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Economic Perspectives, Vol. 6, 2nd, No. 2, 1982
Lagged reserve accounting and the Fed's new operating procedure
Regulations designed to prevent usury, or the taking of "excessive" interest, have been debated from the time of Moses. Today, as a result of a prolonged period of high inflation, record interest rates, and sluggish economic growth, the usury ceilings in effect in many states are the center of controversy. Are the critics of these usury ceilings simply speaking out of self-interest when they argue that interest rate ceilings work to consumers' disadvantage by restricting credit flows and distorting financial markets? Do usury ceilings protect consumers from abusive lending practices and enable them to obtain loans at reasonable rates, as their advocates claim?
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