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Monday, May 16, 2011

Islamic Banking Principles: solution or flop to debt crisis?

By Briana Booker

Officially today the United States government has reached its debt ceiling of $14.294 trillion dollars. Default by August 2011 is a concern for most Americans. How will Wall Street respond? How will it effect our bond market? What will happen with mortgage interest rates? Where is the solution to this debt crisis?

The economy is fragile.  The real estate financial market is fragile. Excessive amounts of U.S dollar reserves are in China's financial market. American citizens and the rest of the world are concerned about U.S money supply and interest rates. A default is not a solution.

However, I believe simplifying our financial market can help open our eyes to solutions. What could be better than going back to the basics of exchange? Why can not we receive what we are willing to give? The purpose of money is to fairly exchange it for a valued good, whether of a specified product or for equal value of money.

I thought of a system that still follows this traditional banking and exchange system. The system is Islamic banking principles. Islamic banking is similar to conventional banking, minus the promotion of interest rates. Islamic banking shares in profits and loss through joint ventures and limited partnerships. It restricts interest rates, which is the culprit of the U.S national banking system crisis. How is the average person able to pay debt back, that  he or she never could afford from the start?

No one with logical sense would borrow from a friend $10 plus 25% or more interest to that borrowing? Yet, banks and a variety of private loaners are allowed to practice these corrupt methods of financial exchanges?

The system needs reforming. Greed does not help anyone, and now as a country, we are laying in  the bed we made for ourselves. Something is going to give or things will fall apart if we do not initiate a reforming of our financial system.

A default will raise borrowing cost, a cost we can not afford now and certainly not later.

I support Islamic banking principles. Presently, it is a stable form of banking but it only holds a small share of the global financial system. It is ethical and I feel, even if we use it temporarily, it can get the economy back on target.

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