No More Usury

I had a bunch of energy this morning and decided to work on a side project that I’m calling ‘No More Usury.’

I’ve been interested in the idea of usury for a long time, essentially since I learned what it was. Usury is the practice of charging interest for loans and it’s a sin in all of the Abrahamic religions. But all of our banks charge interest on loans, otherwise they wouldn’t make any money. I wondered what happened, did usury stop being a sin? Did people just stop caring?

In the West, with Christianity, it seems they just changed the definition of usury so that it meant charging excessive interest. In the Middle East, Islamic banks don’t charge interest on loans, but they take a share of any profits made by the business or entity. These religions have figured out a way around this sin so that banks can make money.

But if the bank wasn’t trying to make a profit it wouldn’t need to find a loophole around usury. What if there was a bank that had an entirely different business model; a non-profit bank wouldn’t need to charge interest.

In light of the student loan debt I am about to take on, and this recent Bill Moyers Segment I’ve decided to take some steps towards starting such a bank. Even if nothing happens, I think it’s a fun project to work on for my computer science masters.
I think the idea will appeal to conservatives who want a moral, usury-free bank, and liberals, who want to overthrow our current banking system. I think it’s a pretty good idea. Come visit my site and sign up for my email list if you think so too.

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