A Matter of Principle and Interest: The Briefest Possible History of Usury
Mark A. Senn
60 PROBATE& PROPERTY MARCH/APRIL 2006 Beginning with the advent of commerce—perhaps as long as seven millennia ago—interest has traditionally been charged in Western culture for the use of goods or money. Yet extortionate interest—and sometimes all interest—has often been prohibited, earning the opprobrious epithet “usury.” Over time, the prohibitiio of interest has given way to the realities of commerce and instead has evolved into the regulation of interest. This article reviews the evolution...