International banking - medieval-style

A team of researchers from England's Reading University are studying the credit crunch -- not the recent one, but the "medieval credit crunch" from the time of England's King Edward I.

According to Dr Adrian R Bell, Professor Chris Brooks, and Dr Tony Moore, the banking world of the 13th century was surprisingly sophisticated where "innovative practices had been developed to deal with unpredictable and unreliable cash flows experienced by large institutions and governments. Interest could not be charged directly on loans, because of religious restrictions on charging interest."