Saturday, May 19, 2012

Philosophy and Finance

Today's Washington Post has an article about J. Paul Reddam, owner of the Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another. Mr. Reddam is unusual among horse owners, in that his first career was as a teacher of philosophy in the California state university system. Having become fed up with academia and academic politics, he founded and later sold a mortgage company.  After this, he founded "CashCall, a company that makes unsecured loans to high-risk borrowers." The radio today mentioned some complications with the state regulators.

Perhaps he is in good, or at least notable company there. The agents of that noted Stoic Brutus charged 48% annually on loans until Cicero, then governing Cyprus, held them to the legal 12%, Adam Smith thought the high rate a natural consequence of lack of security for the loans. Peter Green, in Alexander to Actium quotes somebody on Brutus as a man of high principle, and even higher interest.

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