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BUSINESS
Adnane Ben.
Boston USA
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18
comments.
Islam and The Current Economic Crisis
04:42:02 PM Wednesday Dec 17, 2008


Yesterday, the US government decreased interest rate to almost zero %. But that's just among banks. I guess in an effort to jump-start bank pockets. It doesn't mean that we consumers will benefit from that zero %. Banks will not necessarily want to give people their money while they fear they might not get paid. Does the zero % relate to Islam's directives of Riba somehow? is the US government applying an old biblical solution on economics?

Can you draw any correlation between this economic crisis and Islam's perspective on economics? I assume the subject of Islam's perspective on economics is probably not well understood, but i just thought of throwing the question out there. I'm pretty sure there are many MS and PhD out there specializing in the field. It would be really interesting if a brilliant economist familiar with Islam could introduce new solutions and paradigms into the field.

On another note, given the complexity of today's economics, can ancient religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, add a deep scholarly analysis and project relief. Are the directives of Islam regarding markets and economics (riba, greed, luxury, zakat, charity, trade etc) of any immediate help now? Or are they too strategic?

I came across articles a while ago that claim Islamic banks have not been shaken by the current economic crisis. I have to admit I didn't fully understand the economics jargon used in the text so I didn't get anything out of it.

Here is a relevant article from Mahmoud El Gamal professor at Rice University

Article from Washington Post: Islamic Banking: Steady in Shaky Times

Here is an article from Asharq Al-awssat: Islamic Banks Unaffected by Global Financial Crisis


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3:17 pm    April 16, 2009

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
18
17
Too bad for those who are at the end of the food chain...

The only way out from this perpetual debt creating system is to return to the gold standard.

·

9:42 pm    April 15, 2009

moha ouhmou message
17
I’m no guru either but I’ll try to summarize (to the best I can) how the money creation machine works.

Most money creation doesn’t actually happen by printing dollar bills or by issuing coins. It actually happens through a simple and subtle process that doesn’t require much work (if work means printing tons of dollar bills). The machine that creates money is called Fractional Reserve Banking. And it takes place at regular banks. Here is a simplified scenario...

Let say the Federal Reserve decides to add $100 billion into the system. One would think that they’d print it in form of $100 bills. Actually, what happens is different.

1- The Fed will go into the open market and buy $10 billion of US debt in form of bonds (or whatever) from someone (let’s call that someone Entity E1).

2- The Federal Reserve credits electronically Entity E1’s bank account with $10 billion (let’s call that bank, Bank B1).

3- By Law, all banks are required to have only a 10% reserve. What does that mean? It means that at any given time they must have in their reserves only 10% of their actual deposit.

4- Now, based on #3 (10% reserve rule) Bank B1 can keep $1 billion and loan $9 billion

5- B1 loans $9 billion to Entity E2.

6- E2 takes that $9 billion and deposits it in its bank B2

7- At this point, we have 2 banks (B1 and B2) and 2 entities - E1 owns $10 billion and E2 owns $9 billion (loaned). In other words, the money in the system has gone from $10 billion (in step2) to $19 billion (10+9).

8- Bank B2 now has $9 billion as a deposit - thanks to their customer E2.

9- Based on the 10% rule, B2 is required to keep $900 million (10% of $9 billion) in its reserves and can re-inject the remaining $8.1 billion into the market. At that point the money in the system will go from $19 billion to $27.1 billion (19+8.1)

10- This process keeps repeating until out of the initial $10 billion (in step 2) banks create another $90 billion through various loans. At that point the amount accounted for in the entire banking system has gone from $10 billion to $100 billion - $10 billion in real money and $90 billion as “vapor” money.

The Fractional Reserve Banking scheme (or scam) is old. It always creates inflation. This is why many economists argue that the whole Reserve system is rigged in favor of bankers to the detriment of people's paychecks and savings.

·

11:39 am    April 14, 2009

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
16
Rasta,

The intrinsic value of $100 bill is 4 cents (costs of the paper, printing and labor). Once it is borrowed to the government (sold at interest), and passed into the street, only then, it can be converted into goods or labor worth $100.

So basically, the "Fed" reserve can create $100 out of walou, or to be precise out of the original 4 cents.


·

9:45 am    April 14, 2009

Rasta Gnawi message
15
14
Moha: so I will admit that I am not a Fed guru, but this statement needs some clarification: "The government pays interest on whatever money it gets through the Fed." Are you saying that the Fed lends money to the government, or at least collects a fee for allowing the government to 'clip checks'?

Antr: Does the Fed sell banknotes to the government? And if it did, would it sell a $100 banknote for $100 and cash in $99.96? My understanding is that the Fed obtains the notes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which is part of the US Treasury.

·

8:35 am    April 14, 2009

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
14
It costs the "Federal" reserve 4 cents to print one banknote.
i.e, When the Fed sells a $100 banknote to the government, it makes $ 99,96 profit .

The FED's books are not open to the public, and can not be audited by any agency. Needless to say that such a private banking cartail does not pay tax (as it should !) for the simple reason that the governemnt itself is the buyer...

Sounds like a "Check mate" to me !

·

12:58 am    April 13, 2009

moha ouhmou message
13
In that simplified illustration Z would be the Fed, X would be the government.
The government pays interest on whatever money it gets through the Fed.
·

3:25 pm    April 12, 2009

Rasta Gnawi message
12
Who is Z? the Fed or the government? And in this illustration, how is Z (the Fed or Government) charging X for writing checks?

·

2:55 pm    April 12, 2009

moha ouhmou message
11
10
I don't know about "devastating" consequences. Let me put it this way...

Let's say X (an individual) has a checkbook. And X pays his bills by cutting checks from that checkbook (his checkbook). Now, why would X hand the control of that checkbook to Z (another individual) and have Z charge him each time he (X) wants to write a check?

That's exactly what the US Government has done through the creation of a the Federal Reserve. Here is a weird parallel: the CIA hired private companies to conduct interrogations in Iraq. Does it make sense that the CIA actually uses private companies to interrogate and gather information from prisoners? Those private interrogators one might argue have a mandate as well.

It is basically the outsourcing by the government of tasks that should be actually handled by the government. Only in the case of the Federal Reserve it's HUGE because it relates to ALL the money.

·

8:34 am    April 11, 2009

Rasta Gnawi message
10
It's good that the Fed is not controlled by the government. The consequences would be devastating. The Fed does have a mandate, though, and it reports to the government on the status of its compliance with that mandate (Fed chair testimonies.)
·

6:02 am    April 11, 2009

moha ouhmou message
9
1
Original post:
“I came across articles a while ago that claim Islamic banks have not been shaken by the current economic crisis. I have to admit I didn't fully understand the economics jargon used in the text so I didn't get anything out of it.”

That is true most Islamic banks weren't impacted by the current crisis. However, one should understand that they’re fine not because of their distinct method of lending but because they didn’t engage themselves with the US mortgage market. If you look at the crisis from a global perspective, the majority of banks are fine – Europe, Asia, Middle East, etc. Even in the US most small banks were fine. Goldman Sachs itself was slightly hit.

The main reason to the crisis wasn’t interest rates. It was large consumer banks and Wall Street giving away money to millions of people who could never return it back. Hence the term subprime mortgages. Any bank (Islamic or not) or any individual who would engage in handing large amounts of money to people who would never return it will find themselves in trouble. At some point, back in 2005, Wall Street set up what they called NINA loans (NINA = No Income No Assets). Basically they started lending to anyone, even if they didn't have a job or owned any collateral.


·

5:44 am    April 11, 2009

moha ouhmou message
8
1
Original post:
“I came across articles a while ago that claim Islamic banks have not been shaken by the current economic crisis. I have to admit I didn't fully understand the economics jargon used in the text so I didn't get anything out of it.”

That is true most Islamic banks weren't impacted by the current crisis. However, one should understand that they’re fine not because of their distinct method of lending but because they didn’t engage themselves with the US mortgage market. If you look at the crisis from a global perspective, the majority of banks are fine – Europe, Asia, Middle East, etc. Even in the US most small banks were fine. Goldman Sachs itself was slightly hit.

The main reason to the crisis wasn’t interest rates. It was large consumer banks and Wall Street giving away money to millions of people who could never return it back. Hence the term subprime mortgages. Any bank (Islamic or not) or any individual who would engage in handing large amounts of money to people who would never return it will find themselves in trouble. At some point, back in 2005, Wall Street set up what they called NINA loans (NINA = No Income No Assets). Basically they started lending to anyone, even if they didn't have a job or owned any collateral.


·

12:10 am    April 11, 2009

moha ouhmou message
7
4
"Who does have the authority to determine how much money should be available (or injected into the system) ?
And if one controls the money supply, don't you think he could create "la pluie et le beau temps" ?

That’s what it is - central banks are rainmakers. And in the case of the US, the central bank (Federal Reserve) is not even a government agency. Neither the US government nor Congress controls them. Congress has some oversight, which basically translates into after-the-facts hearings. The Fed is owned by private+public banks - through regional Reserve Banks. It has the power to create money - out of thin air – like for the bailout. And when it does, that dilutes the existing money supply and creates inflation. Many economists argue that the system is inherently corrupt.

·

2:25 pm    April 9, 2009

Rasta Gnawi message
6
4
That 'authority' rests with the central bank. Central banks have a mandate to promote growth (for job creation) and limit inflation (price stability.)

They certainly have the power to create disaster through aggressive monetary policy (expansionary or not.) We just place our faith in that the people who are appointed are learned and responsible. The system seems to work, the most recent crisis notwithstanding.

I actually don't know how much influence BIS has.

·

1:58 pm    April 9, 2009

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
5
4
Correct :

I meant BIS not CIB ( http://www.bis.org/ )

·

1:55 pm    April 9, 2009

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
4
Since the interest rate (or profit for selling bank notes on credit) depends on offer/demand, a couple of questions arise:

-Who does have the authority to determine how much money should be available (or injected into the system) ?
And if one controls the money supply, don't you think he could create "la pluie et le beau temps" ?

CIB, Bank of international settlements (mother of all banks) remains on the top of all Earthly laws as far as I know...does this corporate institution deserve a divine trust or should there be a law controlling its activities ?



·

11:23 am    December 19, 2008

Rasta Gnawi message
3
It seems to me that one needs to make a difference between economics as a field of social study and research, economic policy as an action instrument that affects people's behaviour, and finance as a transaction facilitator.

I don't think there is such a thing as Islamic economics, but there certainly are policies that are compatible or incompatible with Islam. Maybe the issue of interest rate comes up as a differentiator since economics tends to be focused on money supply and quantity of money issues. But let's face it, money does have a price, whether you call it interest rate, banking fee, financing fee, etc. it comes to you at a cost and you give it out at a cost.

Finance on the other hand is a set of contractual arrangements, and Shari3a has ample scope of dealing with those contractual arrangements.

·

6:07 am    December 18, 2008

Islam Economic message
2
My friend...
I lunched a site that talks about this. Please visit www.islameconomic.com
I collected many articles, so if you don't understand one, please keep reading.

IslamEconomic.com

·

8:41 pm    December 17, 2008

hakim message
1
clarification: the interest was not lowered to zero but almost zero, it is 0.25%.
·

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Why we don't eat Porc?..
Do You Play Music?..
Hidoura: Your Moroccan Natural Carpet..
Khaddouj Slam-dunking From Marrakesh To New York..


FAVORITES
Hmida Rass Lmida à L'Avare de Molière!
Moroccan City Names
Shining ability is a gift...
Halloween SPECIAL 2007: La Mort D'une Souri!
Cheikha Rimitti: 83 Years of Life...
Why do we pray ?
short ones
ABSOLUTE RAIOO Summer 2007 Rai vol.2
Cheba Zohra & Mahadattes de Rilizane
Close Encounters of the Moroccan Kind!
Biyouna
Another attempt at writing. Will this language ever feel natural?
North Africa Journal
Moroccan Tattoos
From Los Angeles to Casablanca!
Amina Alaoui Lyrics
Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi
Vulgarity as revolution: Lemsakh we tsalguit
Les Oiseaux De Figuig!
ghir bessyas a moulay!
QURAN FLASH
Moroccan Playing Cards Game ronda v1.0
A Call From Algeria to Help Suffering Little Boy Mounib!
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