[ExI] Banking, corporations, and rights (Re: Serfdom and libertarian critiques)

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Mar 2 11:24:35 UTC 2011

Eugen Leitl wrote:
> What I meant is that that purchasing ability of the monetary unit
> is periodically measured and renormalized to the resource basket,
> using a method which is resistant to gaming the metric (latter is
> a hard problem, as people are devious, given enough incentive). 

I am not even convinced it is possible, given the enormous arbitrages 
you can get by gaming.

But isn't the problem assuming that a *resource* basket is the place to 
start? Most value in our societies reside in the form of human and 
institutional capital, and even among our material goods value is 
concentrated in complex and highly processed systems where most of the 
added value comes from services. The elements making up an ipad are not 
too expensive, but the process of making and enabling it is where the 
value is added. Shouldn't there be ipads in the basket too? And linux code?

>> for its continued validity, ending up in repaying the entire capital.
>> This would appear to make usury impossible.
> It would be easy to fix usury, just outlaw compound interest. IIRC
> the islamic banking system operates that way.

Given the  economic problems  of the islamic world, there might be 
evidence against  avoiding compound interest.

The same was true for the medieval banking system where interest was 
also banned - people solved it by a tricky form of tripartite contracts 
instead, a kind of forerunner of mortgages and corporate stock, if I 
rememeber right. Some kingdoms threw out for-profit-bankers and found 
themselves strangely poor, while others like Florence and the 
Netherlands turned a blind eye to it and became trade centers.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute 
James Martin 21st Century School 
Philosophy Faculty 
Oxford University 

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