...but he does like a bit of empirical evidsence with his discourse. Dave is perfectly right, of course! I must admit that I haven't yet looked for any evidence one way or the other, being too busy playing World of Warcraft. I did see a lot of big shiny office buildings belonging to Islamic banks in the UAE, but I don't know whether they are actually profitable- and if they are, if it is just because of government subsidies and/or customers who patronise them purely as a religious duty. Unfortunately all the countries that have mandated a purely Islamic banking system have been corrupt basket-cases, war-ravaged wastelands, or targets of long-term international sanctions, so they probably don't make a very good sample set.
I am keen for Marco to reveal where he disagrees with the analysis, so I can see if it is my bits of the analysis or Elias Khachourian's. I suspect, from my reading of The Economist, that that magazine bears rather the same relationship to real economics as New Scientist does to real science- that is, basically okay, but a teensy-bit sexed-up and gee-whizzified. Hence, if we are going to appeal to authority, I would claim that an economist might well outrank The Economist. Hmm, and I also know that Marco is much more devoted to the cause of The Economist as a nigh-infallible source of information than to the idea (which I might have manufactured myself by misreading a few throwaway lines on his blog) that an Islamic economy is necessarily inferior to a Western one, so I have just derailed the discussion completely. Damn.