Apparently the bible references usury several times. And if you do an internet search (with Google), you’ll get over 6 million results. So people have a lot to say about it.
This article is an excerpt from Hilaire Belloc’s book: Economics for Helen – A Brief Outline of Real Economy.
Usury, the last subject but one on which I am going to touch in this book, is one which modern people have almost entirely forgotten, and which you will not find mentioned in any book on Economics that I know. Yet its vital importance was recognised throughout all history until quite lately, and it is already forcing itself upon modern people’s notice whether they like it or now. So it is as well to understand it betimes, for it is going to be discussed very widely in the near future.
All codes of law and all writers on morals from the beginning of anything we know about human society have denounced as wrong the practice of USURY.
They have recognised that this practice does grave harm to the State and to society as a whole, and must, therefore, as far as possible, be forbidden.
Now what is Usury, and why does it thus do harm?
Modern people have so far forgotten this exceedingly important matter that they have come to use the word “usury” loosely for “the taking of high interest on a loan.” That is very muddled thinking indeed, as you will see in a moment. The character of Usury has nothing to do with the taking of high or low interest. It is concerned with something quite different.
Usury is the taking of any interest whatever on an UNPRODUCTIVE loan.