Capital and Interest (German: Kapital und Kapitalzins) is a three-volume work on finance published by Austrian economist Eugen Böhm von Bawerk. Translator’s Preface↩. My only reasons for writing a preface to a work so exhaustive, and in itself so lucid, as Professor Böhm-Bawerk’s Kapital und Kapitalzins. Capital and Interest (LvMI) – Kindle edition by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, William Smart. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or.

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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? In the case where the article in question is not perishable, if the use that is transferred is not to be paid for, the legal transaction is a Commodatum: Interest then is in some sense what Aquinas called it, a price asked for time. His labour would not have yielded the profitable result which returns him the undertaker’s wage without the assistance of the capital; he cannot charge for the sacrifice of his wealth as wealth and for the sacrifice of his wealth as capital.

The portion of total “profit” obtained by the private employer or undertaker, as such, is here eliminated; or, rather, it is made definite and measurable in being divided among the managing director, the ordinary directors, and the secretary, who are paid a fixed fee, salary, or, accurately and simply, a wage. This at once enables us to estimate the Use theory of interest. It has not always been perceived by economists that this surplus value is the essential phenomenon of what we call interest,—that interest on capital consists of this very surplus value and nothing else,—but whenever it is perceived the question almost suggests itself, What does this surplus value represent?

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. If both problems are attempted at the same time, these will find entrance only too easily into the theoretical part of the inquiry, and there, in virtue of the real importance they have in their proper place, weigh down one of the scales—perhaps that very one which would have remained the lighter if nothing but grounds of reason had been put in the balance.

While the theoretical problem deals exclusively with the causes of interest, the social and political problem deals principally with its effects. Write a customer review. Whence, and why does the capitalist, without personally exerting himself, obtain this endless flow of wealth?

Capital and Interest – Wikipedia

And this term Usury. This movement becomes observable about the middle of the sixteenth century, gathers impetus and power in the course of the seventeenth, baawerk towards its end obtains so distinct an ascendency that during the next hundred years it has only to do battle with a few baewrk writers who still represent the canon doctrine.

This we should probably consider the proper economic interest for capital invested in Great Britain. I feel that it would be impertinence in me to say anything here that would anticipate the complete and masterly criticism brought against this theory in Book VI.

It proves with absolute finality that the Exploitation theory gives no explanation of interest proper. There was only one opponent that the canon doctrine had never been entirely able to subdue, the economic practice of the people. As we read these refutations we begin to understand how Salmasius so brilliantly succeeded where Molinaeus a hundred years before had failed, in convincing his contemporaries.


East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. This compensation bears different names in common speech. Thus we can investigate with certainty into the nature and origin of the phenomenon of interest without requiring to decide beforehand on the exact boundary-line between the two profits.

In Germany, whose political economy during the seventeenth and even during the eighteenth century is not of much account, the Salmasian doctrine made its way slowly and unsensationally, gaining nothing in development. First comes a long-winded, and, it must be confessed, for all its subtlety a very lame attempt to prove that in the loan there is no alienation of the thing lent—a subject to which also the whole Diatriba de Mutuo is devoted.

Capital and Interest | Mises Institute

The rest of the polemic against the canonists has little theoretical interest. This pretext is offered them by time. We have seen that the previous theories were founded on some positive work supposed to be done by capital. In economical treatment this separation of the intterest distinct problems, which prudence suggests, has been neglected by many writers.

As things are, he pays nothing on 1st January; he has the use of the plane over the year; by 31st December the plane is consumed; and next day he has to pay over to James a precisely similar plane plus a plank. On this account it is inadmissible and unfair aand take anything over and above the lent sum for the use of the same, since this is not so much taken from money, which brings forth no fruit, as from the industry of another.

People were concerned less to investigate the nature of loan interest for its own sake than to find in theory something that would help them to an opinion on the good or evil of interest, and would give that opinion a firm root in religious, moral, or economical grounds.

The power wielded by the owners of wealth in the present day needs no statement. In the circumstances of the latter—where a perishable or fungible good is transferred—the use consists in one complete consumption; and it might be objected that, in such a case the use of a thing could not be separated from the thing itself.

Considerations like these show that there is constant danger that an unjustifiable use may be made of arguments in themselves justifiable. It has arisen in too exclusively studying the loan under the form properly called Hire—that is, where a durable good is lent and is returned at the year’s end, capita indeed but.

But what had most influence was that, in the sacred writings of the New Testament, were found certain passages which, as usually interpreted, seemed to contain a direct divine prohibition of the taking of interest. Finally, he is as little impressed by the passages in Holy Writ which have been interpreted as forbidding interest p. adn


But it would be easy to misunderstand the precise incidence of this criticism, and perhaps it is well to point out what it does and what it does not affect.

He need not want for a just title to it, “for he, as it were, ca;ital the fruit of his own estate”—not, as the holy Thomas carefully adds, a fruit that springs directly from the coins, but a captal that springs from those things that have been obtained in just exchange for the coins.

The first volume, History and Critque of Interest Theories, is a diligent and persuasive analysis of virtually all capital income theories. Those who took the trouble to go more deeply into the technicalities of business life must have seen that practice not only would not, but could not dispense with interest; that interest being the soul of credit, where credit exists to any considerable extent interest cannot be prevented; and that to suppress it would be to suppress nine-tenths of credit transactions.

In this answer two statements are involved: Briefly it amounts to this, that all material “goods,” the objects of economical attention as distinct from mere “things,” are economic only in virtue of their use, real or imaginary. The effect is to completely clear the field for his next book, The Positive Theory of Capital.

It does represent a sacrifice bawero in production, but not a sacrifice boh the capitalists.

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The working day of ten to twelve hours is a sort of divine institution to the ignorant labourer. If, now, we appeal to the common consciousness to say what it is that capital does, or, forbears to do, that it should receive interest, we shall probably get bojm answers. The question now is, Is such a dividend pure interest?

It is not that by waiting we get more than we give; what we get at the year’s end is no more than the equivalent value of what we lent a year before.

Translate the free labourer into a wage earner under capitalism, pay him the wage which is just sufficient to support himself and his family, and here also it is the case that he can produce more than his wage. The theory, that is to say, explains why the manufacturer has to pay a high price for raw materials, for the factory buildings, and for the machinery—the concrete forms of capital generally. The man who confuses the two problems, or perhaps mistakes the one for the other, and, looking at the matter in this way, forms one opinion upon bawrk, will be apt to confuse the two groups of arguments also, and allow each of them an influence on his total judgment.

But as regards the development of the theoretical interest problem, the whole period, notwithstanding its length, and baewrk the great number of writers who flourished during it, is rather barren.