Back in 830 AD, the people of Harran in modern-day Turkey
believed in astronomy and in the Greek philosophical writings
of the legendary sage Hermes Trismegistus. When the Caliph of
Baghdad passed through, he ordered the local people to adopt
any religion, prophet and holy book mentioned in the Koran, or
face the consequences. The Harranians were desperate to
maintain their independence and traditional way of thinking, so
they found a way out; the Koran mentioned a "Sabian" religion
without specifying exactly what it was. So the Harranians told
the Caliph they were "Harranian Sabians" and that Hermes was
their prophet. The Caliph was satisfied and the Harranian
Sabians went on to become an influential group in the Islamic
world for centuries afterwards.
The over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market faces a
similar choice today, without an equally effective solution.
Market-driven reform is the prophet and sacred text of that