Mukti

Ideas that went nowhere…..

Posted in development, economics, labour, macro, micro, political economy by jrahman on January 12, 2015

….. because life got in the way.

Okay, that’s a bit melodramatic.  Let’s start again.  It used to be the case that to have a professional career as an economist in America, you needed a PhD.  That’s changing a lot.  There’s a general glut of PhDs.  And organisations such as the IMF are now more interested in people with practical experiences than half a decade or more of often impractical academic training.  In any case, outside America, PhDs were always for those who wanted to pursue an academic career.  So, other than the vanity of being addressed as Dr Rahman, I’ve never really seen much return from doing a PhD.

And yet, every now and then, I think about the ideas over the fold and wonder what might have been.

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Shariahnomics 2 – Islamic finance during the crisis

Posted in economics, institutions, micro by jrahman on March 18, 2013

I discussed the theory of Islamic finance in the last post on this subject.  Here is a nice summary of the difference between Islamic and conventional banks’ approaches to risk.

Risk Sharing and Risk Transfer

The above is from work done by Maher Hasan and Jemma Dridi, two IMF economists, on how Islamic banks performed during the global financial crisis (and the period leading up to it).  In a 2010 working paper, they use bank level data from 120 Islamic and conventional banks from eight countries* over the period 2007-10 to explore why Islamic banks might have performed differently during the crisis. 

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Posted in Drama, economics, governance, history, Islamists, macro, micro, movies, politics, South Asia by jrahman on March 8, 2013

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Shariahnomics — Islamic finance

Posted in economics, institutions, micro by jrahman on February 5, 2013

In the last half decade of Hosni Mubarak’s rule, the Egyptian economy grew by healthy 5-7% a year.  Economic growth dipped to less than 2% a year after the revolution.  Currently, Egypt is on the brink of economic meltdown, and is negotiating an IMF rescue package.  The IMF package will probably involve tax reforms, privatisation, trade liberalisation, removal of subsidies, you know, the standard Washington Consensus neoliberalism.  The Muslim Brotherhood run government of Egypt does not particularly want to do any of these things.  As I speculated over a year ago, economic problems are giving anti-Brotherhood factions a political opening.

But this post is not about Egypt.

Islam is the solution — the Muslim Brotherhood used to say.  It will be interesting to see whether someone issues a fatwa declaring the IMF package as ‘Islamic’ or Shariah-consistent.  But as far as I can tell, the two things most commonly associated with Islamic economics — zakat and Islamic finance — have very little to say about Egypt’s current problems.

I’ll do a separate post or two about the origin of Islamic economics.  And there will be a post on zakat.  Over the fold, some thoughts on Islamic finance from the perspective of a mainstream economist (who may or may not be a believer).

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Posted in action, books, economic history, economics, methods, micro, movies, thriller, trade, TV by jrahman on January 18, 2013

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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All about Citizen Mati

Posted in democracy, economics, Islamists, media, micro, people, political economy, politics by jrahman on January 7, 2013

All About Eve Poster

All About Eve, the Oscar-winner in 1950, is a drama set in the black-and-white era Broadway.  It shows how the seemingly innocent Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) connives, deceives and manipulates people and event to eclipse the ageing star Margo Channing (Bette Davis).  In her quest, Eve is initially assisted by the theatre critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders).  But before long, DeWitt makes it clear who calls the shot.  Let me outsource to wiki to describe how the movie ends:

After the awards ceremony, Eve hands her award to Addison, skips a party in her honor, and returns home alone, where she encounters a young fan—a high-school girl—who has slipped into her apartment and fallen asleep. The young girl professes her adoration and begins at once to insinuate herself into Eve’s life, offering to pack Eve’s trunk for Hollywood and being accepted. “Phoebe” (Barbara Bates), as she calls herself, answers the door to find Addison returning with Eve’s award. In a revealing moment, the young girl flirts daringly with the older man. Addison hands over the award to Phoebe and leaves without entering. Phoebe then lies to Eve, telling her it was only a cab driver who dropped off the award. While Eve rests in the other room, Phoebe dons Eve’s elegant costume robe and poses in front of a multi-paned mirror, holding the award as if it were a crown. The mirrors transform Phoebe into multiple images of herself, and she bows regally, as if accepting the award to thunderous applause, while triumphant music plays.

You see, whether it is Margo or Eve or Phoebe — it’s Addison who makes or breaks the star.  The question is, what makes Addison tick? 

And more generally, what motivates the media?

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Posted in action, Bengal, China, Drama, economics, foreign policy, history, micro, movies, music, people, society, trade by jrahman on November 23, 2012

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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Posted in 1971, books, comedy, desi fiction, economics, foreign policy, history, India, micro, movies, Rights, thriller, TV, War crimes by jrahman on July 20, 2012

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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