September 24th, 2001


Islamic Finance

Via Robert Hettinga's DBS list:

September 2001


Islamic finance

Islamic banking and financial institutions grew along with political
Islam: it declined, they did not. In fact, Islamic finance is now a
confident part of the new global world of venture capital, ethical
investment and profit-and-loss sharing. by IBRAHIM WARDE *

The assets of Islamic financial institutions now top the $230bn
mark. That is more than a 40-fold increase since 1982 (1). Most of the
large Western financial institutions, following the example of
Citibank, have their own Islamic subsidiaries or, at the very least,
Islamic "windows" or products aimed at their Islamic clientele. As
proof of how many companies are compatible with Islamic law - and not
just from within the Muslim world - there is now even a Dow Jones
Islamic market index.

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Friedrich Hayek: A Biography

(Note: Deirdre McCloskey (nee Donald McCloskey) is also an interesting person in his own right. See her autobiography Crossing:A Memoir:

Persuade and Be Free A new road to Friedrich Hayek

By Deirdre McCloskey

Friedrich Hayek: A Biography, by Alan Ebenstein, New York:
Palgrave/St. Martinís Press, 403 pages, $29.95

"The libertarian age is at hand," declares Alan Ebenstein at the end
of his engaging new biography. So we most fervently pray, though the
very sainted Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992), one of the people
who brought it about, would I think be less than confident. Hayek
lived through a startling disintegration of liberal societies. He saw
socialism triumphant and freedom limited to a handful of nations. By
the early 1940s even his fellow Austrian, Harvard economist Joseph
Schumpeter, had abandoned capitalism, as had most other intellectuals.

By 1944, when Hayek wrote his most famous if not his most profound
book, The Road to Serfdom, most of his academic colleagues were lining
up behind state slavery. George Orwell praised the book in part; it
elaborated on the same worries Orwell had about central planning: "It
cannot be said too often -- at any rate it is not being said nearly
often enough -- that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but,
on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the
Spanish Inquisitor never dreamed of." When Hayek tried to have The
Road to Serfdom published in the United States, it was rejected by
three publishers. Orwellís Animal Farm, a rather more vivid approach
to the same theme, was in that same heyday of collectivist enthusiasm
rejected by eight or nine American publishers, one of whom explained
kindly that, "We are not doing animal books this year."

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