On Monday evening, several of our leaders gathered in New York City for the Fire Starter Awards Dinner, an annual event celebrating individuals who have sparked lasting change for gender equity. Leaders from companies such as Bank of America and Time Warner were hosted by CNN’s Rosa Flores, who was MC for the evening. The awards are held by Re:Gender, formerly the National Council for Research on Women, which works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. (more…)
US Dollar denominated investment grade corporate debt totals $236.6 billion so far in 2014, up 11% compared to a year ago and the strongest year-to-date period since records began in 1980. Non-US Issuers have raised $85.8 billion in the US investment grade debt markets this year, accounting for 37% of overall volume and an increase of 34% compared to year-to-date 2013. Companies from France, the United Kingdom and Japan account for nearly 15% of year-to-date activity.
Weekly Highlights (more…)
Yesterday, A U.S. judge rejected Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban in the U.S. against some older Samsung smartphones. Today’s graphic is a timeline of Apple’s continuing legal battle with Samsung. Apple’s claims on infringements made by Samsung in their original suit are categorized in three groups, highlighted below.
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Prepare for a year of turning points. Politics have paralyzed America and Europe, and invigorated Japan and China. Companies and investors nervously eye U.S. monetary policy, while some of Wall Street’s finest wonder if this year might be their last on the job.
Predictions 2014: Reversals and Revivals tackles these issues and more. Thought-provoking, punchy and contrarian views on what will happen in 2014 – and what won’t happen but should. Breakingviews columnists across three continents weigh in on topics including:
Ten people who could surprise you in 2014 (more…)
I thought that it would be interesting to take a fresh approach, with my first article on Islamic finance for Thomson Reuters, by writing something a little philosophical.
The focus of my work in academia and industry can be summarized by one phrase: ‘harmonizing the human elements’. Human experiences and transactions are the things that make, break, bind, block, challenge, clash, change, and shape our reality. In my area, whether that’s consumer behaviour and management; or advertising, branding, public relations, and marketing communications: the endgame is to amalgamate product and service offerings, driving them towards augmented value propositions.
Value for me has to stretch beyond mere functionality, simple transactions, and zero sum-games – it is about tangible and intangible wealth creation, which delivers social capital, meaning, and emotional experiences that resonate and transcend.
Specifically in the case of Islamic finance and Halal, there’s one word that I keep at the top of my mind – syncretism. That is, the fusing of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought. I would extend that also to mean profiting from the legacy of divine prophethood. There is the here and now (duny? in Arabic and the Qur’an), and the hereafter (?khira in Arabic and Qur’an). Collectively they present a moral paradigm outlining the necessity to balance the sacred, profane and mundane.
Having outlined what in many ways is my ontological position (how I see things), now I’d like to raise some questions designed to investigate our understanding and practice of the ‘spirit of spirituality’, in scholarship and industry. I’m using Socratic maieutics (negative hypothesis testing questions) to explore how we can open up issues and uncover existing assumptions. I’d also like to make the point that these are some of my thoughts resulting from when I’ve been trying to work out how to do better Islamic financial services and Halal marketing, in theory and practice.
Anglicization of Islam in Business (more…)
Treaties have lowered the number of nuclear warheads since the end of the Cold War. Today’s graphic tracks the global stockpile of warheads as well as that of the United States and Russia.
The courtyard of the Nord Railway Station was lighted by oil-lamps taken from locomotives; their silvered reflectors threw dazzling rays from all sides on the under portion of the immense yellow mass of the balloon; the upper portion was swaying with gigantic ungainliness in the strong breeze. It was only a small balloon, as balloons were measured, but it seemed monstrous as it wavered over the human forms that were agitating themselves beneath it. The cordage was silhouetted against the yellow taffetas as high up as the widest diameter of the balloon, but above that all was vague and even spectators standing at a distance could not clearly separate the summit of the great sphere from the darkly moving sky. The car, held by ropes fastened by stakes, rose now and then a few inches uneasily from the ground. The sombre and severe architecture of the station buildings enclosed the balloon on every hand; it had only one way of escape.
…”Let go all!” cried the sailor, standing up and clinging to the cordage…
…One side of the car tilted up, and the sailor was nearly pitched out. Three men at the other side had failed to free the ropes. The balloon jumped, as it it were drawn by some terrific impulse from the skies…
“Bon voyage! Bon voyage!” the little crowd cheered. And then “Vive la France!”… (more…)