This week, Marketplace is looking at investors who are using their money to invest in companies that share their values.
IdealRatings is a San Francisco company that helps Muslim investors do just that. Through its screening system, IdealRatings finds stocks and other investment vehicles that comply with Sharia law.
Mohamed Donia, IdealRatings' chief executive officer, says there are many levels at which a company is judged to see if it is a socially responsible buy for Muslim investors.
"You screen for good companies not interested in alcohol or gambling -- even games," he explains. "Then, there is another level of leverage, interest. So, I'll give you an example -- like firearms. There are companies that are selling the firearms, so we look at whether they're getting an income of less than 5 percent from firearms -- typically these companies will pass. If the income level is more than 5 percent, then it is likely to fail."
Donia says a service like the one IdealRatings supplies is essential to Muslims, because too much money is being left on the table as investors worry whether a company complies with Islamic teaching.
"The Islamic finance industry is estimated around $1.5 trillion, growing steadily at 25 percent," Donia says. "Most of that money is in cash accounts, not earning interest, because investors -- they have the fear that they cannot invest the money, so when you provide a screened universe of companies, this would definitely help investors to start investing this kind of money, and also leverage their investments across different regions."
For more about Islamic finance and IdealRatings, click the audio player above.
Angela Merkel suffered the injury while cross-country skiing in the Swiss Alps. She didn't realize she had a fractured hip until she returned to Berlin.
“Fly faster, do more.” That’s what the website for Spike Aerospace’s supersonic business jet reads. The new $80 million dollar aircraft is due out in 2018 and promises to fly from New York to London in just three to four hours.
Corporate plane shame is gone.
“Particularly the perception that as people were losing their jobs and as the economy was tanking, you shouldn’t be out flying around in a business jet,” says Doug Royce, vice president of research and editorial services for aerospace research firm Forecast International. “That’s gone away,” he says.
The market for private jets is worth tens of billions a year, says Royce, but the lower end is still struggling. He says a signal the top of the market is growing is manufacturers like Bombardier and Gulf Stream developing new aircraft.
Robert Mann, president of R. W. Mann, an airline industry analysis and consulting firm says Fortune 500 firms are still the biggest business buyers of private jets. He notes that pilots on private planes can pay twice as much for fuel as commercial airlines. It can be expensive to ship jet fuel to small airports and large commercial airlines have the luxury of consuming fuel without paying taxes on it.
“The old adage goes speed costs money -- how fast can you afford to go,” he says.
Aerion, developer of another supersonic jet says it has letters of intent for 50 aircraft. The check in date is 2020.
Delta Air Lines is the last domestic carrier to fly the DC-9, and one final Delta flight this Monday afternoon will mark the close of the plane’s nearly half-century run.
Most passengers about to board Delta flight 2494 from Atlanta to Akron a few days ago had no idea their jet was built during the Carter administration.
When 44-year-old Scott Smith learns of the plane’s age, his face lights up.
“I think it’d be fantastic,” the Canton, Ohio native says.“I remember when I was a little kid I would get those -- they don’t do this anymore -- but you could go to the cockpit and they’d give you these little metal planes. And I’d collect them.”
A lot’s changed in aviation since then. Like the planes. Today’s jets almost fly themselves, but the DC-9 definitely does not.
Delta Captain Scott Woolfrey will fly the airline’s final DC-9 flight. He said because pilots have to always be “hands-on,” most enjoy the plane more than other commercial aircraft.
“A lot of pilots here at Delta have a sentimental attachment to the aircraft,” he says. “It was their first right seat check out or first left seat checkout.”
The DC-9 was designed for short, frequent routes. It brought jet service to most U.S. cities for the first time. Delta launched the airplane 1965, but sold the fleet in the early 90s to smaller carriers. When Delta merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008, Delta got some of the DC-9s back
“It’s been a workhorse,” says Robin Barnes, a Delta flight attendant for three decades. She says interior upgrades mean most passengers can’t tell the plane’s vintage. “The give-away being if you look in the cockpit, the framework is still robin’s egg blue,” she notes. “But they still run great. I’m kind of sorry to see them go. I like working on them.”
The DC-9’s final domestic passenger flight is number 2014. It takes off from Northwest’s former base -- Minneapolis/St. Paul -- and lands at Delta’s current headquarters in Atlanta.
You only need to look at one map to see how cold it's going to be across nearly the whole nation. In the upper Midwest, wind chills will once again be down around 40 degrees below zero. Freezing temperatures are expected as far south as Texas and Florida.