I found myself thinking that money-lending made some sort of sense when things are productive. You lend me money, I do something or other that alters the value of something, I get richer and I pay you back more than you lent me. Then these moneylenders got the idea you could lend money to people who were lending money. Or you lent money so that people could gamble on more than their own productivity - like property that could or might go up in 'value' simply because of where it is. Or you could buy someone's debt and then sell it on for more than you spent on it….and the link to something being productive stretches longer and longer.
And when you live in a country like the UK that can issue its own currency and seems to have so many international links all this can seem distant and convoluted and not matter very much. But if you're in a country like Greece, it suddenly becomes stark and clear. Moneylenders lend to anyone they think can return the dosh with brass knobs on. And the speculation gets crazier and crazier until there comes a point that the people taking the loans are speculating more and more. And, though it appears as if it's all going on 'up there', suddenly the chain of moneylending turns on the people at the very end of the chain,people in flats, low-paid jobs, with tiny pensions, and suddenly they are the ones 'responsible' for paying the money back. The big boys turn on them and say, 'You owe the money'.
And they demand that the poor people's governments clamp down on the poor people and ensure that they can be sacked, that they work till they drop that their healthcare becomes more expensive that their wages are frozen that they pay more tax on the meagre earnings they have….
And the moneylenders go on and on and on and on lending money, to whichever outfit they can and this is all good, all fine and all part of what makes the system go on and on and the crises go on and on and on…