Edited by Mervyn K. Lewis, Mohamed Ariff and Shamsher Mohamad
Chapter 12: Financial market operations in the United States: ethical issues and lessons for Islamic banking
Whenever there is a financial crisis that leads to major economic downturn, a number of questions arise in the minds of investors and the general public. Was it the result of excessive speculation by some financial institutions? Or was it due to domestic and/or global economic factors that could not have been avoided by financial market operators? Or was it the consequence of slack or ineffective regulations of the markets by the governmental authorities? Or was it caused by deliberate floundering of laws regarding market operations? Or was the crisis due to unethical and unscrupulous conduct of financial market operatives? One common factor that can be found in the financial market collapses since the Great Depression of the 1920s is the preponderance of unethical (but not necessarily illegal) conduct on the part of financial market operatives, especially banking institutions. This chapter examines this aspect of the US financial markets.
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