A time traveller from 300 years ago would be awed by new technologies and social changes. But the disoriented extra-temporal visitor would find some aspects of finance very familiar. Many of today’s monetary arrangements are historical relics. Take, for example, debt.
Vehement domestic opposition to a government agency that finances trade is a distinctly American phenomenon. But the misunderstanding of economic reality which underpins the arguments against the U.S. Export-Import Bank is widespread, not confined to zealots like the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party.