Vix pervenit: Why the religious status of fiat bankers is worse than prostitutes

On November 1, 1745, the Papacy published Vix pervenit: On Usury and Other Dishonest Profit concerning the sinful practices by covetous and grasping men: the fiat bankers.

Not all loan contracts are usurious. Unfortunately, the Holy See was absolutely vague and ambiguous in its guidance on the subject of what kind of loan contracts would still be permissible. Islamic theology has developed a framework about what loan contracts are halal and which ones are haram that is much easier to apply than the rather impractical application terms that the Papacy proposed.

A prohibition on usury can only function properly, if we distinguish between “riba” (usurious loans) and “istiglal” (permissible loans). If for a loan contract a representation can be found that is not one for interest, the permissible representation overrules the impermissible one, and then the contract is valid. If the only representation possible is a contract for interest, the loan contract will be termed “riba”, and will therefore be void.

For example, a mortgage can be represented as a rental contract with rental payments followed by the gift of the house to the renter. This alternative representation does not use the concept of interest. Therefore, the contract is “istiglal” and hence valid.

The size of the loan fee does not matter in the Islamic approach. This is a good thing, because that spares us from trying to determine what would be an acceptable maximum interest rate. Rules that contain arbitrarily-picked numbers are always a problem. The Papacy, on its side, was aiming at some kind of maximum interest rate, but at the same time never really specified how much such maximum would have to be. This is what makes the Papal approach vague and ambiguous.

Loan contracts that could only ever have a representation in which the concept of interest appears, are banned by religion, because they are invariably usurious. The core proposition in Islamic law is that loan contracts that have a valid economic purpose will always have an alternative representation that does not mention interest.

Usurious loan contracts are exploitative, especially of the poor. Usurious loan contracts allow the fiat bankers to prey on the weaker elements in society and to further enslave persons who are often already in trouble.

But then again, lending to the poor may still be permissible, on the condition that the loan contracts are not usurious, that they are primarily aimed at poverty alleviation, and that the lending organization samples in a statistically significant way the income levels of the borrowers in order to demonstrate that their income has increased and not decreased after repaying the loan. Such organization would perfectly be entitled to keep itself afloat by charging fees for their loans.

Since the fiat bankers do not provide any documentation proving that an alternative representation for their loan contracts truly exists and since the fiat bankers do not provide any documentation that their loans to the poor segments of the population does not further empoverish these poor people, their behaviour is plainly unlawful.

Of course, there is no problem in the world that the government will not make worse. It is indeed the government that will use threats and violence in order to collect from the already destitute, when they default on their payments for usurious loans.

So, what we have here is a coalition of covetous and grasping fiat bankers along with their questionable friends, the corrupt politicians, preying on and shaking down the impoverished.

As the religion clarifies in its holy scriptures, the fiat bankers are fundamentally evil individuals. Fiat bankers are servants of the devil. For the sake of the poor and the destitute, and for the sake of God, we must stop using their fiat banks and their fiat banking services. Therefore, using bitcoin instead, whenever possible, is an auto-da-fé, an act of faith.

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I mostly work on an alternative bitcoin marketplace -and exchange applications. I am sometimes available for new commercial projects but rather unlikely right now.

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