Laws Limiting Interest.
Answ. Local Interest, or a Reward given for having your Money at such a Place where you most need the use of it.
Qu. 30. What is the Trade of a Banker?
Answ. Buying and selling of Interest and Exchange: Who is honest only upon the Penalty of losing a beneficial Trade, founded upon a good Opinion of the World, which is called Credit.
Qu. 31. You were speaking of base Money and Farthings, which are generally below the intrinsick Value, and therefore ought not to be permitted to increase ad infinitum. Is there any way to know how many were enough?
Answ. I think there is: viz. Allowing about 12d. in Farthings, to every Family; So as if there be a Million of Families in England (as I think there be) then about 50000l. in Farthings would suffice for Change; and if such Farthings were but 1⁄5 below the intrinsick Value, a Nation would pay but 10000l. for this Convenience: But if this way of Families be not Limitation enough, you may help it by considering the smallest Piece of Silver Money current in the Nation; which how much lesser it is, by so much lesser may the Number of Farthings be: The use of Farthings being but to make up Payments in Silver, and to adjust Accompts: To which end of adjusting Accompts let me add, that if your old defective Farthings were cryed down to five a penny, you may keep all Accompts in a way of Decimal Arithmetick, which hath been long desired for the ease and certainty of Accompts.
Qu. 32. What do you think of our Laws for limiting Interest? |8|
Answ. The same as limiting the Exportation of Money; and there may be as well Laws for limiting Exchange also: For Interest always carrieth with it an Ensurance praemium, which is very casual, besides that of Forbearance: For Instance, in Ireland there was a time when Land (the highest Security) was sold for 2 Years Purchase: It was then naturally just to take 20, 30, or 40 per Cent. Interest; whereas there the Law allows but 10. And since that time, Land being risen to 12 Years purchase, responsible Men will not give