recurring unpayable child support demands, in addition to student loans, medical bills, etc. If we do a jubilee how do we handle the debts to "the community" like court fees or to another person like child support when it cannot be paid? It all needs to go IMHOP or else it becomes a political football

Blogger John Regan March 24, 2020 1:56 PM  

@65

How do you see ending fractional reserve lending and compound interest? Criminalizing it? Otherwise discouraging it by law?

Serious question, not rhetorical or antagonistic. One thing I came up with is that the government could lend directly at no interest.

It's hard to think of something that could stand even the remotest chance of wiping out lending or lending at interest. It goes underground. That's why I figured the optimal solution was to offer a viable alternative.

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 2:01 PM  

Here's some examples, but without Yates Canipe's clarifying explanations

http://nlpnotes.com/suggestive-phrases/

Blogger John Regan March 24, 2020 2:01 PM  

@65

If you look at number 5 here I explained a little. Prally went on too long.

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 2:04 PM  

"Abe may charge Ben a fee for borrowing the lawnmower. He may aso charge a fee for borrowing his money."

That's ok for (((Abraham))) and (((Benjamin))) but what about Christopher?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 2:11 PM  

"With all this debt jubilee talk I'm starting to think I should take on a massive bank loan."

People like you are the reason we can't have nice things. Expect to be hanged when caught.

"It's mathematically impossible.

If you have to have 100% reserves, then you can't loan even a cent."


That's not how reserves work. Amazingly reserves are not at all what common sense and a quaint touch of sanity would lead one to believe.

You have to realize that this goes back to the very origin of banking, ancient Babylon, where goldsmiths would hold other peoples' money in their better-than average safes or guarded vaults. They would then write out promissory notes, redeemed for the physical cash by whoever held them as a form of lending and expedited general exchange.

Problem was, as always, some of the goldsmiths were greedy fuckers and wrote out more notes then they could actually back in order to collect more interest on the loans. As long as everyone didn't try to collect at the same time, everything was fine.... Then inevitably they'd write out more loans. As long as no more than half of the people come to collect at the same time, everything's fine. Next, as long as no more than 10%... and so on.

That's what reserve actually means. Heck, that's the only thing it could possibly mean in our system which is fundamentally based on debt. There's no physically valuable cash anywhere, and the individual banks lending out are just lending second-order or so fake money, whereas the physical bills are just first-order fake money.

"The wear and tear cost on the mower is reasonable. They do wear out eventually."

Reasonable, but somewhat stingy. That being said, I was talking about lending money when I said what you quoted. That being said, thanks for pointing out the root of the issue.

Why on earth should someone be able to charge a fee of money for lending money? Money doesn't degrade with use in any meaningful way. Either do it because you trust the person enough and have enough surplus, or don't do it. Anything else is just excuses for predation.

"Eliminating fractional reserve banking is absolutely necessary to straightening out our economic mess. Fractional reserve banking lets banks counterfeit past production, turning Says Law in its head, and lets them engage in predatory lending with no risk to themselves at all. The lender lends nothing real, it lends a ledger entry."

DING! Yes, one necessary measure among several.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 2:34 PM  

Akulkis wrote:It's mathematically impossible.

If you have to have 100% reserves, then you can't loan even a cent.

Don't be silly. You can loan out your own money. You can't loan out the borrowed money that the borrower turns around and deposits in your bank. The short of it is that fractional reserve lending creates ``money'' by lending. 100% reserve never creates money. The lender lends only what he has already earned.
Akulkis wrote:Also, you have to charge depositors for the service of storing their wealth in a vault (or else, you're running a vault for free).
What's wrong with that?

Blogger Kiwi March 24, 2020 2:39 PM  

The NZ government has thrown open its purse this week, they're trucking out welfare for the next 12 weeks. I'm hoping we go another year without a reset but I won't be surprised if we see it before then.

On the bright side, I'm not expecting the virus to physically wound our people by any magnitude.

Blogger Nihil Dicit March 24, 2020 2:43 PM  

The two common arguments against debt relief are nothing but smug, self-righteous twaddle:

1. "I paid all my debts!" Well, bully for you. Wait a minute, that means you're hoarding credit! Saboteurs! Seize them!

2. A barely-disguised conviction that the people who are buried in debt need further punishment for their "irresponsibility" (often tied to concerns over hurting the totally-not-irresponsible-in-their-lending banks). This is a tacit acknowledgement that the debts will never be paid, but there's nary a hint that this "punishment" is brutalizing us all economically and socially.

Blogger SirHamster March 24, 2020 3:07 PM  

Shimshon wrote:You should even have less compassion for idiot bankers loaning to idiot borrowers.
Rather, predatory bankers hoping that people's misplaced sense of justice will allow them to continue enslaving and scalping foolish borrowers.

Blogger Jack Amok March 24, 2020 3:37 PM  

if pension plans are wiped out there are gonna be a *lot* of pissed off cops, firemen, etc. Not sure how we'll handle that.

Probably easier to handle a bunch of geriatric retired cops then a bunch of pissed-off 25 year old non-cops who can't get a decent paying job because the pension plans are hoovering up all the money. One of those two groups is going to have to get the short end of the stick. From a purely practical standpoint, shafting the pensioners is both less dangerous and more productive. From a moral standpoint? The geezers had several decades at the helm. The kids just got here. Who gets the blame?

Why on earth should someone be able to charge a fee of money for lending money? Money doesn't degrade with use in any meaningful way. Either do it because you trust the person enough and have enough surplus, or don't do it.

Nobody would lend money in any large amounts that way. If I have a half-million surplus, and I lend it at zero interest, the best I can hope for is to get a half-million back, so why would I take the risk that comes even if I trust you. Trustworthy people can still have setbacks.

But don't take that as me approving of the practice- it creates all sorts of problems even without the predatory element involved. Just if we want to get rid of interest on loans, we'll need some other mechanism for allocating surplus wealth to new endeavors, and most of those are going to end up looking at least a little like usury and having similar problems.

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 3:38 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 3:38 PM  

"To make it happen, the Pharisaical fetishization of legalism needs to change. The way contemporary law works against the good of the nation is bizarre and perverse."

The shiv -- "Everything Hitler did as Fuhrer was in strict adherence to German law at the time."

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 3:44 PM  

AFAIK there is a near-term spectre of so-called "bail-ins"; as part of that, individual bank deposits have been (re)classified as loans made to the bank. I don't know how this figures in, if at all."

In any bank's company books (the ones the auditors look at), depositor's money is a liability (it has to be paid back to the depositor), not an asset.

Thus, depositor's money has ALWAYS been a loan in any fractional-reserve system.

Blogger Wraithburn March 24, 2020 3:46 PM  

For all those claiming debt forgiveness would never work because creditors would see it coming, Hudson had some things to say in his book.

Some modern commentators complain that debt cancellations were impractical because creditors would have avoided making loans if they anticipated the likelihood of a misarum act. But Charpin's review of the surviving documentation shows that just the opposite occurred: The volume of debt increased sharply prior to the royal edicts.[439] The vast majority did not reflect prior loans, but arrears on payments supposed to be made out of the harvest but which failed or was disrupted.[440] That is what prompted the royal edicts. They were responses to economic disorder, not the cause. They recognized the need to restore economic balance when the rural population's inability to meet its liabilities led to widespread insolvency.

Blogger Tars Tarkas March 24, 2020 4:19 PM  

The worst part is that the bankers get to create money out of thin air, lend said thin-air to a person for a real asset, like a plot of land and then take the real land if they miss a payment.

Without growth, even if it is only nominal growth, the entire system starts unraveling. The economy can limp on for years with only very low nominal growth. But when it goes negative, even if only a small amount, the wheels fall off.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 4:52 PM  

Jack Amok wrote:If I have a half-million surplus, and I lend it at zero interest, the best I can hope for is to get a half-million back, so why would I take the risk that comes even if I trust you. Trustworthy people can still have setbacks.
Bingo! You would never make an unsecured loan with your own money. That's a good thing.

If Joe wants to buy a house, and you have enough excess money to buy a house but don't want a house, you can buy a house and rent it to Joe at a slightly above-market rate, with a contract saying that after X payments, it's Joe's house. If this deal is good for Joe, it's not wrong, even if the Pharisees call it usury. Oppressing your brother is always wrong, no matter what the Pharisees call it.

A bunch of dudes with excess capital could get together, form a bank, and help a bunch of Joes.

Blogger eclecticme March 24, 2020 4:59 PM  

I highly recommend reading Michael Hudson, also including The Monster, and Killing the Host. Much new to me. It took a while for much to sink in.

We have been reading the following for a while.
1. People are living paycheck to paycheck. If there is a crash .....
2. The US has so much debt that a new stimulus will not work.

Now here we are.

Taleb mentioned that the economy is hyperoptimzed and very fragile. Think of the cheap supply chains to China and importing cheap labor. He also mentioned how the financial economy is efficient amd profitable only if you ignore the outliers. E.g. ignore the 2008 crash and throw out the 2008 data points.

How does globalization look now? It may only make economic sense if you throw out the current data points of destroying much of the US economy. You have to ignore reality and rely on models and Portuguese wine.

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants March 24, 2020 5:16 PM  

Oy vey, goyim. Are you saying (((goldsmiths))) are greedy? It's like another shoah!
Oy gevalt.

Blogger Shadow Banisher March 24, 2020 5:32 PM  

How double-dog dare you Vox. I'm a baby boomer. I worked through college 15 hours a week at $4 an hour to pay for it plus my Buick & mortgage. What have you done millenial?!?

Blogger CM March 24, 2020 5:37 PM  

That's what reserve actually means. Heck, that's the only thing it could possibly mean in our system which is fundamentally based on debt. There's no physically valuable cash anywhere, and the individual banks lending out are just lending second-order or so fake money, whereas the physical bills are just first-order fake money.

My husband and I were dancing around this today. He instinctively knows the money from the 2008 crash went somewhere, but where?

I don't know if he gets this part or not - that it was all fake. Its line item money... not physical cash. To even say it exists in asset valuation is giving it more credit than it deserves.

I am an economic dunce, but I think part of that is because anyone who talks economic theory seems to assume this doesn't exist or that it isn't a problem. To me, it just seems like complete and total bull shit that no rational system can possibly be built upon.

Blogger eclecticme March 24, 2020 5:54 PM  

88. Ominous CowherdMarch 24, 2020 4:52 PM
...
If Joe wants to buy a house, and you have enough excess money to buy a house but don't want a house, you can buy a house and rent it to Joe at a slightly above-market rate, with a contract saying that after X payments, it's Joe's house. If this deal is good for Joe, it's not wrong, even if the Pharisees call it usury. Oppressing your brother is always wrong, no matter what the Pharisees call it.

A bunch of dudes with excess capital could get together, form a bank, and help a bunch of Joes.


The bank makes loans to crack whores for mortgages they cannot pay and the bank has to write off the bad loans and goes under. No debt and no assets or less debt and less assets. Good result.

The bank makes mortages and the economy tanks. Same result.

The bank bundles the mortgages and sells them to greater fools. Same result but the greater fools are left empy handed. Good result.

Current situation. Govt borrows from future people to pay banks or greater fools. Bad result plus the future people may not pay off as they cannot. Loans that cannot be repaid will not be repaid.

Blogger CM March 24, 2020 6:10 PM  

The volume of debt increased sharply prior to the royal edicts.[439] The vast majority did not reflect prior loans, but arrears on payments supposed to be made out of the harvest but which failed or was disrupted.[440] That is what prompted the royal edicts. They were responses to economic disorder, not the cause. They recognized the need to restore economic balance when the rural population's inability to meet its liabilities led to widespread insolvency.

This is interesting, specifically for this time. Imagine corona virus leading people to lost wages due to government shut downs of businesses, resulting in a rapid credit expansion preceding people getting back to work and what already was a very, very bad debt situation becomes even worse...

What are the chances we do get some limited form of debt jubilee out of the corona panic?

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 6:19 PM  

@93 Eclecticme, my point was that a 100% reserve system could work very well indeed, and to give an example of how it could work. We don't have to encourage evil to have a functioning economy.

I agree that the current system is fundamentally evil and produces disastrous results. That's the point of Vox's original post, too.

Blogger Ahărôwn March 24, 2020 6:23 PM  

I have no debt, and I support a debt Jubilee.

Blogger JovianStorm March 24, 2020 6:43 PM  

Banks use the money we save to loan out so if that money didn't need to be paid back then the savers are footing the bill...

Blogger eclecticme March 24, 2020 6:54 PM  

91. Shadow BanisherMarch 24, 2020 5:32 PM
How double-dog dare you Vox. I'm a baby boomer. I worked through college 15 hours a week at $4 an hour to pay for it plus my Buick & mortgage. What have you done millenial?!?


I went to the U of MN site and took their yearly tuition for verious years fir resident undergrad. Also the fed and mn wage history. You can do this yourself.

yr, fed min wage, tuition, min wage hours to make tuition
1970 $1.60, $399, 250 hours
1990 $4.00, $2322, 580 hours
2020 $7.25, $13,318, 1836 hours
For 2020 the MN state min wage is $9.86 so 1350 hours required.
https://oir.umn.edu/sites/oir.umn.edu/files/tuitionumntc.pdf

Back to you boomer. BTW I cleaned a backery for years, detassled corn, did yard work, apt maintenance, bus boy, car hop, dishwasher, security guard, and more.

Blogger Brett baker March 24, 2020 7:38 PM  

But their donors would have them killed if Trump did it.

Blogger eclecticme March 24, 2020 10:27 PM  

95. Ominous CowherdMarch 24, 2020 6:19 PM
@93 Eclecticme, my point was that a 100% reserve system could work very well indeed, and to give an example of how it could work. We don't have to encourage evil to have a functioning economy.

I agree that the current system is fundamentally evil and produces disastrous results. That's the point of Vox's original post, too.


I do not disagree. I just wanted to show how the banking system has been perverted to be the worst of all worlds. I self idendtify as a right wing conservative but agree with the godson of Leon Trotsky, Michael Hudson. WTF?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 10:43 PM  

"You would never make an unsecured loan with your own money. That's a good thing."

Or else it would be out of generosity or largess, rather than, you know, greed.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 10:46 PM  

"What are the chances we do get some limited form of debt jubilee out of the corona panic?"

If the shutdowns go for more than about a month? All but inevitable.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 10:47 PM  

"Banks use the money we save to loan out so if that money didn't need to be paid back then the savers are footing the bill..."

See: "A run on Banks."

The savers do foot the bill. Every time.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 24, 2020 10:52 PM  

"I worked through college 15 hours a week at $4 an hour to pay for"

Corona love you long time.

Blogger Akulkis March 25, 2020 8:09 AM  

" I self idendtify as a right wing conservative but agree with the godson of Leon Trotsky, Michael Hudson. WTF?"

Even a stopped Communist is correct once in a while. Even rarer is that he's correct for the right reason.

Sanders is interesting. In 2016, he was identifying problems and their causes very accurately -- but his hare-brained Commie solutions would have exacerbated every one of those problems and created more.

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