Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Philip Kay on Rome’s Economic Revolution

The ancient historian Philip Kay gives a talk in the video below on the economic history of the last centuries of the Roman Republic, given in London on 11th March, 2014. He is also author of the recent book Rome’s Economic Revolution (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014).

Kay understands endogenous money and the role of fractional reserve banks in credit money creation.

I have discussed the debt deflationary crisis of the Late Roman Republic here, an economic phenomenon which Kay seems only dimly aware of (at least in this talk) with respect to the financial crisis of 88 BC and the years that followed it.

Though his work is somewhat old now, and he did not explicitly invoke debt deflation theory, nevertheless C. T. Barlow (1978 and 1980) years ago provided a very insightful analysis of the late Roman Republican economy in terms very close to modern debt deflationary dynamics.

Barlow, C. T. 1978. Bankers, Moneylenders, and Interest Rates in the Roman Republic. Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Barlow, C. T. 1980. “The Roman Government and the Roman Economy, 92–80 B.C.,” American Journal of Philology 101.2: 202–219.

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