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 ...