Dr. Mohsen Renani : The Iranian banking system has worked hard for 40 years to make majority of the Iranian people a loan shark. It has used all available means to reconcile people with notions such as bank, interest, insurance and stock exchange with which they had problem before the Islamic revolution. weakening the hardworking culture, these efforts paved the way for developing a ready-to-wear culture in the country. (in the same period that we introduced usury, the “usurer West” realized that for a continuous growth, interest rates have to be close to zero). If a profligate person starts spending money more wisely, a large portion of his/her income will be saved and he will be richer at the end of the year. While if everyone in a community decides to be economical and spends less, they will all be poorer at the end of the year. As a result, individual virtues will not necessarily be socially praiseworthy (and this is precisely the point that Faqihs do not pay attention to in policy-making and it becomes clear that the policy of promoting prayer or hijab causes more indifference or indecency). Gambling is also one of those phenomena that we may commit a fallacy of composition about. If gambling is a compulsive behavior in one person, it does not mean that gambling is a destructive phenomenon for every member of the society. In economics, we divide people into risk-taking, risk-averse and medium-risk individuals. Each of these three groups behaves differently. Iranian people are often risk-averse. I have an objective evidence for this claim and that is the interest rate. In societies where most people are willing to get loans at high interest rates, it means that they prefer today›s low interest to higher interest in the future. Iranian people strongly prefer today’s interest to that of tomorrow. This mood is also evident in the common proverb» A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.» The riskier a society is, the higher its time preference becomes and therefore the higher the expected return is. Why? Because by risk aversion, one is not willing to replace this year›s cash return with a risky profit next year, unless next year profits are substantial. In the modern world, a conservative, fatalist and risk-averse nation is not being developed. In the last forty years, our society has become accustomed to earning money through bank deposits, which has led it to be risk-averse, conservative and more convenient with ready-to-wear approach. Indeed, political and managerial instabilities have reinforced this trend. Our society must practice risk-taking and experience repeated losses and massive victories, it must enjoy gambling. We can see this in the words of Rumi “blessed the gambler who gambled all he had away, so was left with nothing but the desire to gamble”. A considerable part of the money flown into the stock market these days are small capitals belong to families. Many families have taken their money out of their bank accounts and bought stocks. Nearly 50 million people in Iran have Saham-e-Edalat, and now their share worth eleven times more. The sweet experience of a 50 percent increase in the value of a person›s capital within a single month makes everyone addicted to the stock market. The stock exchange is becoming a national gambling class for Iranians. And, of course, in a conservative and fatalist Iranian society, strengthening the spirit of gambling leads to improved rationality. We know that the science of statistics has been founded with gambling because professional gamblers needed to calculate their chances of winning and losing very accurately. So with very precise calculations, they chose the most rational way. People who are active in the stock market need to follow economic changeover, think and talk about them, and all these behaviors will lead to the development of public rationality in society. The government took a serious risk in expanding the stock market so quickly; Congratulations on this courage! Because based on economic knowledge, we know that if the stock market continues to rise or fall sharply as it does today, both trends will have serious negative consequences for national economy and they will soon become apparent. What a spectacular future for a gambler nation! Do not think that when a nation gambles, it only gambles on the stock market, it will take this gambling spirit to all areas!
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