Prestiti, Stuarts, Sunshine and Gold

From a History of Interest Rates, by Sidney Homer;

Confidence in the prestiti (the forced loans of the Republic of Venice) grew with their long record of repayment of interest in spite of war and disaster. It was helped by the growth in the prosperity of Venice, and her ability to service her debts....however, in the course of the hundred years war, both the King of England and the King of France defaulted on their debts. Most of the big banks in Italy broke, and this led to reforms; in 1374, Venetian banks were forbidden to trade in speculative commodities; in 1403, they were required to hold two fifths of their assets in public debt; bank examiners were appointed.

From King Charles I, on the forced loans;
That he would not leave to posterity such a mark of weakness upon his reign; and therefore his conclusion was non placet petitio, non placet exemplum. Yet with this mitigation that in matters of loans he would refuse no reasonable excuse, nor should my lord chamberlain deny the arresting of any of his majesty's servants, if just cause was shown. The Parliament, however, acknowledged at this time, with thankfulness to the king, that he allowed disputes and inquires about his prerogative much beyond what had been indulged by any of his predecessors

From the a legal commentator on the Government of California, which is enforcing a loan of ten per cent on all paychecks, to be returned without interest next April, starting this Sunday;
As part of California's annual budget ordeal, rather than enacting new taxes, the legislature enacted (and the Governor signed) various income shifting and tax acceleration provisions. Under ABX4-17, as of November 1, 2009, employers will be using a new state income tax withholding table to increase by 10% the amount of income taxes withheld based on existing claimed exemptions...

California is proceeding on the assumption that either employees under withhold income taxes through payroll or that employees will not be smart enough to adjust their withholding, and instead give California an interest-free loan of California employees' income.

Empires and states rise in different ways; they fall recurrently.

So much gold has now been bought as a hedge against collapse that the world supply by some estimates has run out.

Still--it could be worse. These people are selling their wives to repay debt.


Exile said…
There is certainly no confusing you with a little ray of sunshine...
Martin Meenagh said…
And the same to you sir.

I am ill. Sympathy, in such a situation, is not much forthcoming. My beloved has told me to stop being an attention seeker and taught me some new Korean word for weak; and the people delivering my fees seem to be stuck in some alternate dimension where time is stretched out even unto the crack of doom.

I'm off to bed to watch some old eighties movies or something Japanese. Scrambled eggs and more pills later.

We're all doomed.

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