Stock markets and Jubilee

November 30th, 2008

Now I am no expert in the financial stock markets and investments, but one thing that seems to happen every seven years or so is the stock markets have a slump. This has the effect of levelling them out and if many stocks were overpriced, they seem to come back to a more normal level. Every 50 years or so they also seem to have a major crash too.

As I have been reflecting on this lately I have been thinking back to the Old Testament principle of the Year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee happened every 50 years after seven cycles of seven years. In this year no-one was to sow or reap crops, land reverted back to original family ownership and slaves were released.

This Year of Jubilee was very important in Israel’s economic life as it had the effect of restarting their economy and placing everyone back on an even footing. It gave everyone the chance to start over economically and socially. It also stopped being individuals or families from being trapped in a permanent underclass and being slaves forever.

I find this whole principle of resetting the economy and allowing people to start over again very interesting. I can’t help but wonder how different our world would be if it was in place today? I wonder if the gap between rich and poor would be so great? I wonder if many people who seem to be in permanent slavery would find themselves in a much better place socially and economically as a result of this resetting? I also wonder if the stock markets would need to crash if they had this automatic reset built into them every 50 years? It makes me wonder…