This chapter assesses the shift in credit practices and its implications for how colonial subjects experienced the future. Ideas about money and economic relationships had also transformed by the end of the colonial era, leading to a far more flexible system of credit and trade. By 1800 a more liberal market for credit and a new attitude toward risk and just pricing could be found throughout New Spain. Innovative financial instruments created opportunities for sophisticated financial hedging and risk management. Yet custom and values strongly influenced these innovations. They grew out of a tradition in Christian theology in which the church carved out a role for itself as a protector of the poor and where in theory, if not always in practice, its regulatory authority over economic transactions ensured some basic amount of market justice.
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