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Lending to the Borrower from Hell:
Debt, Taxes, and Default in the Age of Philip II
Mauricio Drelichman & Hans-Joachim Voth

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Prologue [in PDF format]


"Combining a massive reconstruction of Philip II's dealings with his creditors with elegant lessons from economics, this important book gives readers a new understanding of a key moment in European history. Demonstrating that neither the king nor his creditors were irrational, Drelichman and Voth show how extremely sophisticated contracts provided Philip with expensive but dearly needed funds, while offering bankers a panoply of mechanisms for fund recovery."--Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, California Institute of Technology

"Drelichman and Voth masterfully tell the story of state-contingent sovereign debt during the reign of Philip II of Spain. Their narrative is elegant, the analysis is compelling, and the data they've collected are simply amazing."--Kenneth A. Shepsle, Harvard University

"The fruit of long, intense original research, this convincing book revises the standard histories of public credit and imperial Spain."--Larry D. Neal, professor emeritus of economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Assembling a truly remarkable database of the national accounts of sixteenth-century Castile, Lending to the Borrower from Hell takes a hard quantitative look at the fiscal position of Philip II of Spain, the world's first serial defaulter. This accessible and engaging book uses clever and comprehensive methods to make novel findings and turn conventional wisdom on its head. It will have a significant impact on economic history and far beyond."--Mark Dincecco, University of Michigan

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File created: 9/19/2017

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