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The “J” stands for jord (land), “A” for arbete (work) and “K” for kapital (capital). Unlike most commercial banks, the JAK Bank is a member organization whose original goal was to financially strengthen the r­ ural economy. It’s the farmers, understandably, who first notice that the returns from the land they work can’t keep pace with the exponential growth of the interest on their loans. They are further impacted by the flow of money to urban centers, where greater profits beckon. That’s why farmers were the first to use the JAK system.

The “J” stands for jord (land), “A” for arbete (work) and “K” for kapital (capital). Unlike most commercial banks, the JAK Bank is a member organization whose original goal was to financially strengthen the r­ ural economy. It’s the farmers, understandably, who first notice that the returns from the land they work can’t keep pace with the exponential growth of the interest on their loans. They are further impacted by the flow of money to urban centers, where greater profits beckon. That’s why farmers were the first to use the JAK system.

Investors have to base their calculation on interest if they don’t want to end up losing money. For example, say someone wants to insulate his house to conserve energy, and learns that the insulation can save 2% of his yearly energy costs. But financing the investment will cost him 8% per annum for the next five years. So he is losing 6%. If, on the other hand, instead of insulating his house he deposits the money in the bank and receives 4% interest, then from a purely financial point of view, he comes out ahead (leaving aside inflation and energy price increases).

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