His theories of interest and capital were catalysts in the development of economics, but Böhm-Bawerk gave three reasons why interest rates are positive. First. Translator’s Preface↩. My only reasons for writing a preface to a work so exhaustive, and in itself so lucid, as Professor Böhm-Bawerk’s Kapital und Kapitalzins. Capital and Interest (LvMI) – Kindle edition by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, William Smart. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or.

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Capital and Interest – Wikipedia

March Learn how and when to remove this template message. It is the explanation of Net interest with which the theory of interest naturally has to do. This article includes a list of referencesrelated reading or external linksbut its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Confusing these investigations will, in fact, endanger the correct solution of either problem, and that on several grounds.

Those who took the trouble to go more deeply into the technicalities of business life must have seen that practice not only would not, but could not dispense with interest; that interest being the soul of credit, where credit exists to any considerable extent interest cannot be prevented; and that to suppress it would be to suppress nine-tenths of credit transactions. Too weak to hazard open war against the principle of prohibition, the business world yet managed to prevent its strict and complete legal enforcement, and to establish a number of exceptions some direct and some indirect.

The income that flows from capital, sometimes called in German Rent of Capital, we shall simply call Interest. Here is the original English translation by Scottish economist William Smart, the one that had the largest impact on the American and British economic scene, and the one that remains lucid and penetrating.

But the value does not arise in the production, nor is it proportional to the efforts and sacrifices of that production. Roscher has well remarked that on the lower stages of economical development there regularly appears a lively dislike to the taking of interest.

All that I have attempted to do is to lay down as briefly as possible a useful and certain terminology, on the basis of which we may have a common understanding in the critical and historical part of this work. After a few introductory definitions, he turns to the examination of the jus divinum, and finds that the relevant passages of Holy Writ are misinterpreted. To prove the unrighteousness of loan interest appeal is made to God and His revelation, to passages of Holy Writ, to the commandments concerning charity, righteousness, and so on; only rarely, and then in the most general terms, to legal and economical considerations.


Men were fighting, as we shall see, not for the centre of the problem, but for an outpost of it which, from a theoretical standpoint, was of comparatively subordinate importance.

The power wielded by the capitwl of wealth in the present day needs no statement. It is quite intelligible why this should be so. Calvin has defined his attitude towards our question in a letter to his friend Oekolampadius.

He points out very well that the height of loan interest must at all times correspond with the height of natural interest, the latter indeed being the ground and source of the former; and he maintains that, where, owing to the use of money, the current rate of profit is higher, a higher limit of loan interest should be allowed p. The other has to work hard for all he gets; time does nothing for him.

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The strength of the Abstinence theory is that the facts it rests on really give the explanation how capital comes into being in primitive conditions and in new countries. As a “Platonic” utterance of the idealists their criticism had not sufficient weight in the world of practice to be either seriously opposed or seriously defended.

The laws of Justinian which allow interest, and only limit its amount, are consequently not to be considered unjust, but actually in the interest of the borrower, inasmuch as the payment of a moderate interest gives him the chance of making a greater profit No. In the fifth edition published he refers to it, indeed, but in the kind of tone which one usually adopts towards a foregone conclusion.

But time is a common good that belongs to no one in particular, but is given to all equally by God. And this investigation could not be one that was content to point out the obvious and striking forms of the phenomenon, but one that would cast light on its more homely forms.


The dark days which preceded and followed the break up of the Roman Empire had brought a reaction in economical matters, which, in its turn, had the natural result of strengthening the old hostile feeling against interest. Here we have to reckon with the familiar fact that limited companies, under similar conditions, pay the most various rates of dividend. Thus, in course of time there appears a favoured class who are able not only to live without working, but to direct, control, and even limit the labour of the majority.

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This, however, immediately suggests the question why a public which, as a rule, is not willing to pay more than it can help for anything, should pay prices such as allow of this profit.

Set up a giveaway.

First comes a long-winded, and, it must be confessed, for all its subtlety a very lame attempt to prove that in the loan there is no alienation of the thing lent—a subject to which also the whole Diatriba de Mutuo is devoted. The more usurers there are the better; their emulation will press down the rate of interest.

Capital and Interest | Mises Institute

The Abstinence theory, on the other hand, is founded on the negative part played by the capitalist. Another party of thinking and observing men went farther. It is generally called Interest when the capital consists of perishable or fungible goods. Thus it was inevitable that its collisions with the economical world should become much more numerous and much more serious.

The insufficiency of the present theory to meet these requirements may be shown in another way. Consequently the lender of money suffers delays, anxieties, and losses, and by reason of these the claim czpital the loan to payment is even caoital consistent with fairness than that of the Commodatum.

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