We all live under Sharia Law

28 Aug

You may or may not be familiar with the sharia law governing finance and speculation. Under the Islamic code, interest and speculation is forbidden, but followers may share risk through equity participation in physically based assets. The whole concept is actually fascinating as trillions of dollars in Bonds have been devised to synthetically create interest bearing vehicles with some underlying physical component. A quick perusal of negative nominal yields in a number of major sovereign  government bond markets would make it appear like the whole world is currently living under sharia law. As we have mentioned before, it is curious that  one of the criticisms of some particular hard assets is that they throw off little, or no, cash flow/interest. We have a hard time reconciling those kinds of comments with rates that give investors the privilege of taking on sovereign credit risk for a fee. If we are operating under sharia law, in terms of rates of interest, we would prefer to stick to the letter of the law and participate in the ownership of physical/hard assets.

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