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As the wikipedia article on consols mentions, Britain actually started issuing these perpetual bonds in 1751. So their use during the Napoleonic Wars some fifty or so years later was far from unprecedented. As noted in the comments, the attractiveness of this style of loan (to the borrower) was a combination of the low interest rate and putting the ...


Why did Britain decide to issue perpetual bonds during Napoleonic era? They needed money to pay for war expenses. It was possible to sell the bonds without the promise to pay back the principle. Cheap year by year! Smart but unwise, see Greece today. Interest could be lowered at will, so no reason ever to pay back. Year by year there never was a ...

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