last fall, when the full scope of the current financial crisis was becoming apparent at the same time that president bush agreed to a binding timetable to withdraw from iraq as part of the SOFA, it occurred to me that the jihadis would probably take credit for the collapse of the american economic system. after all, they took credit for the fall of the soviet union, claiming that the USSR's dissolution was caused by god's wrath for invading afghanistan. it's a pretty simplistic after-the-fact spin on those events, but so is every just-so story. it's not really any more ridiculous than the one where the soviet union's fall was caused by ronald reagan telling mr. gorbachev to tear down that wall.
anyway, it seemed like the sinking american economy and agreement to withdraw were too parallel for someone not to notice and start telling the same basic story. but i haven't heard anyone make that claim yet. but i still expect i will eventually.
today i thought of another variation on that claim, maybe one that could be made by an islamist who knows a little more about the source of the economic crisis. mortgage-backed securities only can really work as an investment because mortgages are charged interest. the promise of owning a revenue stream that will add up to several times the amount of the original debt is essentially what investors were buying when they bought those things. the extra value from the interest is what makes the debt worth buying.
islam forbids the charging of interest. so i can imagine some muslim fundamentalist claiming that the west faces economic collapse, not just because it invaded muslim countries, but also because it violated god's rule against charging interest--that led to the securitization of mortgages, which led to toxic assets, which led to an insolvent banking system, which led to the current mess.
i'm just putting this out there so i can say i was right if anyone starts making that claim. if no one does, i'll just pretend this post doesn't exist.