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Islam’s capitalist meme

It is nice to think that the lure of filthy lucre might help spread the capitalist bug around the planet to even the most inhospitable regions. In a story which caught my eye, Reuters reports that a host of western banks are gearing up to cash in on growing demand in Islamic countries for bank services.

Ok, the banks will have to negotiate their way around the thicket of prohibitions on interest payments and so forth, but even so, if commercial ties spread, I think that is a good thing. And over time customers may even get to realise that interest – damned as wicked usury in the Islamic credo – is in fact no more than the price attached to deferring current spending over future gain. It is another chink in the armour of ignorance about business, another step in that great and glorious thing – globalisation. Who knows, one day Muslim investment bankers will be holding conferences on “how to spread business to backward statist economies in Europe”? You read it here first.

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