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The Problem With Interest Paperback – 18 Oct 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kreatoc Ltd.; 3rd edition (18 Oct. 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0954497414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954497415
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

After much waiting a refreshing book on the subject of interest has finally appeared. In the din of confusing voices for and against interest, this is an enjoyably frank treatment of the subject ... I recommend it as compulsory reading for all those interested in the subject of interest and the Islamic position on money and banking (1st edition review). --Muhammad Akram Khan, Muslim World Book Review, October 1999

This is a well-researched, practical and comprehensive book on the flaws of the conventional fractional reserve banking system based on riba (interest). Some background in finance is assumed, and yet it is accessible to the lay-person who wants to understand the history of money, the eradication of gold as a legal tender and store of wealth, why certain Islamic financial products are in the early stages of implementation, and why others are not fully Sharia'a compliant yet (2nd edition review). --M. Syed Hoque, American Journal of Islamic Finance, April 2004

About the Author

Tarek El Diwany's experience in both secular and Islamic finance help him to provide a practical commentary on the state of the modern financial system and the Islamic alternative. In 1989 he established a bond derivatives operation for a major financial institution in London and since 1995 he has worked in the field of Islamic finance for a variety of professional and private clients across the world. He is now the senior member at Zest Advisory LLP, an Islamic finance and investment consultancy based in London. Tarek is the founder of www.islamic-finance.com, a database of researchers, institutions, books, events and other information dedicated to the field, and presenter of the film documentary Why are We All in Debt? In 2010, he completed a reference textbook as contributing editor for First Ethical Charitable Trust entitled Islamic Banking and Finance: What It Is and What It Could Be.

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Format: Paperback
If you have ever wondered why with all our technological developments and supposed increased efficiency in the running of our economies, that people are actually getting in more debt? why inequality between rich and poor is growing? and millions are still dying in the "Third world"? All the while the banks are getting richer and more powerful? - then this may help answer some of those queries. A comprehensive and fairly complex analysis of economic and monetary systems in the west today, yet an eye-opener to the self-destructive system we live in.
As much an encouragement to use reason as a proposal for the only fair and viable alternative economic system for our world, Tarek El Diwany provides a refreshing insight to the world of finance that few of us understand, but all of us are affected by on a daily basis.
Thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book as a present and, as usual with books I don't really want to read, decided to take it on holiday. I wish I hadn't though because it made compelling reading.
Being an accountant I thought I understood money but here was a very interesting Islamic viewpoint which challenges our notions of 'orthodox' economics. In fact, it's not exclusively an Islamic voice but rather the voice of reason. Christian and Jewish doctrine also forbade interest, and for good reason. Whilst the latter two were relieved of such notions through sophisticated transactions, modern day Islam is helped along this same path by the simple technique of renomination: call a mortgage an islamic mortgage and the banks bring in Islamic funds and at higher interest rates than a standard mortgage.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a phenomenal piece of work, which sheds light to multiple aspects of current monetary policy, its history, development, main drivers and principles and how it has shaped our current economic life. It is a must read not only for the ones interested in finance and economics, but to everybody, as the issue of interest is touching all of us!

Indeed, the impact of interest on economy, its role in creation of paper money and debt is quite devastating. Author touches upon the issue of infinite growth of debt, hidden thieve of our hard-earned wealth and compounding rate of exploitation of resources on the Earth and issue of sustainability.

The matters raised in this book are quite enlightening and numerous views from famous thinkers of their time, such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin etc. add strong argumentation points on the true problem of interest.

More importantly, Tarek El-Diwany touches upon issue of prohibition of interest in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and then elaborates how profit-seeking groups have maneuvered this prohibition by different mechanisms throughout history up until now.

The author doesn't stop with just giving the above mentioned facts, opinions and analysis, but also suggests practical recommendations on eliminating interest and achieving true justice and equity in the world, which I'm sure most, if not all, would support. He tackles main foundations of interest-based financial system, which is interest charged on money lending (including creation of paper money) and fractional reserve banking, which creates several time of private (bank) debt out of deposits made.
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Format: Paperback
Monetary economics may appear to be a kind of hidden black art understood only by an elite handful pulling all the strings. But as one reads Mr Diwany's book it becomes clear that the conditions for a just and fair monetary system are actually technically rather restrictive. Indeed if one follows the discussion closely one is led, seemingly unavoidably, to a monetary system of the kind prescribed in Islam which disallows interest completely, and requires the payment of 'zakat', which is a form of annual charitable tax fixed at 2.5% of assets owned.

Mr Diwany's logic is impeccable, and his arguments are backed up by numerous poignant illustrative examples, which leave the reader in little doubt regarding the conclusions reached. The case put forward for an ethical, interest-free, monetary economy is powerful and compelling, and this book should be mandatory reading for anyone concerned about the illnesses plaguing the economy today and wondering if there might exist a more just and fair alternative.
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Format: Paperback
What Tarek has been saying since 1997 (year of first edition) is now also picked by others and one gets to come across these ideas more often. To his credit, he got there much earlier and wrote a wonderful book. This is the first book that I know of which made an economic case for Islam's prohibition on lending money on interest.

Interestingly, those who favor gold as an investment and as currency from a purely secular point of view also say similar things. There are some useful videos on You Tube which explain the weakness of fiat money and credit creation etc.

What Tarek should have done in this 3rd edition is update the data and use more of new research papers that support these views. For instance, the data for debt and deforestation is quite old, Brazil now has a booming economy nad more indepth research is required to establish a clearer connection between debt and deforestation. But it still the best book on the subject by all means.
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