The parasites are circling.
At some point in history, most of the world’s major religions have condemned the practice of usury (loaning money with interest). In the past it has been regarded by many cultures as sinful, and some still ban the practice today.
The earliest know condemnations of usury come from the Vedic texts of India, and similar condemnations are found in religious texts from Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The practice was outlawed in ancient China, ancient Greece, ancient Rome and many parts of Europe during the Middle Ages.
As the influence of religion has dwindled in the modern world, it has left a space that Mammon has gleefully stepped up to occupy; so successfully that for many the worship of Mammon (aka the pursuit of wealth) has become a religion in itself.
The strongest evidence for this being the widespread acceptance of usury, which is now central to our economies, to our lives and to our high streets.
One of the biggest growth areas in our towns and cities over the last year or so has been the emergence of the “money shops”.
They seem to be multiplying like rabbits, falling over each other to offer us the simplest way of getting money. Each has it’s unique selling point. Some are glorified pawnshops; others seek security in the form of a car, or a house; some just need a working friend to be a guarantor.
What unites them is their common desire to make money from people who are struggling to make ends meet – plus their nice, happy, colourful ads trying to convince us that they are our best friends in this time of crisis.
The plethora of facts and figures that these people throw around is really confusing. So I would like your advice to help me decide which is the biggest parasite?
Current front-runners are:
– “Straight talking money” at up to 3,600%APR
– advertised APR of around 200% but known to charge as much as 4,200%; and see http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/loan-company-the-money-shop-part-1378564 for details of their other contribution to our local economies!).
Let me know what you think.