Finance caused the fall of Rome

A debtor’s prison window; over its arch is the legend ‘Pray remember debtors having no allowance.’ Behind the bars is a skeletal figure in a student’s cap and gown. To the left is a pile of skulls surmounted by a raven.

It’s hard to overstate the impact that David Graeber’s 2012 blockbuster Debt: The First Five Thousand Years had on society; it’s a truly magesterial history of the way that debt — and debt forgiveness — played in the establishment of advanced civilization and its downfall:

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