Friday, January 11

Islamic Finance, an email which I wrote:

I was discussing with somebody on the internet and this is what I wrote to them.

Think about it, the accountants and financial training institutions are coming up with courses which are open to all so that they can do what these mullah's are doing. I estimate that there are about 100 odd experts in this field, and they are paid millions. When this is the situation, and their performance is not consistent, then the market will fix this problem. Hence you can very well end up having a degree like CFA Islamic Finance. And then anybody and his dog can get this degree and be qualified to determine what is islamic and what isnt. So their power will go slowly. Not vanish, but it will diffuse to a point where hopefully sanity reins.

Second, it will be regulated by regulators who dont give a toss about how you invest, but the only thing that they care about is consumer protection. So its their wild and wooly ideas which have to modify to satisfy this test, not the other way around as is till now. In other words, up till now, its like this. I am Shiekh....., i SAY this is right on a Sharia basis. Live with it. End of story. But now, you cant say that, at least, here in the UK. If you say that, then the FSA asks, ok, prove that your financial instrument is safe for BRITISH consumers. And that's why it took such a long time for the Islamic Bank of Britian to get its licence, but people are learning, I belive there are 4 now and more different kinds of institutions coming up simply because of the certainty this kind of regulatory regime provides.

Third is the risk management side. Again, there is a very big push to provide risk management aspects which cater for islamic banking, starting from PRMIA ro GARP to books by Palgrave MacMillian, etc. etc. For crying out loud, we even have awards for best islamic banking software provider!!!!. This again shows that the market has incorporated this different measure of investmenting and will standardise it. Again, the obscurantists will lose out.

Early days yet, but we are currently going through what I call as the 2nd stages of the gartner hype cycle, namely the Peak of Inflated Expectations! :)

but i reiterate, it is my firm believe that if somebody wants to invest according to his / her own faith, we should not stop that. :)



All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

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