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Lending to the Borrower from HellDebt, Taxes, and Default in the Age of Philip II$
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Mauricio Drelichman and Hans-Joachim Voth

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151496

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151496.001.0001

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Taxes, Debts, and Institutions

Taxes, Debts, and Institutions

(p.74) Chapter 3 Taxes, Debts, and Institutions
Lending to the Borrower from Hell

Mauricio Drelichman

Hans-Joachim Voth

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes the fiscal institutions and borrowing instruments available to the Crown. The Castilian portfolio of fiscal and financial instruments was remarkably complete for its time. The revenue technology was a mix of useful adaptations of medieval legacy taxes combined with newer excises and trade duties. On the financing side, the Crown had both long- and short-term debt instruments at its disposal. Although the long-term juros (annuities and perpetuities) were technically nominative, they were widely traded in the secondary market, supplying a key element for the correct pricing of debt. On the short-term front, asientos—which refer to a wide variety of agreements—allowed the Crown to smooth the volatile silver revenues, leverage income outside the purview of the Cortes—Castile's representative assembly—and quickly shift resources throughout the empire.

Keywords:   fiscal institutions, borrowing instruments, financial instruments, revenue technology, legacy taxes, trade duties, juros, asientos, Cortes

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