“I think the future of television is more fragmentation, the bundle has no more elasticity in it.” – Barry Diller.
This explains everything from ManUnited TV to the new channels that Amazon has launched as Prime add-ons in the UK and Germany yesterday. Media has been driving an increasing share of household spend over the past 15 years.
In a time of stagnating economic growth and declining incomes (in real terms) that middle won’t hold. Much of it becomes discretionary spending.
I use my Apple Pay as a stopgap measure for when I have left my wallet on my desk rather than as a main form of payment. I use PayPal mainly because eBay doesn’t allow other options.
So I find it puzzling that the likes of Tesco really thinks that this payment app (and others like it) would stand a chance of succeeding. The reason why Visa, MasterCard and Amex work is because of their near universal acceptance.
I was given Heaven’s Bankers to read as a friend. I can’t say I had thought that much about Islamic finance before. I knew that it had a couple of patches of ‘heat’ behind it in the banking sector. One was in the late 1990s. It then took a back seat post-911 and took off again as Dubai boomed.
It helps that Harris was not only an insider, but passionate about banking in its widest sense. He’s also sickening polymath who is a top flight racing driver.
History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends. – Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner
Irfan delves into the intricacies of how modern Islamic finance grew and contracted. The industry he provides us an inside view of is now worth a trilliion dollars. The start of history like most things were pretty straight forward. As the industry grew more arcane and complex financial instruments became the norm. This reminded me of a lot of Mark Lewis’ Liar’s Poker. Lewis dealt with bonds and modern derivatives became so complex customers didn’t understand them. The Savings and Loans debacle of 1985-1996 foreshadowed subprime mortgages.
Where Irfan really excels for the non-banker as reader is in his ability to break down the basics. He takes the concepts many of us learned in business or economics classes back into pre-medieval history. He provides a historical perspective on modern capitalism as we know it. So the book becomes invaluable regardless of how you feel about the current economic system. The background gives you a more informed perspective.