Currently, loans are very common financial operations and used throughout the world. More and more people are opting for this way of obtaining liquidity to carry out their projects easily and simply. But it was not always like this.
Pioneering Lenders: Greece and Rome
In antiquity, barter was the medium of majority exchange and, to some extent, served to access resources that were not available, in exchange for available resources. The growing projection of increasingly ambitious companies by Greek merchants and explorers, made pre-classical Greece to adopt the first loans of real money with interests, already tested successfully among the Phoenicians.
It can be said that without this brilliant idea, the flourishing of classical culture would never have been possible, due to the economic limitations of initially self-sufficient societies. While it took Rome several centuries to adopt the loans as a means of economic growth, discussions among jurists of the time demonstrate the concern of Roman society to define fair interest rates.
Lack of liquidity?
With the advent of Christianity, the classical conception of wealth as a desirable means and end, as well as a source of economic and moral progress, was progressively replaced by the moral censorship of usury. In this way, several centuries of decay were experienced, in which both cultural production and economic progress were damaged due to the lack of financial liquidity motivated by the prohibition of interest loans.
But despite this, the loans continued to function, especially among the Hebrew communities scattered throughout the Christian kingdoms. Over the centuries, Jews became the great lenders who financed the most important companies in medieval history. In general, the loans offered could vary, from zero interest for members of their community, to reasonable interest rates for other borrowers, always based on the trust and solvency of the same.
Liquidity, discoveries and progress
With the discovery of America, thanks to a loan made by the Catholic Monarchs to finance the expedition of Columbus, the need to finance the most unusual and unimaginable companies became evident. The boost of wealth that this discovery meant for Europe, meant a very important step in history, since the idea of progress was gradually imposed on all of society, as the most effective means of creating wealth and happiness.
During the eighteenth century there was a major change, with the creation of commercial banks, first in Europe and then in the United States. This meant an increasing ease of access to loans, even by small traders and entrepreneurs. Already entered into the twentieth century, virtually anyone with a business idea, a service, or simply an economic need, could access loans with which to fulfill personal and collective dreams.
- Back to the list of posts
- Categories Finance