The Economics of War
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The Economics of War

Profiteering, Militarism and Imperialism

Imad A. Moosa

Bad things occur and persist because of the presence of powerful beneficiaries. In this provocative and illuminating book, Imad Moosa illustrates the economic motivations behind the last 100 years of international conflict, citing the numerous powerful individual and corporate war profiteers that benefit from war.
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Chapter 8: Bankers as war profiteers

Imad A. Moosa


Financing wars by bankers is not a new enterprise, as it has been going on for the last two centuries, and probably many more centuries going further back. Banks have always profited from war because the debt created by them results in ongoing profit. Apart from direct lending to the government, banks benefit from war through other channels: they collect commissions by helping warring governments to sell war bonds, and they benefit by financing the war profiteers that provide goods and services to the military, the demand for which intensifies during warfare. Banks also profit by financing reconstruction following the end of hostilities and from the business opportunities arising in occupied territories. Still, flawed arguments are sometimes presented to support the proposition that banks hate war because they like macroeconomic stability.

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