Reblogged from Jim Webster, aka Tallis Steelyard:
When contemplating telling the story of Hindle Walbarrow It occurred to me that I must first tell the salutary tale of the House of Bumblewin. The Bumblewins are usurers and will indeed lend money. But they are also calculate actuarial tables and even more importantly, they produce the compound interest tables that so many others use. Now you would have thought that once you had a compound interest table, it would do forever. After all, numbers don’t change.
Jos Bumblewin Senior had realised that as well. But he was determined to do something about it. Now even a leading Port Naain Usurer cannot change arithmetic. But he could influence the calculation. As a Sinecurist he suggested to the Council of Sinecurists that the Council could cover a temporary shortfall in their budget by raising an impost of one dreg per alar repaid. He pointed out that it would fall to usurers to collect this and pay it, annually, to the Council. Whilst a very small sum on any given loan, across the city in the course of a year, it produced a respectable sum. The Council accepted his suggestion with gratitude.
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