Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pinocchio's Field

Samizdata takes us to the world of "sharia-focused hedge funds (I kid you not), sharia bonds, sharia companies" and concludes that investing according to religious preferences isn't so strange when you start to think about carbon emissions trading.

I cannot help but feel there is something rather rum about all this sharia financial wheeler-dealing. Many of the financial instruments that are used for the purposes of sharia-compliant finance look awfully similar to regular capitalism to me. In fact, it is hard to see what is really the difference on ethical grounds between speculating on certain types of assets, such as gold, and lending money to a company in the hope that the firm will profit and repay the interest. It strikes me as being the financial equivalent of splitting hairs.


I also suspect, as this article at Bloomberg lays out, that a lot of people putting themselves around as sharia 'experts' are making a huge amount of money out of this trend and yet their motives appear in some ways to be as 'selfish' as that of any regular capitalist, not that I have a problem with the honest pursuit of long-term self interest, quite the opposite.

One of the real benefits of being British, like Samizdata, is that you get to use phrases like "there is something rather rum about all this sharia financial wheeler-dealing" without sounding artificial. But it all boils down to this: there are guys out there who want to make a buck, or even take a buck from you and if they can dress it up as something environmental they can charge you an arm and a leg for selling you toilet paper the texture of sandpaper and sell you jawbreaking nuts worth their weight in gold. As PT Barnum used to say ...

16 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

Time for a Global Warming Update

It's a religion!
Just talk to the libs over at The Nation magazine.
---
Be sure to get this one soon, it won't be available for free in a couple of days.
New York Times,
April 29th:

"Carbon Neutral is Hip, but is it Green?"
The New York Times wrote a piece exposing the fraud of this whole carbon offset program.

The Financial Times was first to do this.
I thought it would never hit the Drive-By Media, but it has.
The article is devastating to the whole thing.

5/02/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Penance

5/02/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Doug,

Thanks for the graphic.

5/02/2007 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My Pleasure!
A real pleasure to see the Nation and the NYTimes violate the Taboo.
Wonder what L. Ron Gore's Fatwahs are like?

5/02/2007 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He has Condemned the Canucks to Everlasting Cold Weather Every Winter.
(unprecedented, of course, since it's caused by Global Warming)

5/02/2007 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Is Global Warming a Sin? - Alexander Cockburn

Bloomberg: California Hotels Go Green With Low-Flow Toilets, Solar Lights


UK-TimesOnline: Climate change hits Mars-News



AP: Prince Charles: climate change battle is like World War II



NY Times: Carbon-Neutral Is Hip, but Is It Green?


Global Hot Air - Thomas Sowell

Financial Times: Industry caught in carbon smokescreen

NewsBusters: Is Global Warming a Sin?

MSNBC:
Storm guru: Oceans, not CO2, cause warming

5/02/2007 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On global warming, adaptation is the only answer
---

The Political Economy of Climate Change

5/02/2007 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Sometimes I think that one of the reasons that Marxism did so well is that was essentially a heretical version of Judaeo Christianity. A grotesque mutation to be sure, but it had its Worker's Paradise, sacred canons, doctrine. Oh boy, did it have doctrine, and its theological disputes were played out in show trials. Left devionists, right deviationists, Trotskyists, capitalist roaders, wreckers, etc. It even had its revolutionary saints, of which Che Guevara perhaps, it the best known. The reason socialism took over Europe so quickly after World War 2 is simple: it was the old faith warped into the a new mold. The transformation was as natural as it was degenerate.

But the point is that there was and is a deeply ingrained desire for transcendance which the post-Christian Western world wants to keep in the closet. And to indulge their desire for faith and meaning without going to church and lighting votive candles, they go to the commode and sand down their butts with recycled toilet paper. Self-flagellation in modern form. In place of God they now have Gaia. It's all second rate, and cheap, tawdry plastic eco-babble theology; a monstrosity composed of equal measures of new age mysticism and folk Marxism.

And that's why Europe in general and socialists in particular are so vulnerable to Islam. Islam is far more cohesive as a religion than this stupid nature worship. To become member of the ummah is so much cooler, so much more exciting and -- face it -- so much more intellectually sophisticated that to become a member of the local organic food co-op.

You see all these guys running around buying pieces of paper giving them carbon credits, knowing it doesn't make a lick of difference to anyone, especially the people in the Third World and you know. You just know these are sheep ripe for the leading. Open a mosque and watch them flood in the door.

It's not just sad. It is pathetic.

5/02/2007 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

China brags: One-child per couple policy has reduced global warming...
Talk about a Brave New World!
The UN figures out a way to say they are pure as they add 20 Coal-Fireds a year, or whatever to what is already the most polluting country on Earth.

Somebody please read it and explain:
My head's gonna 'splode!

5/02/2007 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why don't we all just say we were all going to have 12 kids, but because of Kyoto, we sacrificed, and thus the World owes us a King's Ransom?

5/02/2007 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

China saves the World by killing little Girl Babies!

5/02/2007 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

You can't eradicate religion. People all seem to have a faith, whether they admit it or not. It's part of who we are. People want to be sure about something, be it God, the afterlife, History, or Global Warming.

It's not rational, so trying to argue about it rationally is pointless. That's why so much discourse hits a brick wall- people are so personally involved in religious faith that it's impossible to shake.

5/03/2007 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

To breathe is to emit carbon, so all those who are truly concerned about carbon emissions should do the honorable thing and kill themselves. Bonus points for landing on the compost pile.

5/03/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The Sharia market is being driven by liquidity in the Gulf States due to Oil revenues.

Its essentially pooled cash flows based upon leased back properties with a balloon payment.

Its primary customers are the middle and lower classes in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Like all markets, it will have a sheik-out.

Sharia securities have a flaw in that the religous component is another distraction for both the sellers and buyers in the transaction.

Another problem is the traditional risk models dont apply.

Another is that the Oil liquidity is an inflator.

No one in the West will know how to make oney on this when the shiek out occurs so the market's isolation is a weakness.

5/03/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You should sell a Newsletter!

5/03/2007 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

You see all these guys running around buying pieces of paper giving them carbon credits, knowing it doesn't make a lick of difference to anyone, especially the people in the Third World and you know.

It applies an external cost to the use of carbon based fossil fuels, incentivises efficiency gains. This is good thing because:

The Sharia market is being driven by liquidity in the Gulf States due to Oil revenues.

Any increases of efficiency with which we use oil means a proportional reduction of in the amount of our productivity going to finance sharia.

And that's why Europe in general and socialists in particular are so vulnerable to Islam.

The reason is because Arabs are Muslims and the low income states south of Europe are Arab. The reason Europe is particularly vulnerable to Islam (in a way that say America is not vulnerable to Catholicism) is because some Arab states are very rich (see above) and spend lots of this money on Islam.

You can't eradicate [all] religion. People all seem to have a faith, whether they admit it or not. It's part of who we are.

You can however change any one religion, through applying temptation to the religious. To tempt them to your faith requires money. The more money (proportionally) we give to the sponsors of Islam weakens us through a temptation.

5/03/2007 04:03:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger