The Economic Ethics of Ezra Pound

ICER Working Paper No. 25/2010

28 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010

See all articles by Alessandro Lanteri

Alessandro Lanteri

University of Piemonte Orientale - Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Date Written: October 1, 2010


The poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a moralist who regarded economics as key to understanding human society, and thereby to solve most social problems. He became a prolific writer of economic texts, in which he espoused the ideas of two heretic economists: Major Clifford Douglas’ social credit and national dividend, and Silvio Gesell’s perishable currency. Pound’s economic thought has long been neglected, but in times of financial crisis his crusade against bankers and his utopian visions might make a timely come back. It is therefore unfortunate that, of Pound’s economic lessons, the morally most compelling are also those less economically sound.

Keywords: Basic Income, Ezra Pound, Major C. Douglas, Silvio Gesell, Social Credit, Stamp

Suggested Citation

Lanteri, Alessandro, The Economic Ethics of Ezra Pound (October 1, 2010). ICER Working Paper No. 25/2010. Available at SSRN: or

Alessandro Lanteri (Contact Author)

University of Piemonte Orientale - Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods ( email )

Via Perrone 18
28100 Novara


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA

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