By Robert E. Lane
--David O. Sears, Professor of Psychology and Political technological know-how, UCLA
"Lane's deep wisdom of the resources of human happiness allows him to advance a robust critique of financial theory."
---Robert A. Dahl, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political technological know-how, Yale University
Robert E. Lane is the Eugene Meyer Professor Emeritus of Political technological know-how at Yale college. His earlier guides contain The lack of Happiness in marketplace Democracies (2000) and The industry event (1991).
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Additional resources for After the End of History: The Curious Fate of American Materialism
Moreover, the bills increased merchants’ interdependency, making the entire structure of credit more vulnerable to economic shocks. Yet neither the complications nor the imperfect legal system seriously hindered the bills’ effectiveness. Moreover, their extended use enhanced London’s financial role because all bills payable in Britain were required to go through the Bank of England or one of the many merchant houses in the capital. 39 Not all large creditors practiced restraint, but those who did were motivated less by altruism than self-interest, as happened during the panic of 1772, when some 25 percent of bills in the Chesapeake tobacco trade were protested.
Assignment—legal instruments that transferred an insolvent debtor’s assets to a trustee charged with liquidating the property and distributing the money to creditors—also worked in favor of debtors. “Except in a few states,” explains Balleisen, “failed debtors could make a creditor’s access to dividends from such trusts dependent on a legal release from any obligation to pay the outstanding part of the claim. ”111 Because of these obstacles, creditors often preferred to work out a payment arrangement directly with the debtor rather than rely on third parties to collect the debts, even if this meant extending the payment schedule to months or even years.
A merchant’s reputation was, therefore, literally his stock-in-trade, an asset to be protected at all cost. ”46 In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, credit granting and all of the skills associated with it became among the most critical determinants of success for British merchants and traders. Many transactions could be entrusted to correspondents abroad or specialist brokers at home. ”47 American Practices For most of the eighteenth century, the North American and West Indian colonies comprised the most dynamic sector of Britain’s overseas trade.
After the End of History: The Curious Fate of American Materialism by Robert E. Lane