Usury (Riba) and Financial Crisis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Economics,Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Shahid Beheshti university

2 Ph.D. student


Several Financial crises which have occurred in different geographical areas during the past century have reinforced the notion that crises and market imbalances are inherent characteristics of capitalism. By surveying the transitions of financial markets especially during the last three decades, it has been clarified that the existence of interest rate can be considered as a fault line in the economic system and will disrupt the harmony between the real and financial sectors.
Based on quarterly information in the real and financial markets of the United States of America during 1993-2009, the result of this study shows that the presence of usury and its growth in an economic system will expand the debt markets which cause the separation between nominal values in financial markets and their intrinsic values in the real sector of economy. With the emergence and increase of this separation the asset price bubbles are created. At this point, the greed of economic agents to take advantage of easily profitable opportunities, which have been available due to price bubbles, will increase the borrowing and, therefore, expand the debt markets. Consequently, the amount of monetary resources for the real sector will be decreased and, therefore, the economic growth and employment will be hindered. Moreover, during this process, speculation activities will inflate price bubble excessively and cause more separation between real sector and financial sector. However, every bubble will eventually meet the actuality of real economy. In other words, the consequence of separation and its increase is fragility of economic system and the annihilation of trillions of artificial wealth which were created during the past period.


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