Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations Be Reintroduced Today?

31 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by Charles Goodhart

Charles Goodhart

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Financial Markets Group

Michael Hudson

University of Missouri at Kansas City - Department of Economics ; Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

In this paper we recall the history of Jubilee debt cancellations, emphasizing what their social purpose was at that time. We note that it would not be possible to copy that procedure exactly nowadays, primarily because most debt/credit relationships are intermediated via financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, etc., rather than by governments or wealthy families directly. But we argue that the underlying social purpose of such Jubilees- to keep debt within the reasonable ability to be paid without social and economic polarisation - could be recreated via alternative mechanisms, and we discuss the politico-economic arguments for, and against, doing so.

Keywords: Inequality; Debt-Canceling Jubilees; Babylonian and Byzantine Empires; Equity Participation; Student Loans; Land Tax

JEL Classification: E60, E61, E62, E65, H10, H23, H80, N30, N35, P43

Suggested Citation

Goodhart, Charles A.E. and Hudson, Michael, Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations Be Reintroduced Today? (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12605, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3106809

Charles A.E. Goodhart (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Financial Markets Group ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
0207 955 7555 (Phone)
0207 242 1006 (Fax)

Michael Hudson

University of Missouri at Kansas City - Department of Economics ( email )

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
United States

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