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08/29/2011

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Doctor Memory

I think the more likely scenario is the simpler one: Tywin Lannister had no intention of stiffing the Iron Bank, but had a war to fight and a kingdom to consolidate and assumed that his word as a Lannister (and probably the occasional pro-forma interest payment) would be sufficient to keep the bankers happy until things settled down. Then the only one of his three children smart enough to continue that policy promptly shot Tywin with a crossbow and fled the country, leaving Cersei as de facto ruler of Westeros. And not only was Cersei exactly the sort of idiot who'd think that she could face down the Iron Bank without consequences, but her council was actually under the control of someone who wished her reign to be as troubled as possible (Varys), so no good advice to the contrary was going to be forthcoming.

Attackerman

@DoctorMemory not a bad theory!

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There's a bit on Lannister fiscal policy in Kevan's exit at the end of the book:

Unless a new source of coin could be found, or the Iron Bank persuaded to relent, he would have no choice but to pay the crown’s debts with Lannister gold. He dare not resort to new taxes, not with the Seven Kingdoms crawling with rebellion. Half the lords in the realm could not tell taxation from tyranny, and would bolt to the nearest usurper in a heartbeat if it would save them a clipped copper.

Kevan views spending Casterly Rock's gold as a last resort plan - understandable since the Lannister throne now rests on two things: Lannister wealth and Tyrell swords. The Lannister armies have been drained away by the war against Robb - the Tyrells are comparatively unblooded. But if Casterly Rock has to throw all its money at Braavos to make good the debts of the crown, Tyrell influence will increase.

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