From the early forms of loans to farmers to present day credit cards, consumer credit has always been part of human life and economics. However, ever since the Bible, controversy has reigned as to its legitimacy. It is the history of this controversy that is presented here by the authors. Outlining significant developments in different aspects of consumer credit from the Hammurabi Code through to current questions such as household overindebtedness, they shed some historical light on modern debates.

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