Courtesy: MSNBC » Youtube
Courtesy: MSNBC » Youtube
Sinking like a rock: Slim chances of recovery for Pakistan’s directionless economy, says ADB
In its Asian Development Outlook, the Manila-based lending agency has painted an extremely bleak picture of Pakistan’s economy that is “directionless” and immediate recovery chances are almost nil amid a worsening balance of payments position.
“A difficult political situation stalled effective policy response to macroeconomic and structural problems, especially regarding energy, and the end of the government’s 5-year term in mid-March limited political scope for major policy or structural reforms,” it said.
The economic developments in this fiscal year are unfolding along broadly similar lines as previous year, but with “deepening concerns about sustainability and the adequacy of forex reserves”.
A missing link in the ADB’s analysis of political failures is the role of bureaucrats in running the affairs of the government who often do not disclose actual extent of problems to the leadership.
Continue reading Pakistan Economy: Sinking Like A Rock, says Asian Development Bank.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China won’t help finance the natural gas pipeline to Pakistan, apparently because of U.S. sanctions on Iran.
By Paul Richter and Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington and Islamabad, Pakistan—
China’s largest bank has backed out of a deal to finance a proposed Iran-to-Pakistan gas pipeline that is opposed by the United States, a potential sign of the lengthening reach of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.
Pakistani officials confirmed Wednesday that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China had withdrawn from plans to head a consortium that would finance the $1.6-billion Pakistani portion of the cross-border pipeline, apparently over concern that the bank could be excluded from the U.S. economy.
Continue reading Chinese bank pulls out of Pakistan-Iran pipeline project
SINDH – Karachi: Sindh’s Minister for Finance, Murad Ali Shah, informed the Provincial Assembly of Sindh on Monday that the federal government was tending to unilaterally reduce Sindh’s share in the Gas Development Surcharge (GDS) and had fixed a formula for GDS distribution without consulting the province.
“The Chief Minister of Sindh and the finance department have written, cumulatively, around 20-25 letters to the federal government asking for transparency in the GDS matter,” he said, and added that in the year 2008-09, the federal government had reduced Sindh’s share in the GDS to Rs11, 328 million. “The federal government has not consulted the Sindh government while finalizing estimates for the GDS,” said the finance minister. He observed that Sindh had only started getting GDS since 1991. …
Read more » The News
– Sliding reserves
By Khurram Husain
In case you missed it, the sign said Caution: steep slope ahead. Next to the sign there was a small picture of a sharp downward slope. It was placed there to warn travelers on this road that they should brace themselves for a steep descent that could test the traction on their tires.
The steep slope ahead is the decline in our foreign exchange reserves that have, in the first quarter of the fiscal year, dropped by more than what our financial managers had bargained for. With our old friend, the current account deficit, back in our lives again and that fair weather mistress — foreign inflows — having reliably and predictably abandoned us one more time, the drop in our reserves should become a serious worry.
Read more » The Express Tribune
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– Canadian cities brace for Occupy Wall Street’s weekend shift across the border
By Steve Mertl, Daily Brew
Toronto and other major cities are bracing for the Canadian echo of the Occupy Wall Street protest this weekend.
Thousands of people have been camped out in New York’s financial district for a week, staging marches to protest the growing gap between America’s super rich and the harried middle and working classes. Hundreds have been arrested.
The movement, sparked by an idea in Vancouver-based Adbusters magazine last summer, has since spread to dozens of American cities and now is migrating north. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Regina and even sleepy Charlottetown are scheduled to see protests on Saturday.
Toronto will be the main focal point of the Canadian effort. Protesters are expected to converge at King and York Streets in the heart of Canada’s finance and investment centre Saturday morning.
The group OccupyTO’s website raises the spectre of a New York-style long-term action rather than a one-day protest. ….
Read more » Daily Brew » YahooNews
There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in the Americas , five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa . For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why ?
Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish. Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine’s ‘Person of the Century’ was a Jew; Sigmund Freud — id, ego, and super-ego, the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew; So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.
Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity:
* Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle.
* Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.
* Alert Sab in developed the improved live polio vaccine.
* Gertrude Elion gave us a leukaemia fighting drug.
* Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B.
* Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.
* Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.
* Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission.
* Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology (disorders of the endocrine system; diabetes, hyperthyroidism. Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy (psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, depression and phobias).
* Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill.
* George Wald won a Nobel for furthering our understanding of the human eye.
* StanleyCohen won a Nobel in embryology (study of embryos and their development) .
* Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.
Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes).
Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip. Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor. Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable; Charles Adler, traffic lights; Benno Strauss, Stainless steel; Isador Kisee, sound movies; Emile Berliner, telephone microphone and Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.
Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include Ralph Lauren (Polo), Levis Strauss (Levi’s Jeans), Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s) , Sergey Brin (Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Donna Karan (DKNY), Irv Robbins (Baskin & Robbins) and Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).
Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman, Madeleine Albright (American secretary of state), Maxim Litvinov (USSR foreign Minister), David Marshal (Singapore’s first chief minister), Isaac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home secretary), Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria) and Robert Rubin (former American secretary of treasury).
In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyyeld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).
Can you name the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world ? The name is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world. Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.
At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by winning seven gold medals. Lenny Krayzelburg is a three- time Olympic gold medallist. Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker are all Jewish.
Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish?
As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky and Hutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The thief of Baghdad) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.
To be certain, Washington is the capital that matters and in Washington the lobby that matters is The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Washington knows that if PM Ehud Olmert were to discover that the earth is flat, AIPAC will make the 109th Congress pass a resolution congratulating Olmert on his discovery.
William James Sidis, with an IQ of 250-300, is the brightest human who ever existed. Guess what faith did he belong to?
So, why are Jews so powerful ?
Read more : Ibnmahadi’s blog
India’s government has unveiled its annual budget, saying that the economy is expected to grow at 9% in 2012.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the growth rate for the current fiscal year was projected at 8.5%.
He said inflation would decrease over the next fiscal year – the current rate is 8.4%. But food price inflation, at 17%, “remains a concern”.
Mr Mukherjee promised action on food security and pledged an increase in social spending. …
Read more : BBC
By Samuel Rubenfeld
The Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement its federal council ordered a freeze of any assets believed to be in the name of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who resigned earlier Friday after 18 days of massive protests. …
Read more : The Wall Street Journal
Economy: on the verge of collapse?
Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh’s warning to officials of the state, delivered in a sombre meeting late last month, could not be clearer: the government, federal and provincial, is on the verge of financial collapse. So dire is the state of affairs that the government may not have money to pay salaries in a few months. Lest this be dismissed as hyperbole, Mr Sheikh’s comments have been echoed privately by many economists and experts familiar with state finances in recent weeks. In fact, if anything the finance minister’s comments are on the more optimistic side of dire.
The basic problem is clear: the Pakistani state, all tiers of government, spends twice as much as revenue generated, while neither is expenditure being curtailed nor are revenues being meaningfully increased. At the level of the citizenry, the immediate impact is felt in the form of rising inflation (sustained budget deficits of the kind Pakistan has had over the last few years are highly inflationary in nature) while in the long term it will be felt in terms of debt servicing crowding out investments in development and infrastructure.
The blame must be shared by everyone. …
Read more >> Dawn Editorial
Dr Ali Akbar M. Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh
In order to foster national unity and stabilize the democratic system of government in Pakistan, a great and plausible decision was agreed upon on 30th December 2009 at Gawadar by the representatives of all provinces duly signed by the Prime Minister on the 7th NFC award but it is indecent and shocking on the part of the concerned Secretary Ministry of Finance Govt. of Pakistan who became successful to dodge his superiors and the top rulers of the Government of Pakistan, the Prime Minister and the President of Pakistan to get issued a deceitful, violated and defective presidential order on the mutually agreed 7th NFC Award. From this Presidential order, two basic sections/decisions providing financial benefits particularly to the Sindh province have been scratched out. They were (i)General Sales Taxes on services to be transferred to provinces and (ii)Financial resources to be distributed to provinces according to the multidimensional method of distribution of financial resources.