Joanne Lee, ‘Should Interest Rates be Regulated or Abolished? The Case for the Abolition of Usury’

Abstract
This article makes the normative case against usury, defined in the article as any interest on a loan. It argues that usury legitimises bondage of the borrower to the lender through debt. Based on this radicalised understanding of usury, it is further argued that usury facilitates debt accumulation, as well as fosters irresponsible lending and borrowing. It considers the counter-arguments of moral hazard, adverse selection and efficiency, concluding that it remains that the better view is that usury should be prohibited altogether. The article proposes a law to criminalise usury, as well as critically examining this proposed law and its rationale.

Lee, Joanne, Should Interest Rates be Regulated or Abolished? The Case for the Abolition of Usury” (2017) 8 The Western Australian Jurist 227.

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