ON THE SUBJECT of Peter Minuit’s legendary purchase of Manhattan for 60 guilders, “RepubAnon” writes,
I’ve heard it said that those same 60 guilders, if invested at 5% annual interest compounded monthly, would allow one to repurchase all of Manhattan at the current market prices.
Dr. Boli understands how mere mathematics might lead one to that conclusion, but he believes it is in error. If you had put those 60 guilders in a bank account in 1626, your bank would have started charging inactivity fees after six months, and overdraft penalties when the inactivity fees exceeded the original deposit; and you would now owe the bank all of North America except for Jacksonville, North Carolina, which nobody wants. Banks aren’t in business to hand you money on a silver platter, you know.