Comments on the Theory of Interest

Ray H. Taber

[Reprinted from Land and Freedom, May-June 1941]

Permit me to offer a word of comment on Gaston Haxo's "Theory of Interest."

Capital is a vital necessity of modern business.

In large scale business, borrowed capital is the rule rather than the exception, as evidenced by the billions of security values listed in our Stock Exchanges, Insurance Companies, Building and Loan Associations, etc.

By the promise of Interest, a million trickles of small savings accounts are now induced to come out of hiding and flow into one vast pool where, under experienced management, they accept the risks of industrial activity and assist in providing work for our people.

Whether we call this promise "Interest" or "Insurance" or some other name is of no importance. But the principle, that when one individual entrusts his funds to another, he accepts a risk of loss, is of the greatest importance. And unless there is an adequate inducement to compensate for this risk, only a lunatic would consider the proposal.

Any attempt to deny this compensation for risk, dams every one of these capital trickles at the source. The pool of capital funds available for the encouragement of industrial enterprise dries up. Every form of business dependent on borrowed capital would tend to degenerate to what each individual manager could provide from his own resources. Conditions of unemployment would be indescribable.