Dividends and In the Wake of the Plague, part 1

Sometimes you can read reports or books for seemingly different reasons and they have a part of a chapter as background and it means something more than what the author had likely desired. Recently read a book called In the Wake of the Plague (about the Black Death) and how the world was changed written by Norman F Cantor, published by Simon & Schuster, NY, 2015. In the book, the focus is on what happened in England, but the reality of Europe was similar to matter where a person was.

The nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosies, a pocketful of posies, Ashes, ashes, We all fall down was about the black death, fortunately by the time people sang about it very few memories were around.

In terms of this blog, the aspect of the book that was interesting was about Europe’s wealth. It was in the hands of about 300 families and 4 dozen were in England. The wealth of the Dukes and Princes was very likely a billion dollars in today’s money. In England, the House of Lords, Parliament’s Upper Chamber was composed of the head of each billionaire high noble family, a heir, and 30 bishops from the Church.

The impact of the plague was individual rather than collective. Their cash flow was so high, their lifestyle so lavish, that they had a significant influence on the economy.

The pace of life these nobility set and the luxury goods they cultivated also had the effect of pressuring the less affluent nobility to imitate them as far as their more constrained resources allowed. Living on credit because as common among the landed class as it is in American society. The Florentine (Florence, Italy) and southern France bankers allowed huge debts to run up at very high interest rates. The banker’s loans were ultimately safe if given to the highest of aristocrats because of their immense wealth made repayment possible. However when King Edward III defaulted on his loans a number of Florentine banking houses went into bankruptcy.

The strange way the Black Death affect the awesome Plantagenet family. When Princess Joan died, she did not marry into the Spanish Castile Royal family. Although the political connections of marrying into the Royal family were never regained, it did allow John of Gaunt to inherit the vast dukedom of the Lancaster which shaped the events of English history. The folks were content was the Florentine moneylenders, John of Gaunt was to remain solvent and retain his leading billionaire lifestyle. In the next segment, interesting research on land will be presented.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, in every society there are wealthy people and they set the news and make the headlines for their concerns. Most of us roll along with the ebbs and flows of society, but the basics of money are the same, the wealthy often operate on credit, but they have income to pay it back. In your lifestyle, you can ensure that income comes in on a regular basis to help you pay back the bills of the banks if needed or buy more income producing investments.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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