Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Criticism of Gambling: Bingo or derivatives


"Churches and religion promote gambling. I find it a little bizarre," said Bernard A. Albiniak, an associate professor of psychology at Coastal Carolina University. "Bingo is perfectly legal, and it's the purest form of gambling."

The Church of God declared gambling to be a violation of the Golden Rule. Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism include criticism of gambling, as does the Baha'i faith, though different adherents interpret the Scriptures differently.

"Baha'u'llah has prohibited gambling," said Windi Burgess, a Baha'i. "This prohibition does not include a detailed definition of gambling. It is left to the prayerful conscience of the individual. ... Any game where I pay money to play with the possibility of winning a jackpot I would consider gambling."

I'm against gambling. -gw
Uploaded on October 20, 2008
by woodleywonderworks on flickr

WASHINGTON – Sen. Maria Cantwell wants to use state gambling laws to regulate parts of Wall Street, saying someone needs to police financial markets where “casino capitalism” involving highly speculative trades she likens to sophisticated betting continue unabated and threaten to create yet another financial crisis. ...

Derivatives essentially began as a form of insurance, offering a hedge for such companies as airlines that wanted to lock in the cost of jet fuel to avoid sharp increases. But over the years, derivatives became more exotic, allowing investors to place what were essentially side bets on such things as whether people would default on their subprime mortgages or whether the price of oil or natural gas would go up or down.

Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland law professor, likened it to buying insurance on your neighbor’s home expecting it to burn down or your neighbor’s car expecting it to be totaled in an accident.

“It’s nothing else than betting,” he said.

Such well-known financiers as Warren Buffett and Felix Rohatyn have called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and “financial hydrogen bombs.”

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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