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bond market

November 28, 2011

Ancient Mesopotamia knew how to deal with bankers. Every time a new monarch ascended to the throne, he would order all outstanding debts to be forgiven: the slates on which loans were recorded were literally swept clean.

Ancient Mesopotamia knew how to deal with bankers. Every time a new monarch ascended to the throne, he would order all outstanding debts to be forgiven: the slates on which loans were recorded were literally swept clean.

This was bad news for the people who advanced loans, but a relief to the common people, happy to pledge loyalty to their new monarch by way of return. The tradition began in Lagash, now in southern Iraq, in 2400 BC and lasted for generations.

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