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published this week at Counterpunch: "An Islamic Perspective, Meltdown in American Markets" by Liaquat Ali Khan. He mentions a Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance held this past April. Oddly enough, it appears this annual conference is hosted by HLS.

Would you recommend or not interested readers purchasing  books of the proceedings? Just how academic with respect to Anglo-Saxon business ethics is such conference literature?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:29:05 PM EST
I would not recommend it.

Maybe it's sour grapes because they rejected my abstract! Maybe they won't next time, because there may be very little left of the conventional system left to discuss....

Both the greater part of that seminar and virtually the entire conventional Islamic Finance "industry" apply an Islamic veneer to an UnIslamic reality: or a "'halal' window on a 'haram' palace" as I have heard it said.

A small number of very highly paid scholars apply a great deal of sophistry to justify the unjustifiable. It is a situation which reminds me irresistibly of the purchasing of 'indulgences' which was one of the factors which led to the Reformation.

A Bear of Little Islamic Brain, like me, finds it impossible to see - from my relatively restricted reading to date in the three years since I discovered that what I advocate actually is Islamic finance - how "Money as Debt" and any kind of "leverage" or "gearing" can ever be compatible with Islam.

But as I have often said, I think that in fact "Ethical is Optimal", and if so, the philosophical question which follows:

"Is Ethics a subset of Islam; or Islam a subset of Ethics; or is it all One?"

And so back to a second glass of wine....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wine or not, this is an important point.

There are useful truths at the core of all religions. Different ways of looking at living. But the Islamic stance on usury is a special case - however sullied it is now, in practice.

The question is: what is a bank?


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 05:49:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Islamic finance any different than Christian finance? From the General theory
I was brought up to believe that the attitude of the Medieval Church to the rate of interest was inherently absurd, and that the subtle discussions aimed at distinguishing the return on money-loans from the return to active investment were merely Jesuitical attempts to find a practical escape from a foolish theory. But I now read these discussions as an honest intellectual effort to keep separate what the classical theory has inextricably confused together, namely, the rate of interest and the marginal efficiency of capital. For it now seems clear that the disquisitions of the schoolmen were directed towards the elucidation of a formula which should allow the schedule of the marginal efficiency of capital to be high, whilst using rule and custom and the moral law to keep down the rate of interest.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 29th, 2008 at 01:24:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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