The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest

  • 15h 7m 11s
  • Edward Chancellor
  • Recorded Books, Inc.
  • 2022

In the beginning was the loan, and the loan carried interest. For at least five millennia people have been borrowing and lending at interest. Yet as capitalism became established from the late Middle Ages onwards, denunciations of interest were tempered because interest was a necessary reward for lenders to part with their capital. And interest performs many other vital functions: it encourages people to save; enables them to place a value on precious assets, such as houses and all manner of financial securities; and allows us to price risk.

Interest is often described as the "price of money," but it is better called the "price of time:" time is scarce, time has value, interest is the time value of money.

Over the first two decades of the twenty-first century, interest rates have sunk lower than ever before. Easy money after the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 has produced several ill effects, including the appearance of multiple asset price bubbles, a reduction in productivity growth, discouraging savings and exacerbating inequality, and forcing yield starved investors to take on excessive risk. In this enriching volume, Chancellor explores the history of interest and its essential function in determining how capital is allocated and priced.

About the Author

Edward Chancellor is a financial historian, journalist, and investment strategist. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with first class honors in Modern History, and from St. Antony's College, Oxford with a Master of Philosophy in Modern History. He is a former deputy US editor for and worked for Lazard Brothers in the early 1990s. He is a columnist for Financial Times and has written for numerous other publications.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction: The Anarchist and the Capitalist
  • Chapter 1 - Babylonian Birth
  • Chapter 2 - Selling Time
  • Chapter 3 - The Lowering of Interest
  • Chapter 4 - The Chimera
  • Chapter 5 - John Bull Cannot Stand Two Per Cent
  • Chapter 6 - Un Petit Coup de Whisky
  • Chapter 7 - Goodhart's Law
  • Chapter 8 - Secular Stagnation
  • Chapter 9 - The Raven of Basel
  • Chapter 10 - Unnatural Selection
  • Chapter 11 - The Promoter's Profit
  • Chapter 12 - A Big Fat Ugly Bubble
  • Chapter 13 - Your Mother Needs to Die
  • Chapter 14 - Let Them Eat Credit
  • Chapter 15 - The Price of Anxiety
  • Chapter 16 - Rusting Money
  • Chapter 17 - The Mother and Father of All Evil
  • Chapter 18 - Financial Repression with Chinese Characteristics
  • Conclusion: The New Road to Serfdom
  • Postscript: The World Turned Upside Down