The Japanese government’s decision to scrap plans for its Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium amid spiralling labour costs is yet another example of a host nation struggling to cope with the burden of staging this spectacle. Why not solve the problem by establishing a permanent home for the Olympic Games in its country of origin? Greece has a suitable climate and venues, and a regular Games there would give the economy a much-needed boost. It would also do away with the horse-trading that surrounds the choosing of the host. A method could be devised to allow participating countries to take it in turns to organise and pay for the opening and closing ceremonies.
Sandra Jones, Somerset, in The Daily Telegraph
In Morality and the Money Motive, John Plender, while mentioning that Islam was the pioneering faith to elevate the role of trade, states that “Prophet Mohammed was pro-trade, though anti-finance”. What the Prophet was against was finance based on usury, consisting of an ex-ante charge regardless of the outcome of the venture. However, risk-sharing finance, or equity finance, was plentiful. Indeed, this mode of finance also provides a possible link to morality in market economics that Plender finds missing in capitalism. Today, we recognise that pervasive debt finance is a prime cause of growing inequality. A return to equity-type finance is the urgent need of the time. Perhaps Plender could have said the “Prophet was pro-trade but anti interest-based debt finance”.
M. Iqbal Asaria, adjunct professor of Islamic finance, inceif, Kuala Lumpur, in FT Weekend