Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Global Financial crisis and Islamic finance

Alasrag, Hussien (2010): Global Financial crisis and Islamic finance.

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Abstract

The world economy is still suffering the crisis, considered the most severe since the Great Depression, where economic downturn at historic magnitude and many countries across the globe, irrespective of their development level, are still under strain dealing with this crisis. The severe global crisis that has spilled from the financial sector to the real economy, including international trade in manufactures, commodities and services. The onset of the present crisis can be traced back to July 2007 with the liquidity crisis due to the loss of confidence in the mortgage credit markets in the United States. At first, there was uncertainty about the possible spillovers to the rest of the economy, and there was also discussion about the risks of contagion and decoupling, that is to say, the capacity of other countries – especially developing countries – to isolate themselves from the problems originating in the United States (which is the largest market for many countries). The hope was that the crisis would be restricted to financial markets, with few repercussions on the real economy and the rest of the world. This hope was shattered in September 2008 as the crisis entered an acute phase, with strong downward fluctuations in the stock markets, substantially reduced rates of economic growth, volatile exchange rates, and squeezes in demand and consumption, leading to falls in industrial production and decreasing flows of international trade and FDI, and causing impacts on related areas such as transfer of technology. The crisis has also been accompanied by increases in unemployment, with concomitant declining incomes and demand. The severity of the current crisis has led to the evaluation of the foundations of the capitalist financial system and the search for ideas and solutions. While some have proposed that the Islamic finance serves as a vehicle for recovering from the international financial crisis and The Islamic banking industry may be able to strengthen its position in the international market as investors and companies seek alternate sources of financing. Other economists have argued that Islamic finance, is a different way of structuring financial dealings; but, it is not a totally different financial system. This paper tries to note the main causes and the impacts of the current financial and economic crisis. In addition to discuss the belief that the Islamic finance and its prospective is a viable alternative to the ailing global financial system.

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