A lesson from history on how to deal with greedy bankers

One of the most striking trends in the early 21st century is the rise in income inequality in developed economies. Oxfam’s recent announcement that the 85 richest people on the planet own as much between them as half the world’s population combined had analysts scurrying to check its accuracy.

But while economists argue over which indicators give the most reliable view of the disparity between rich and poor, all concur that the gap is widening.

This would have worried administrators in the Byzantine Empire, one of history’s most effective states. Despite a reputation as a regime based on smoke and [...]

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