Jews and finance
Reader comment on: Jews and Capitalism
Submitted by David (United States), Jun 3, 2011 12:55
One issue is the law against usury. While the Torah allows and the Talmud encourages commerce; there is still a prohibition of borrow or lending with interest. My best guess is that the traditional view is that while commerce is encouraged, one should ultimately rely on God for his wealth. (Now a system was worked out where a loan is converted into a shared investment, but a straight loan for interest is prohibited.) Traditionally (or, if your prefer, religiously) then there's been a tension between free markets and elements of regulation. (Tractate Bava Basra has all kinds of regulations, especially zoning regulations so one does not encroach on his friends property.)
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