“Earth-Shattering” Book Argues That Ancients Routinely Did What Our Government Should Do: Give Debtors A Clean Slate
Above Photo: Courtesy Michael Hudson
Michael Hudson, one of the few economists who accurately predicted the Great Recession, has written a book — …and Forgive Them Their Debts — that caused John Siman to remark in Naked Capitalism: “To grasp his central argument is so alien to our modern way of thinking … that Hudson quite matter-of-factly agreed with me that the book is … ‘earth-shattering’ in both intent and effect.” Hudson’s central argument is that, again and again, century after century, forgiveness of debts had been a necessary cornerstone of successful civilizations.
This fact could not have been known until now, until twentieth century scholars of ancient Mesopotamia completed their archaeological and philological analyses … and Michael Hudson digested the scholarship to conclude that, “The Bible is preoccupied with debt, not sin.” Hudson explains in a recent interview with Dr Simon Radford:
“The problem today is that the debts are not owed to the Nazis [as was the case in 1947/48]: they are owed to the banks, and the richest layer of the population.” But history, mathematics, and economic logic all point in the same direction: it is only a clean slate that can restore economic vitality.
In light of Hudson’s plea to heed the lessons of the ancients, the case for public banks becomes even more clear: when credit is issued by government, not by private interests, subsequent debt can and should be easily forgiven when needed so that all may benefit.
Hudson’s interview article continued:
Many people today “don’t understand the linguistics of debt and sin”, [Hudson] says. “Again and again, Jesus denounces the creditors: they were the sinners, not the debtors. That’s the most important message that he had.”
The book was selected for the Best Books of 2018: Economics by the Financial Times.