Money for Nothing: The Sin of Usury
Joseph Burke ()
No 801, Working Papers from Ave Maria University, Department of Economics
I present an overview of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on usury. In 1515, the Fifth Lateran Council defined “the real meaning of usury: when, from its use, a thing which produces nothing is applied to the acquiring of gain and profit without any work, any expense or any risk.” I argue that the economic conditions of the Middle Ages could not have justified any interest, but structural changes to the economy, including the abolition of slavery, inflation, and the emergence of markets for investment, justify interest on the basis of default risk, the costs of inflation, and opportunity costs.
Keywords: usury; commutative justice; Catholicism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B11 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 16 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba and nep-mac
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://mysite.avemaria.edu/jburke/working-papers/WP0801-Burke-Usury.pdf First version, 2008 (application/pdf)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 403 Forbidden
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:avm:wpaper:0801
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from Ave Maria University, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Joseph Burke ().