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Can the Iron Bank be with financial problems?

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In regards to a discussion in another topic this seems increasingly more likely.

In westeros we know that the IT has a huge debt to them and several lords have loans that the IB is trying to force a payment.

However in essos Danny's war  is harming the economy of a lot of people and astapor was completly destroyed. This should make the Iron bank lose a lot of Money because people that owed them Money are either dead or became poor. Things are so serious that even people from qarth are getting involved and try to send danny away...

So with huge problems in both essos and westeros shouldn t the IB be facing financial problems?

And are there more clues that the economy in essos might be facing problems?

And I don t think we can ignore that the IB might be scared that danny will win the war in mereen because of her dragons and completly shatter the slave business. That should have a great effect in the economy in essos...

Edited by divica

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5 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

Braavos entire gig is not supporting the slave trade, I doubt the Iron Bank's crumbling because of damage to it in Slaver's Bay. 

We know that slaves and slave trading are an important part of the economy in essos. 

Even if they don t support slavery they certainly give loans to people that use slaves. And even the people that Don t deal in slavery should be economically hit because slaves are responsable by several products in essos. Without slaves either these products Don t exist or they are more expensive. 

Why was qarth so interested in sending Danny to westeros for example? Didn t the IB gave loans to people in astapor? Volantis might be joining Danny. 

All this shift in the economy should hit the IB

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No loans to slave owners and traders. Jon is taken down by Tycho for even making an off-hand joke about dragons because of the ties to slavery and the history of the Braavosi.

ADWD Jon IX

"Would that we had one here. A dragon might warm things up a bit."

"My lord jests. You will forgive me if I do not laugh. We Braavosi are descended from those who fled Valyria and the wroth of its dragonlords. We do not jape of dragons."

 

The World of Ice and Fire - The Free Cities: Pentos

For most of its history, slavery was widely practiced in Pentos, and Pentoshi ships played an active role in the slave trade. Several centuries ago, however, this practice brought the city into conflict with her northern neighbor, Braavos, the "bastard daughter of Valyria," founded by a fleet of escaped slaves. Over the course of the last two hundred years, no less than six wars have been fought between the two cities over this issue (and, it must be pointed out, for control of the rich lands and waters that lie between them).

Four of these ended in Braavosi victory and Pentoshi submission. The last of them, concluded one-and-ninety years ago, went so poorly for Pentos that no fewer than four princes were chosen and sacrificed within the span of a single year. The fifth man in this bloody succession, Prince Nevio Narratys, convinced the magisters to sue for peace after a rare victory—one, it was rumored, that Nevio purchased by means of bribes. In the peace accords, Pentos was forced to make certain concessions—most notably the abolition of slavery and a withdrawal from the slave trade.

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2 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

No loans to slave owners and traders. Jon is taken down by Tycho for even making an off-hand joke about dragons because of the ties to slavery and the history of the Braavosi.

ADWD Jon IX

"Would that we had one here. A dragon might warm things up a bit."

"My lord jests. You will forgive me if I do not laugh. We Braavosi are descended from those who fled Valyria and the wroth of its dragonlords. We do not jape of dragons."

 

The World of Ice and Fire - The Free Cities: Pentos

For most of its history, slavery was widely practiced in Pentos, and Pentoshi ships played an active role in the slave trade. Several centuries ago, however, this practice brought the city into conflict with her northern neighbor, Braavos, the "bastard daughter of Valyria," founded by a fleet of escaped slaves. Over the course of the last two hundred years, no less than six wars have been fought between the two cities over this issue (and, it must be pointed out, for control of the rich lands and waters that lie between them).

Four of these ended in Braavosi victory and Pentoshi submission. The last of them, concluded one-and-ninety years ago, went so poorly for Pentos that no fewer than four princes were chosen and sacrificed within the span of a single year. The fifth man in this bloody succession, Prince Nevio Narratys, convinced the magisters to sue for peace after a rare victory—one, it was rumored, that Nevio purchased by means of bribes. In the peace accords, Pentos was forced to make certain concessions—most notably the abolition of slavery and a withdrawal from the slave trade.

So who do they loan money to in essos? 

I Don t see how they can be the biggest bank in the world and have no deals with slavers that are everywhere in essos

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Just now, divica said:

So who do they loan money to in essos? 

I Don t see how they can be the biggest bank in the world and have no deals with slavers that are everywhere in essos

Slavery is widespread in Essos, but it's not possible for it to be literally "everywhere". And we see from the quote above that Braavos will try to force people off slavery. But we see in Dany's first chapter in AGOT that some are non-slavers on paper but not in practice.

AGOT Daenerys I

There came a soft knock on her door. "Come," Dany said, turning away from the window. Illyrio's servants entered, bowed, and set about their business. They were slaves, a gift from one of the magister's many Dothraki friends. There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves.

 

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4 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Slavery is widespread in Essos, but it's not possible for it to be literally "everywhere". And we see from the quote above that Braavos will try to force people off slavery. But we see in Dany's first chapter in AGOT that some are non-slavers on paper but not in practice.

AGOT Daenerys I

There came a soft knock on her door. "Come," Dany said, turning away from the window. Illyrio's servants entered, bowed, and set about their business. They were slaves, a gift from one of the magister's many Dothraki friends. There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves.

 

Even if it is not everywhere it is almost everywhere. The biggest bank in the world has to have deals with people that use slaves… Otherwise their clients in essos are a minority...

Besides, in my mind all manual labor in essos is done by slaves. From sewing clothes to agriculture. That is why afecting slavery affects everybody in essos… The price of everything changes! The more problems danny's war raises with having slaves the more afected everybody in essos should be. And if a lot of their clients don t have Money to pay their loans the IB should be afected no?

And then if you add the huge debt from westeros the IB should be facing a crisis.

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46 minutes ago, divica said:

Even if it is not everywhere it is almost everywhere. The biggest bank in the world has to have deals with people that use slaves… Otherwise their clients in essos are a minority...

Besides, in my mind all manual labor in essos is done by slaves. From sewing clothes to agriculture. That is why afecting slavery affects everybody in essos… The price of everything changes! The more problems danny's war raises with having slaves the more afected everybody in essos should be. And if a lot of their clients don t have Money to pay their loans the IB should be afected no?

And then if you add the huge debt from westeros the IB should be facing a crisis.

Rightly or wrongly, I use the American South as my reference for slavery and quite a lot of people in the South were not slave owners themselves as it was largely concentrated in the upper classes who owned a great deal of land. It's also not always profitable as it depends on the specific industry and changing economic circumstances. For example, George Washington's Mount Vernon at times would have been more profitable with paid labor over slavery, but the complicated culture made ending slavery there problematic from Washington's perspective. So the IB would have no shortage of non-slaving customers in the US South. And I find it impossible to believe that everyone in Essos is that grotesquely monstrous.

Bold: GRRM goes into lots of detail in regards to political plots, magic and history. Not so much when it comes to economies, infrastructures, justice systems, and governments. Thank goodness. How dull. But that does leave a lot to the imagination and your frame of reference tells you something doesn't make sense when mine tells me that it's fine. As GRRM doesn't deal with these things in much detail unless he has to go there, I'm not speculating much on anything financial in any more detail than what we're told and what we're told repeatedly with the subtlety of an anvil upside the head is that Braavos/IB/FM hate, Hate, HATE, ***HATE*** slavery, so that's what it is for me. I do see where you're coming from, I just don't think GRRM cares much about the details of economies so sometimes we need a bit of suspension of disbelief to get through ASOIAF when it comes to those things. :dunno:

 

If you research the invention of the cotton gin and the effect on slavery in the US, the issue of whether slavery is even profitable or not in a particular industry becomes apparent. It's speculated that if not for the cotton gin, slavery in the US would have gradually faded into obsolescence.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3narr6.html

Edited by Lollygag

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9 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Rightly or wrongly, I use the American South as my reference for slavery and quite a lot of people in the South were not slave owners themselves as it was largely concentrated in the upper classes who owned a great deal of land. It's also not always profitable as it depends on the specific industry and changing economic circumstances. For example, George Washington's Mount Vernon at times would have been more profitable with paid labor over slavery, but the complicated culture made ending slavery there problematic from Washington's perspective. So the IB would have no shortage of non-slaving customers in the US South. And I find it impossible to believe that everyone in Essos is that grotesquely monstrous

I was thinking more medieval times like the romans for example. As a non american I know next to nothing about how economy worked for the America south...

12 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Bold: GRRM goes into lots of detail in regards to political plots, magic and history. Not so much when it comes to economies, infrastructures, justice systems, and governments. Thank goodness. How dull. But that does leave a lot to the imagination and your frame of reference tells you something doesn't make sense when mine tells me that it's fine. As GRRM doesn't deal with these things in much detail unless he has to go there, I'm not speculating much on anything financial in any more detail than what we're told and what we're told repeatedly with the subtlety of an anvil upside the head is that Braavos/IB/FM hate, Hate, HATE, ***HATE*** slavery, so that's what it is for me. I do see where you're coming from, I just don't think GRRM cares much about the details of economies so sometimes we need a bit of suspension of disbelief to get through ASOIAF when it comes to those things. :dunno:

But he does leave some information once in a while about some details of the status of his world. I am pretty sure that economy is referenced sometimes and how danny actions are afecting the rest of essos….

Look at this

Quote

Meereen's trade had dwindled away to nothing since she had ended slavery, but Xaro had the power to restore it.

Quote

For centuries Meereen and her sister cities Yunkai and Astapor had been the linchpins of the slave trade, the place where Dothraki khals and the corsairs of the Basilisk Isles sold their captives and the rest of the world came to buy. Without slaves, Meereen had little to offer traders. Copper was plentiful in the Ghiscari hills, but the metal was not as valuable as it had been when bronze ruled the world. The cedars that had once grown tall along the coast grew no more, felled by the axes of the Old Empire or consumed by dragonfire when Ghis made war against Valyria. Once the trees had gone, the soil baked beneath the hot sun and blew away in thick red clouds. "It was these calamities that transformed my people into slavers,"

Quote

Consider Qarth. In art, music, magic, trade, all that makes us more than beasts, Qarth sits above the rest of mankind as you sit at the summit of this pyramid … but below, in place of bricks, the magnificence that is the Queen of Cities rests upon the backs of slaves. Ask yourself, if all men must grub in the dirt for food, how shall any man lift his eyes to contemplate the stars? If each of us must break his back to build a hovel, who shall raise the temples to glorify the gods? For some men to be great, others must be enslaved."

And READ THIS

Quote

"Not by intent, no, but Qarth is a city of merchants, and they love the clink of silver coins, the gleam of yellow gold. When you smashed the slave trade, the blow was felt from Westeros to Asshai. Qarth depends upon its slaves. So too Tolos, New Ghis, Lys, Tyrosh, Volantis … the list is long, my queen."

He literally says that basically almost all of essos depends on slaves.

I can t see how the IB can not have deals with slave owners nor how danny's action can t have shaken the entire ecomomy in essos. I think there are a lot of hints about how a lot of people are being afected by danny. And if people can t pay the IB they should be in trouble.

Even if it doesn t happen in the books I think we can say that is perfectly logical that the IB might be in trouble.

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9 hours ago, divica said:

In regards to a discussion in another topic this seems increasingly more likely.

In westeros we know that the IT has a huge debt to them and several lords have loans that the IB is trying to force a payment.

However in essos Danny's war  is harming the economy of a lot of people and astapor was completly destroyed. This should make the Iron bank lose a lot of Money because people that owed them Money are either dead or became poor. Things are so serious that even people from qarth are getting involved and try to send danny away...

So with huge problems in both essos and westeros shouldn t the IB be facing financial problems?

And are there more clues that the economy in essos might be facing problems?

And I don t think we can ignore that the IB might be scared that danny will win the war in mereen because of her dragons and completly shatter the slave business. That should have a great effect in the economy in essos...

Whatever loses the Iron Bank may incur as a result of the war against slavery will be more than compensated for when the economy expands as the result of freedom.  The ex-slaves, who are the ones possessing the craft skills in the economy, are given the freedom to pursue their dreams the economy will expand.  Innovation can happen in a place that had not changed in thousands of years of slavery.  The bricks and the mortar are crumbling in the slaver cities.  The lazy masters had little incentive to innovate.  A free labor force will make this economy stronger and those free people will need to borrow capital to build shops, farms, and such.  The Iron Bank is not going to side with the slavers.  Braavos has historically resisted slavery and is opposed to the practice. 

The debt from Westeros is another matter.  That could put them under if it is not collected.  Winter and the continuing war between Stannis and the Lannisters, Stark and the Boltons, Euron causing trouble, Aegon's attempts to retake the throne, will make it impossible to pay that loan.  The economy of Westeros will collapse even without the debt.  With the debt, it will make it impossible for them to borrow money and buy food to survive the winter. 

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39 minutes ago, Tour De Force said:

Whatever loses the Iron Bank may incur as a result of the war against slavery will be more than compensated for when the economy expands as the result of freedom.

But the problem is if at present the IB doesn t have enough Money and might be in risk of bankrupt. If now some people can t pay their loans and others want to withdraw their Money to pay debts then bank may be in trouble...

Edited by divica

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Just now, divica said:

I was thinking more medieval times like the romans for example. As a non american I know next to nothing about how economy worked for the America south...

That may be more relevant, I don't know. GRRM's an American and I know from references that he knows a fair amount about Jefferson specifically (RLJ is heavily based on Jefferson) but his primary interest is definitely European history. But all the same even with the Roman Empire, there were still lots of non-slavers.

2 minutes ago, divica said:

But he does leave some information once in a while about some details of the status of his world. I am pretty sure that economy is referenced sometimes and how danny actions are afecting the rest of essos….

Look at this

Yeah, he does have some info sometimes when he needs to for plot reasons. My point was that the details are neglected. For example, compare what we're told about Essos' slave economy with a fair overview of the slave economy of the US or the Roman Empire. They just don't compare.

 

6 minutes ago, divica said:

He literally says that basically almost all of essos depends on slaves.

I can t see how the IB can not have deals with slave owners nor how danny's action can t have shaken the entire ecomomy in essos. I think there are a lot of hints about how a lot of people are being afected by danny. And if people can t pay the IB they should be in trouble.

Even if it doesn t happen in the books I think we can say that is perfectly logical that the IB might be in trouble.

A lot of this has always sounded like billionaire tears talk to me especially as ASOIAF is so focused on the POVs of the upper classes. The big BS red flag for me :bs: is "For some men to be great, others must be enslaved." The middle class of Westeros is nearly invisible to the reader though we know it's there. We don't really have enough detail of these economies to judge the impact to the middle or lower classes. Varys has made a reference to the common man not caring about the Game of Thrones raising the question of just how dependent the lower classes are on Planetos' "billionaires". Would they need to do just a few tweeks to adjust to no more billionaires or would they be devastated? We also don't have enough info about how the IB determines the slaviness factor of their loans. Was it requirement that the borrower not do business with slavers too, both upline and downline? No idea. GRRM hasn't addressed any of it. I don't think he cares. If GRRM decides to raise the issue of a chain reaction hitting the IB like a general recession or depression because he needs them to be taken down a few notches, he's definitely laid the ground work for it. But I can see where he wouldn't go there at all too. As it stands without more to flesh it out and connect the dots, it doesn't make sense to hammer home that the IB doesn't work with slavers and then to have them take a big hit from damage to the slave trade.

Another thing to consider. I see the IB as a branch of the Braavosi government and the FM though to what extent they're integrated, I don't know. The end of slavery would put put them all on cloud 9 and that the IB refuses to deal with slavers means the IB isn't just a bank, but also an organization with a very serious mission. They're prepared for major disruptions to the slave trade. They've hoped for it and worked for it for a long time though they no doubt have very mixed feelings about it coming from a Valyrian with a dragon. :P I think the IB is a funding tool to ensure the continued freedom of Braavos and to at the very least limit the spread of slavery if not reducing it rather than a true bank where its sole goal is profit.

 

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10 hours ago, James Steller said:

If Braavos is going to hypocritically turn its back on its legacy of abolishing slavery, then they deserve to fall.

Who do they need to support to abolish slavery?

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There is no indication that the Iron Bank is in any difficulty, so that's that.

But the idea that the Iron Bank is in any way involved in the slave trade is just nonsense not backed by any facts. Sure, there is slavery in most of the Free Cities, but there is no indication that all people there own slaves - even in Volantis most slaves are likely owned by the rich people and the state, not the average citizen who owns a small tract of land or is free man earning his keep as a worker or fieldhand.

If the Iron Bank is investing in enterprises in the Three Daughters or even Volantis they likely do not directly or indirectly fund the slave trade. They might also finance enterprises and people who own or employ slaves but those are not likely to be particularly significant.

We know for a fact that Braavos has a zero tolerance policy on slavery. The Braavosi even free slaves that enter their city aboard slaver ships. It is not convincing that they would allow their bank a policy contradicting that. If that were the case there would also be exceptions to slavery in Braavos like they are in Pentos. In fact, Braavos would then be Pentos, pretending to have abolished slavery but continuing it clandestinely

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12 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Who do they need to support to abolish slavery?

They can support Daenerys in Slaver's Bay. They can support the R'hllor church as well as antislavery folks like the Widow of the Docks.  There are countless ways they can support those who want to free the slaves.  The movement has a leader now and they may get the encouragement to take a stand. 

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22 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

They can support Daenerys in Slaver's Bay. They can support the R'hllor church as well as antislavery folks like the Widow of the Docks.  There are countless ways they can support those who want to free the slaves.  The movement has a leader now and they may get the encouragement to take a stand. 

Would it be wise to support Daenerys if that leads to reinstating of dragon riding dynasty? Her dragons will outlive her and they could spawn more, and their next owner/rider might have different opinion of political matters. I am not sure that Braavos has it in best interest.

Braavos is also polytheistic city state honoring all of the gods, possibly for reasons of easier trade which might be hampered if they support continent wide religious movement, which is  often quite intolerant to other religions.

 

Edited by Eltharion21

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I don't really think the IB is in any financial problems atm. They seem to just want to collect the debts owed to them, and are willing to be very persistent and send their agents to claim the money owed them if the indebted refuse to pay. I don't really think Daenaery's upheaval of the slave trade system is harming them economically, as they are staunchly opposed to slavery and would likely support someone who reduces such a heinous practice. 

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On 12/7/2019 at 5:53 AM, divica said:

I can t see how the IB can not have deals with slave owners nor how danny's action can t have shaken the entire ecomomy in essos. I think there are a lot of hints about how a lot of people are being afected by danny. And if people can t pay the IB they should be in trouble.

Even if it doesn t happen in the books I think we can say that is perfectly logical that the IB might be in trouble.

Agreed. Essoss may not have a stock market but the Black Friday - the original one - effect on the banks when suddenly a lot of people are withdrawing while debtors are unable to pay can occur during any economical crisis. 

On 12/7/2019 at 7:08 AM, Lollygag said:

But all the same even with the Roman Empire, there were still lots of non-slavers.

But there were lots of buyers. Everyone who was not poor as a mouse owned at least one slave.

4 hours ago, The Ghost Beyond the Wall said:

I don't really think the IB is in any financial problems atm. They seem to just want to collect the debts owed to them, and are willing to be very persistent and send their agents to claim the money owed them if the indebted refuse to pay.

If the indebted go bankrupt, they cannot pay back the loans. Confiscating their property may not be a solution if there is lack of buyers.

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