A Small Picture of Jubilee?

I came across an article, thanks to my good friend Jason, that gives us a small picture of Jubilee.  Debts forgiven, this is a central theme in the biblical narrative, one that ultimately becomes actualized in a person: Jesus Christ.  Now, I think we do well  not to over spiritualize Jesus declaration of Jubilee in Luke 4, but to recognize that for Jesus it had a social and spiritual component.  With that said, here’s the story.

A 375-year-old French bank has decided to forgive the debts of its poorest customers, Good.is reports.

The Crédit Municipal de Paris, a Parisian institution that offers small, low-interest loans against inexpensive valuables, has announced a one-time cancelation of the debts of some 3,500 customers who owed the bank 150 euros (about $190) or less. The announcement marks the bank’s 375th anniversary.

A PR stunt? Maybe. But that isn’t stopping thousands of customers from celebrating an unexpected windfall.

We don’t know the motives of the bankers, but we can certainly say that this is a glimpse into what would be needed to liberate many poor throughout the world.

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  • Yshekster

    Thanks Kurt!! Been hoping and praying for this since the day Lehman Brothers fell. This has GOT to happen on a much bigger scale! 

  • Mike Ward

    They were never going to collect anyway. There was probably some financial advantage to writing it off now instead of later.

    • Mike, can we dispense with at least some of the cynicism and just recognize a good act?

      For that matter, small loans are not necessarily higher-risk than large ones.  Many of the microcredit enterprises (see Grameen Bank or Kiva) actually thrive on very small-principal loans.

  • I’m with @e446116907a8d77b1ac5fcc5898657ad:disqus . I have to wonder what it would look like if this happened. What if a big name bank forgave all their car loans for people with say less than $5000 in the bank? What would that look like, and would others follow suit?