Friday, 30 November 2007

About the Centre for Islamic Economics

CENTER FOR ISLAMIC ECONOMICS: Centuries of imperialistic rule has made the Muslims forget the basic message of Islam which emphasizes on following the Shari'ah guidelines in our Mu'amulat (routine dealing) and Mu'asharat (social system) with a similar zeal as we follow these rules in our Ibadaat (prayers).

This despicable situation has resulted in making the whole economic and social system of all the Muslim nations totally dependent on menaces like Riba or Interest which is clearly declared Haram (prohibited) in Islam.

Nevertheless, there seems to be a ray of hope, as there is an increasing desire of awareness among a considerable portion of Muslims in Pakistan and all over the Muslim world who realize that now its time to inculcate the teachings of Islam in their economic as well as social life. As a result of this noble desire, Islamic Banking & Finance has witnessed an exponential growth worldwide. Most of the leading banks throughout the globe have started offering Shari'ah compliant financial products & services to their customers.

Keeping into consideration the emerging importance of this field a need arises for an organized forum which on one had, equip the younger lot with the education of Islamic economics and on the other hand, train the professionals in the practical field so that they can switch their current day business practices on Shari'ah guidelines Centre for Islamic Economics (CIE), a division of Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi, looks forward to fulfill this need.

Centre for Islamic Economics (CIE) was founded on 22nd Safar 1413 i.e. 22nd August 1992 within premises of Masjid-e-Baitul Mukarrm, block-8, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.

The basic rationale for setting up this institution is to propagate the guidelines of an Islamic Economics System by undertaking research to enable the economic, financial and banking activities in Pakistan and other Muslim countries to conform to Shari'ah and to extend training facilities to personnel engaged in economic development activities in the Muslim world. [Source: The Centre for Islamic Economics >>>]

Mark Alexander

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Reicher Inder: 70.000 Euro in der Minute

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”Mukesh Ambani ist bald vielleicht der reichste Mann der Welt” (Photo dank der Presse)

DIE PRESSE: Die Zahl der indischen Milliardäre ist laut US-Magazin "Forbes" innerhalb eines Jahres um 18 auf 54 gestiegen. Der Industrielle Mukesh Ambani landete bei dem Ranking auf Platz 14.

Viele sehen in ihm aber bereits den reichsten Mann der Welt. "The Economic Times" reihte Ambani mit einem Vermögen von 63 Mrd. Dollar bereits vor Carlos Slim Helu und Bill Gates. >>>

Mark Alexander

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Steve Jobs

Mark Alexander
The Easiest Way to Become a Billionaire

EZINE ARTICLES: Once God was very happy with the hard work of his office-bearers and angels and he held a function to honour and award them. He said: In the next five minutes imagine in your minds the things you want to get, the powers you want to have and the traits you want to develop. You will be showered with all of them with my blessings. Immediately all of them closed their eyes and floated in the world of imagination freely and passionately. Their ecstasy of recreating themselves according to their wishes knew no bounds. What they thought they became and they got.

You will be very happy to know that Power of your mind can do the same miracle to change your life. God has also fitted the mind of the man with magical powers. You just need to learn how to use it with determination, diligence and persistence.


Every prominent psychologist of the world has said that you get in life what you think or focus on . William James, father of American psychology, said: ‘The greatest discovery of the 19th century was not in the realm of the physical sciences, but the power of the subconscious mind touched by faith. Any individual can tap into an eternal reservoir of power that will enable them to overcome any problem that may arise. All weaknesses can be overcome, bodily healing, financial independence, spiritual awakening, prosperity beyond your wildest dreams. This is the superstructure of happiness’.

What we attract in our life is in direct proportion to our thought pattern. What we think daily about our body, relations, work, business, money, materialistic things God showers on us. So many people pray to God to get certain things in life and wishes of many people are fulfilled. It is not a miracle but a scientific law. By praying to God daily we try to focus our energies towards an aim, and immediately law of attraction starts working. We can achieve any goal in our life, even become a billionaire.

Name any successful person in any field – Bill Gates, Dhirubhai Ambani (great Indian industrialist), John D. Rockefeller, Abraham Lincoln, George Bush, , Akio Morita (the man who built Sony), Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Ravindra Nath Tagore, Tolstoy, Lenin, Mao-tse-tung, Mohammed Ali (the greatest boxer), Sachin Tendulkar, Richard Branson (rags to riches business tycoon of UK), Azim Premji (richest man in India)– the list is endless – everybody intentionally or unintentionally used the same formula for success and achievement. >>> By Anandrahi JS

Mark Alexander
Kann ein Lotto-Millionär eigentlich glücklich sein?

WELTONLINE: 30 Millionen Euro beträgt der Lotto-Jackpot bei der Ziehung heute Abend. Mark Lutter erforscht am Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung den Lotteriemarkt. Er hat herausgefunden, warum Millionen Menschen ihre Tippscheine ausfüllen, obwohl sie wissen, wie gering die Gewinnchance ist.

WELT ONLINE: Wie hoch stehen die Chancen, den Jackpot zu knacken?

Mark Lutter: Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, sechs Richtige plus Zusatzzahl zu tippen liegt bei 1: 140 Millionen. Man könnte also sagen, wenn Sie einmal pro Woche einen Tipp abgeben, müssten Sie 2,7 Millionen Jahre spielen, um den Jackpot zu erwischen. Da läge Ihr Einsatz dann aber deutlich höher als der Gewinn.

WELT ONLINE: Was macht eigentlich das Lottospiel für die Forschung interessant?

Lutter: Es ist ein gesellschaftliches Phänomen. 40 Prozent der erwachsenen Bevölkerung spielen mindestens einmal in Jahr Lotto, davon wiederum die Hälfte, also rund 20 Millionen Deutsche, sind regelmäßige Spieler und tippen mindestens einmal im Monat – und setzen dabei durchschnittlich immerhin 30 Euro im Monat ein. Der Durchschnittseinsatz aller Lottospieler liegt bei 17 Euro. >>>

Mark Alexander
The Depressed Superpower

SPIEGELONLINE INTERNATIONAL: As frustration takes hold in the land of optimism, Americans are beginning to resemble Germans. They are collectively depressed over the Iraq War, the weak dollar and the aging of the baby boomers. Presidential candidates are left to preach change to an electorate that is afraid of it.

All it takes to find out why America is in such a bad mood is a look at the local section of any American newspaper, at the photos of the smiling faces of soldiers killed in Iraq.

All it takes to discover why Americans are beginning to doubt their own greatness is to accept an invitation to a dinner hosted by Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington, DC. His vision, says Fenty, is for students in the District of Columbia to receive their books at the beginning of the school year, not in the middle. When asked whether he has other visions, the mayor nods enthusiastically. His goal, he says, is to improve security in the city's schools. Fenty wants to make sure students in the United States capital can once again leave the classroom without facing the threat of violence.

All it takes to understand why the United States, a once-proud economic power, seems so unsure about itself these days is a walk through a supermarket with author Sara Bongiorni. In her book "A Year without 'Made in China': One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy," Bongiorni describes how even those who call themselves smart shoppers have mixed feelings when they purchase low-priced, foreign-made products. "When I see the label 'Made in China,' part of me says: good for China. But another part feels a rush of sentimentality because I've lost something without exactly knowing what it is."

Taking a trip down America's memory lane -- to Gary, Indiana, for instance -- is a good way to understand why Americans today are so anxious about the future. In the days when Gary was the home of the world's biggest steel company, the running joke was that US Steel was so hard up for workers that it would even hire dead people.

The company attracted workers from around the world, including the family of future pop star Michael Jackson. Gary's steelworkers pumped prosperity into America, and the country still retains a sizeable chunk of the past that once thrived in Gary and other places like it.

Optimism Is Becoming an Endangered Species

But Gary is an ailing city today. US Steel has moved its headquarters elsewhere and has severely cut back its Gary operations. Nowadays, the city isn't doing any better than its most famous son. Both have seen better days, but the difference is that Gary doesn't even have the money for a facelift. Once a city of 200,000, half of its population has since left for greener pastures. >>> By Gabor Steingart in Washington

Gabor Steingart, 45, has been a journalist for SPIEGEL since 1990. He is currently reporting from SPIEGEL's Washington, D.C. bureau. His best-selling book "The War for Wealth: Why Globalization is Bleeding the West of Its Prosperity" will be published in the United States in April 2008 by McGraw-Hill. His column, "West Wing -- The Battle for the White House," appears exclusively on SPIEGEL ONLINE on Tuesdays.

Mark Alexander

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Bet Your Bottom Dollar Tensions Will Follow

THE TELEGRAPH: The weak dollar used to be an economic issue. But the greenback has now dropped so far, and has so much further to fall, that its decline is of profound political importance. The dollar isn't any old currency. And it isn't just the currency of the biggest economy on earth. The dollar is the world's "reserve currency" - which means central banks everywhere use it to stockpile wealth. No less than two-thirds of all sovereign foreign exchange holdings are denominated in dollars.

Last week, the dollar dropped to yet another record low - reaching the verge of $1.50 to the euro. On a trade-weighted basis, the currency has, in four years, lost a third of its value. That's done the US some favours, helping its exports stay competitive. But the dollar's long dive means countries worldwide, having used the currency to store their reserves, are sitting on massive losses. That's why the dollar's demise is of major diplomatic - and even military - significance. Before this summer, the dollar was falling for economic reasons. After years of over-consumption, the US had dug itself the world's biggest ever trade deficit - 6 per cent of GDP.

These huge liabilities, and America's need to issue a steady stream of government debt, had long put pressure on the greenback. US officialdom feigned concern but, in reality, America laughed up its sleeve. A falling dollar shoved the burden of US adjustment on to the rest of the world.

In recent months, though, the dollar has headed south with a vengeance - after Wall Street recklessly securitised $900bn of sub-prime loans. And, of course, as US property prices fall and default rates keep rising, this sub-prime crisis gets worse. >>

Mark Alexander

Monday, 26 November 2007

Shops 'May Have Weak Christmas'

BBC: UK retailers could be set to experience a very limited rise in Christmas sales compared with last year, the British Retail Consortium has warned.

The trade body estimates that like-for-like sales, which exclude new store openings, could increase less than 3% this festive season from 2006.

Its warning came after it said the sector had experienced a tough 2007.

A separate Lloyds TSB study said consumer confidence had been hit by higher prices and mortgage payments. >>

Mark Alexander
Islamic Banking and Finance - Riyazi Farook

Mark Alexander
CNBC World - Islamic Finance: Applying Religion to Economics

Mark Alexander
Go West: Dollarkurs macht 2008 zum „Nordamerika-Jahr"

WELTONLINE: Wenn der Dollar nur billig zu haben ist, schnellt die Zahl der deutschen USA-Touristen in die Höhe. Auf diesen Effekt setzen die Reiseveranstalter und US-Tourismusämter schon lange. Jetzt, da der Wechselkurs bei rund 1,50 US-Dollar zu 1 Euro steht, scheint sich die Hoffnung zu erfüllen.

Viele Veranstalter verweisen auf sehr gute Buchungszahlen für den Winter 2007/08 und auch bereits für die kommende Sommersaison. Der Trend scheint klar: Die Deutschen bekommen wieder mehr Lust auf Urlaub mit Cowboys und Canyons, Megastädten und Mississippi-Dampfern.

„2008 wird ein Nordamerika-Jahr“, ist die Überzeugung von Matthias Rotter, der bei der Rewe-Bausteintouristik in Frankfurt den Bereich Meier’s Weltreisen leitet. „Die Vorausbuchungen für den Sommer in den USA gehen durch die Decke, vor allem bei Mietwagen-Rundreisen und Wohnmobilen. Und der Winter ist von den Buchungen her der absolute Hammer“, sagt Tilo Krause-Dünow, Chef des Veranstalters Canusa in Hamburg und Vorstandsmitglied im Visit USA Committee in Frankfurt. >>

Mark Alexander
Le luxueux empire
des frères Chalhoub

LE FIGARO: Deux frères français, les Chalhoub, ont bâti un empire de 200 boutiques au Moyen-Orient.

Lunettes de soleil siglées Versace sur le front, sacs baguette Dior sous le bras et téléphones Prada à la main, des jeunes femmes furètent parmi les dessous affriolants de la marque Agent provocateur. Scène banale d’un shopping entre copines… sauf que rien ne dépasse de leurs abayas noires et qu’elles sont au BurJuman, le plus chic des malls de Dubaï, dédié aux élégantes du golfe Arabo-Persique avec ses fontaines vertes, ses escaliers en bois doré, ses restaurants libanais et son magasin Vuitton décoré de moucharabieh. Ces jeunes femmes auraient-elles seulement pu passer leurs journées dans un tel mall, il y a seulement dix ans ? Pas sûr.

Grâce aux Chalhoub, un vrai vent de révolution souffle sur la vie de l’élite orientale. Sans cette dynastie d’entrepreneurs visionnaires, le Golfe ne serait pas la nouvelle plaque tournante du luxe mondiale. Des maisons comme Vuitton, Dior, Baccarat, Bonpoint, Christofle, Fendi et Chanel n’y feraient pas autant d’affaires. Des millions de touristes n’afflueraient pas à Dubaï. Et les élégantes autochtones, oisives à 99 % et richissimes grâce aux cours élevés du pétrole, connaîtraient la même vie recluse que leurs mères. Au lieu de quoi, elles peuvent s’adonner à leur passe-temps favori : faire du shopping, sept jours sur sept, de 10 à 22 heures non plus au souk mais dans de gigantesques centres commerciaux lumineux et climatisés. >>

Mark Alexander
Sarkozy Wins China 20bn Euro Deal

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Photo of Mr Sarkozy with Mr Hu courtesy of the BBC

BBC: French industrialists visiting China with President Nicolas Sarkozy say they have finalised trade deals worth almost 20bn euros ($30bn; £14.5bn).

These include a delivery of 160 Airbus passenger planes to the value of about 10bn euros.
And state-owned French energy firm Areva said it had signed a contract to build two nuclear reactors in China.

The announcements came as Mr Sarkozy held a second meeting with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

"The total amount of these contracts has never been matched before," he told the Chinese president as they met in Beijing's Great Hall of the People. >>

20 milliards de contrats déjà signés en Chine De Perrine Créquy

Mark Alexander
‘R’ word makes the leftovers harder to digest

TIMESONLINE: In the United States, the “R” word is back. As people in the world’s biggest economy pick at Thanksgiving leftovers, the ghost looming over the remains of the feast is the spectre of recession.

With Christmas not far off, Americans are feeling anything but festive. Consumer confidence is at its lowest for a decade and a half, apart from in the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Polls show that two fifths of US households expect a recession in the next year – up from fewer than a third only a month ago. Glowering at their home computers, the anxious spend ever more time typing the “R” word into search engines.

Yet a slide into recession is far from the main expectation of Wall Street’s forecasters. Certainly, most expect a nasty economic setback in the closing months of this year, and several quarters of sub-par growth. But the consensus is for the US economy to expand by a relatively healthy 2.2 per cent next year.

Who, then, is right? Could the churning guts of angst-gripped Americans on Main Street end up more accurate than the insights that wizards on Wall Street glean from their data-laden statistical models? Alas, the answer is yes. Few analysts saw the last two recessions before they hit and, sadly, the sages look more and more likely to emerge as being too sanguine. A US recession looks more probable than not. >> By Gary Duncan

Mark Alexander

Sunday, 25 November 2007

”I Got a ‘B’ in Economics 101"

Didn’t we all know it, George?

Mark Alexander

Saturday, 24 November 2007

US-Ökonom warnt vor tiefer Weltwirtschaftskrise

SPIEGELONLINE: Zahlungssausfälle, Pleiten, Zwangsvollstreckungen: In der US-Kreditkrise steht Bank-Prognosen zufolge das Schlimmste noch bevor. Der US-Ökonom Burda fürchtet gar eine "tiefgreifende Rezession", wie sie die Welt seit Jahrzehnten nicht erlitten hat.

Hamburg/New York - Michael Burda sieht schwarz. Der amerikanische Ökonom ist sich sicher, dass die USA vor wirtschaftlich schweren Zeiten stehen. "Das Land steckt in einem schweren Dilemma. Ich erwarte eine tiefgreifende Rezession", sagt der Professor der Berliner Humboldt-Universität dem SPIEGEL.

Mehr noch: "Wenn die Krise noch bis weit ins kommende Jahr hineinreicht, kann sie Ausmaße annehmen wie bei der Weltwirtschaftskrise in den dreißiger Jahren", sagte Burda.

Auch in den USA selbst mehren sich die Stimmen, die vor einer Eskalation der Probleme warnen. Die Fälle von Zwangsvollstreckungen und Zahlungsausfällen würden nochmals deutlich zunehmen, glauben Bank-Experten. US-Ökonom warnt vor tiefer Weltwirtschaftskrise (mehr)

Mark Alexander
Sarkozy’s War with French Strikers

BBC: It would be an exaggeration to describe the French capital this week as a ghost town, but if you were a Parisian restaurant owner or a Parisian shop keeper you might be forgiven for doing so.

In my quarter, the popular pizza restaurant had to close because the chef and waiters could not get to work.

The boulangerie, usually stripped of its millefeuilles (custard pastry) and tartes aux fraises (strawberry tart) long before I get home from work, is still bulging with patisserie.

The baker tells me he is down 30-40% on sales because the usual customers did not dare risk being stranded in the city, and - instead - stayed home.

And in my local eight-till-late shop, the Moroccan shopkeeper grumbled it just was not worth stocking up on fresh produce - everyone was so tired after hours walking to and from work, they either did not bother to eat in the evenings or they just raided the freezer. It felt, he said, like there was a war on. Sarkozy's 'war' with French strikers (more) By Emma Jane Kirby

Mark Alexander
Der Dollar fällt auf den tiefsten Stand zu Franken und Euro

NZZ: Noch nie mussten für einen Dollar so wenig Franken oder Euro bezahlt werden wie am Freitag. Wegen der konjunkturellen Unsicherheiten in den USA könnte das Fed die Zinsen weiter senken und dadurch den Zinsvorteil der USA gegenüber Europa ausradieren.

cae. Die Dollar-Schwäche hält an. In der Nacht auf Freitag ist die US-Währung auf ein Rekordtief von Fr. 1.0896 gefallen – den tiefsten Stand, den der «Greenback» zum Franken je erreicht hat (vgl. Grafik). Im Laufe des Freitags erholte sich der Dollar zwar wieder auf über Fr. 1.10, doch die US-Währung blieb unter Druck. Ein Euro kostete am Freitag vorübergehend $ 1.4966, so viel wie noch nie. Der Dollar fällt auf den tiefsten Stand zu Franken und Euro: Zyklische Faktoren drücken die US-Währung unter Fr. 1.10

Mark Alexander
L'actualité économique et financière

La dernière séance de la semaine Par Pierre Alexandre

Wall Street grimpe

Mark Alexander
Sind die fetten Jahre vorbei?

DIE PRESSE: Die USA stecken tief in der Kreditkrise, Öl kostet bald 100 Dollar: Droht Europa eine Rezession? Nein, sagen die Ökonomen - warnen aber vor Sorglosigkeit.

Wien. Öl kostet fast 100 Dollar pro Barrel. Der Euro hat seit Jahresbeginn zum Dollar um mehr als zehn Prozent aufgewertet. Amerika steckt knietief in der Hypothekenkrise. Das nagt an den Nerven: Vier von zehn Amerikanern erwarten eine Rezession. Auch an der Wall Street herrscht Nervosität: Der Chefökonom der Investmentbank Goldman Sachs erklärte jüngst, die US-Kreditkrise könne eine „ernste Rezession“ zur Folge haben. Sind die fetten Jahre vorbei? (mehr)

Geschichte: 143 Jahre Ölpreis

The sound of Mieselsucht Von Michael Fleischhacker

Wir warten auf den Crash

Mark Alexander
Spending Tips for Russia’s Richest

BBC: A trip to Russia used to be the style equivalent of being sent to Siberia.

Now there's such a market for luxury goods that Moscow hosts an annual "Millionaire Fair" to show the wealthy how they might choose to spend their cash.

Ladas are no longer the limit.

There are big cars for top tycoons, and toys for the rich boys. Spending tips for Russia's richest (more) By James Rodgers

Millionaire Fair in Russia

Moscow Diary: Welcome to 'Wild East'

Mark Alexander

Friday, 23 November 2007

Dollar im ungebremsten Sinkflug

NZZ: Der schwache Dollar hat auch Auswirkungen auf die Schweizer Wirtschaft. Exporte in die USA und die Regionen der Dollarzone werden teurer. Umgekehrt wird der Preisanstieg der Erdölprodukte in der Schweiz etwas abgefedert.

(ap)/uhg. Der Dollar ist weiterhin auf Talfahrt: Die US-Währung sackte in der Nacht auf Freitag auf ein neues Allzeittief von 1,0896 Franken ab. Während der Dollar am Vorabend noch zu 1,1005 Franken gehandelt worden war, erreichte er in den frühen Morgenstunden auf den internationalen Devisenmärkten den neuen Tiefstwert von 1,0896 Franken.

Euro im Allzeithoch

Er verlor damit im Vergleich zum Vorabend mehr als einen Rappen. Am Freitagmorgen erholte sich die US-Valuta wieder leicht und stand zeitweise bei 1,0973 Franken. Auch der Euro erreichte als Folge der anhaltenden Spekulationen um eine erneute Zinssenkung der amerikanischen Leitbank gegen den Dollar ein neues Allzeithoch. Er erreichte am frühen Morgen einen Wert von 1,4966 Dollar. Dollar im ungebremsten Sinkflug: Unterschiedliche Auswirkungen auf Schweizer Wirtschaft

Mark Alexander
If Money Is No Object, and You’re Short of Ideas for Christmas Presents…

then look no further than The Times Luxx new quarterly lifestyle magazine for the best of everything for your loved ones and yourself, of course: The Timess LUXX

Mark Alexander
Gerard Baker’s Alternative View on the Decline of the Dollar

TIMESONLINE: Americans paused at Thanksgiving yesterday for the traditional annual audit of their blessings. If they'd been listening at all closely to the morose lucubrations of their opinion leaders, however, it would have been pretty slim pickings.

The pundits have finally run out of bad news to report from Iraq, where, unmolested by the morbid fascination of misery-seeking reporters, the locals actually seem to be belatedly enjoying the first fruits of their liberation. So attention has turned again, as it has tended to do from time to time these past 50 years, to the inevitable collapse of the American economy.

The declining dollar is for many an ominous indication that the long period of US economic supremacy is at an end. In the past month especially, a nation that usually remains in blissful ignorance of the daily fluctuations of the foreign exchange markets has been repeatedly reminded that the dollar now buys a fraction of what it used to — down 35 per cent against the pound in the past six years and 40 per cent against that fledgeling monetary superpower, the euro.

Much has been written about the eschatological symbolism of the dollar's fall and the financial problems that have accompanied it. The apparent consensus among commentators here in America and especially in Europe is that the US has become a kind of Third World country, awash in debt and sinking fast because of a collapsing housing market and a banking system in meltdown. And all this is supposed to reflect in turn a seismic shift in the balance of global economic power away from the US and towards Mighty Europe and Emerging Asia.

Let me take a moment in this season of cheer to raise a few objections. The first and most obvious point is that there are many reasons why currencies move against each other, often in quite dramatic fashion. Seismic, epochal, geopolitical shifts are not usually the best explanation. The dollar's in decline. Great news!: Critics think it's in a crisis, but in reality America is in decent health

Mark Alexander

Thursday, 22 November 2007

120 Milliardäre in der Schweiz

NZZ: cae. Wie immer in der Vorweihnachtszeit veröffentlicht auch dieses Jahr das Wirtschaftsmagazin «Bilanz» die Liste der 300 reichsten in der Schweiz lebenden Personen. Für sie war laut der diesjährigen Rangliste 2007 offenbar kein schlechtes Jahr: Der Wert ihres Vermögens lag mit 529 Mrd. Fr. um 74 Mrd. Fr. höher als im Vorjahr. Die 10 Reichsten darunter besitzen zusammen mehr als einen Viertel des gesamten Reichtums aus der Liste. Doch während im Jahr 2006 der Reichtum der Top Ten weit stärker gestiegen war als jener der anderen 290 Personen im Ranking, legten 2007 die Vermögen der Spitze etwa gleich stark zu wie jene der «Basis». In der Schweiz leben 120 Milliardäre (mehr)

Mark Alexander
Danish Governemnt Wants to Hold Fresh Referendum on Euro

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Image courtesy of Google Images

BBC: The Danish government has said it would like to hold a fresh referendum on whether to adopt the euro.

Back in 2000, the Danish people voted by 53% to 47% not to join the single currency and instead keep the krone.

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whose centre-right government was re-elected last week, said "the time was approaching" to reassess the euro.

He said he also wanted the referendum to look at ending Denmark's opt-outs in defence, justice and home affairs.

Denmark was granted the four exemptions after voters rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. They adopted the document the following year.

"It is the government's view that the people in this parliamentary term should have the opportunity to take a stance on the Danish EU opt-outs," said Mr Rasmussen.

The referendum will take place at some stage in the next four years, he indicated.

A member of the European Parliament for the opposition Social Democrats, Dan Jorgensen, said his party had been asking for a vote for several years but it was a difficult thing to do in Denmark and its leaders had tended to avoid taking the risk because "the EU is always controversial". Denmark planning new vote on euro (more)

Le Danemark prêt à organiser un nouveau référendum sur l'adoption de l'euro

Mark Alexander
Bank of England’s Stability Chief Calls for Interest Rates to Be Cut

THE TELEGRAPH – BUSINESS: The Bank of England's financial stability chief has called for interest rates to be cut, amid fresh signs that the credit crunch is worsening and that the high street is already starting to suffer.

Minutes to the Bank's interest rate meeting this month revealed that two of the nine members - deputy governor for financial stability Sir John Gieve and David Blanchflower - voted to cut borrowing costs to 5.5pc.

The documents released yesterday also showed that the Bank's own private surveys of the UK economy depict it weakening more dramatically than the Office for National Statistics has reported. Bank chief urges rates cut over crunch (more) By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor

Mark Alexander
Financial Crises: Lessons from History

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Image courtesy of the BBC

BBC: The current market jitters are centred on disturbances in the world's credit markets. Worries about the viability of sub-prime mortgage lending have spread around the financial system, and the central banks have been forced to pump in billions of dollars to oil the wheels of lending.

But what happened in previous financial crises, and what are the lessons for today?

There have been a growing number of financial crises in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Among the key lessons of previous major financial crises are:

• Globalisation has increased the frequency and spread of financial crises, but not necessarily their severity

• Early intervention by central banks is more effective in limiting their spread than later moves

• It is difficult to tell at the time whether a financial crisis will have broader economic consequences

• Regulators often cannot keep up with the pace of financial innovation that may trigger a crisis.

Financial crises: Lessons from history (more) Analysis by Steve Schifferes

Mark Alexander
World Markets Still Jittery

BBC: Global share prices continued their volatile trading, after US stock indexes fell overnight amid fears for the US economy and a fragile dollar.

The UK's FTSE 100 index fell in early trading, before rebounding and climbing 27 points, or 0.4%, to 6,097.90.

Earlier on Wall Street, the Dow Jones index slumped by more than 200 points prompting nervous trading in Asia, and a slide in Germany and France.

Analysts said that markets probably would be jittery in coming months.

US markets are closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday. World markets jittery on US woes (more)

Global credit crunch

Mark Alexander
Happy Thanksgiving to One and All!

Here’s wishing my visitors Stateside a VERY BLESSED and HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

Mark Alexander

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Is Sarkozy Having His ‘Thatcher Moment’?

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Photo of Nicolas Sarkozy courtesy of the BBC

BBC: The monsieur is not for turning.

Such was the Thatcherite subtext of Nicolas Sarkozy's speech on Tuesday - his first public outing since the start of the rail strikes a week ago.

Interestingly the key words were not in the original text of the speech.

In the delivered version the president added the impromptu phrase "Nous ne cederons pas, nous ne reculerons pas" - "We shall not give way, we shall not retreat" - as if in homage to the Iron Lady's example.

In fact, there has never been the least chance of Nicolas Sarkozy "turning" on this, the most symbolic of reforms.

The rail unions are protesting in defence of pension privileges which very few in the country believe are any longer defensible.

The president set out clearly in his election manifesto that he planned to reform them, and no-one can claim to be taken by surprise.

And even most of the union leaders themselves tacitly concede it is time to end the anomaly under which 500,000 people in the rail and energy sectors can retire two-and-a-half years earlier than everyone else. Is Sarkozy having his 'Thatcher' moment? (more) By Hugh Schofield

Mark Alexander
Islamic Economics: Iqtisad al Islamy

ISLAMIC-WORLD.NET: Islam uniquely considers distribution as the economic problem, and Muslims do not share the obsession of capitalists and communists with production. Because Islam differentiates between the basic needs and luxuries, there exists no concept of relative scarcity of resources in Islam. The resources available on earth are sufficient to secure the basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) of fifty billion human beings. Such a misunderstanding has concealed the reality that starvation, poverty, and economic backwardness, result from maldistribution exasperated by man-made laws and systems. Under the Islamic system, Nigeria alone could support the whole of Africa, as occurred in the past when, under the system of Islam, Africa sent food to relieve the famine in Medinah during the rule of Omar bin al-Khattab.

By using labels like "Third World" and "First World," this economic conspiracy has worked behind a deceived populace who fail to realize that the "Third World" countries are actually First World in terms of resources. While organizations like Mercy International and UNICEF keep the masses content under the circus act of "humanitarian aid," the capitalist machine works behind the stage to gobble up the resources of the world.

The implementation of Islam would eliminate the stranglehold by which the elites control the polices of the world and milk its resources. Unlike the current systems, Islam will not impose any limits on the amount of wealth that an individual can acquire, thus creating and maintaining an incentive to work. The shortsightedness of limiting production stems from the man-made ideologies that fail to understand the nature of creation. Because the Islamic system reflects the wisdom of the Creator, then the implementation of Islam will provide a society conducive to life that will address the needs of humanity based on the correct understanding of life. Muhammad (saaw) said, "The son of Adam, if he had two valleys of gold, would desire a third and would not be satisfied till he bites the dust."

While generating massive abundance and wealth of resources by eliminating all the restrictions and oppressive systems that prevent production, Islam will safeguard against abuses of exploitation in acquiring wealth by limiting the way in which wealth is acquired. For instance, Islam denies the "free" market of Capitalism which has led to the situation of "survival of the fittest". Such an unrestricted environment has led directly to the current situation where multinational companies have scavenged the resources of the world like parasites unrestricted in their "freedom." Under the Khilafah, natural and vital resources would be categorized as public property and a right of every citizen of the state - Muslim or otherwise - in accordance with the Prophet's (saw) Hadith that states, "The humans have a right to three things - water, green pastures, and fire-based fuels (An-Naar)."

In Islam, public revenue from oil and natural resources would be used to secure the needs of the whole Muslim Ummah, and not to line the pockets of casino owners. The Khilafah would provide public and vital resources without charge to cover the needs of every individual and family, and the monopolies that multinational corporations maintain to dictate the lives of the people would dissipate.

The Shariah also defines certain rules that regulate company structure, effectively preventing abuse and corruption. For instance, Islam forbids monopolies by outlawing the hoarding of wealth (Al-Ihtikar), and eliminating copyright or patency [sic] laws that would open the avenue for potential monopolies to develop. Also, Islam protects the ownership of businesses and companies by restricting ownership of companies only to those who contribute both capital and effort to the company or business, thus effectively putting the seal on such concepts as "corporate takeover" from ever becoming a reality. Introduction (more)

Introduction to Shari’ah

What is Usury (Riba)?

Contracts in Islamic Commerce and Their Application in Modern Islamic Finance

Monetary & Fiscal Policy in Islam

Trade & Business in Islam

Mark Alexander
Der Euro so stark wie noch nie

WELTONLINE: Der Euro setzt im Verhältnis zum US-Dollar setzt seine Rekordjagd fort. Nachdem der Euro die Marke von 1,48 US-Dollar geknackt hat, ist noch nicht Schluss. Doch EU-Politiker machen sich Sorgen um die Wirtschaftkraft: Nicht nur das Exportgeschäft wird dadurch schwieriger.

Der Euro hat seine Rekordjagd fortgesetzt. Er stieg am 21. November morgens auf 1,4856 Dollar. Damit kostet die europäische Gemeinschaftswährung so viel wie nie seit ihrer Einführung 1999. Angetrieben wurde der Eurokurs von einer Wachstumsprognose der US-Notenbank Fed. Demnach wächst die US-Wirtschaft 2008 weniger stark. Am Markt wurde dies als Hinweis darauf gewertet, dass die Fed die Zinsen bald weiter senken könnte.

Wegen der Eurostärke droht der Wirtschaft der Euro-Zone nach Einschätzung von Eurogruppen-Chef Jean-Claude Juncker Gefahr von mehreren Seiten. Die Krise am Finanzmarkt werde sich 2008 stärker auf die Konjunktur auswirken und Kredite verteuern, sagte Juncker bei einer Anhörung im Europäischen Parlament in Brüssel. Auch sei unsicher, ob die Wirtschaft im Währungsgebiet in Zukunft die Euro-Stärke noch so gut meistern könne wie bisher. Über den derzeitigen Kurs müsse man scharf nachdenken. Der Euro ist stark wie nie – und gefährlich (mehr)

Mark Alexander
Oil Nears $100 a Barrel

BBC: Oil prices kept climbing on Wednesday, as the dollar remained weak, and closed near $100 a barrel.

US light, sweet crude hit a record of $99.29 in Asian trading. London Brent crude rose 50 cents to $95.99 a barrel.

Tight supplies, winter demand and continuing geopolitical concerns have contributed to oil prices climbing by about 45% since August.

Federal Reserve predictions of slower than expected growth in the US next year have also boosted prices.

'Speculative money'

Analysts examining minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest rate-setting meeting, released on Tuesday, said there was a good chance that there would be another interest rate cut in December.

This would be expected to weaken the dollar further as commodities and other currencies and became more attractive to investors, forcing up oil prices, they said. Oil reaches new record above $99 (more)

Mark Alexander
Protests Grow as Euro Hits $1.48

THE TELEGRAPH: The euro has surged to an all-time of $1.48 against the dollar, prompting bitter protests from European export industry and hints of possible intervention from top EU officials.

Jean Claude-Juncker, chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, said the dramatic rise in the currency since August had begun to inflict damage on vulnerable parts of the 13-nation bloc.

'We deplore the sudden changes in the exchange rates. We will be keeping a very watchful eye on the exchange rate markets,’ he told the European Parliament. Mr Juncker said the countries worst effected were those that “haven’t done enough to increase their competitiveness”, a reference to the southern tier of states that let rip on inflation after the launch of the euro and failed match Germany in holding down costs.

Mr Juncker is leading an EU troika to Beijing next week to pressure the Chinese authorities into speeding up the glacial pace of yuan revaluation. China’s currency is linked to the dollar by a crawling peg. It has been steadily falling against the euro, even though China’s trade surplus with Europe has reached $135bn over the last year, up 46pc. Protest grow as Euro hits $1.48 By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Mark Alexander
Is the Dollar Losing Its Lustre?

It's the lingua franca of currencies - a symbol of wealth in movies, music, backpackers' pockets and central banks all over the world. But will the dollar's current doldrums end all this?

The dollar is suffering. Rarely a day passes when something is not written about its weakness against the pound and the euro.

Since World War II, when the influx of GIs into the UK and the triumph of the American economy on the world stage ushered in a new era, the dollar has been a symbol of US industrial and cultural dominance, as well as of the glitz and glamour of the world's ultimate showbiz nation.

But in this era of uncertainty, will the dollar stay iconic or will it lose its lustre to the euro or the Chinese yuan?
Is the dollar losing its luster? (more)

Mark Alexander