Stories about money

Raymond Davis case and Uncle Sam’s hypocrisy

“The message that the Obama administration sent in Islamabad on Wednesday is loud and clear. If you work for the CIA, the US government will pay your way out of jail even if you are being held on murder charges.” This was the crux of Pratap Chatterjee’s report for the Guardian The ransoming of Raymond Davis. Call it blood money, call it a bribe – the fact is that someone paid $2.3 million to get Raymond Davis out of a Koth Lakhpat jail and on a special plane faster than you can say “CIA agent”. Where this money came from is ...

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A coffee date with bored, rich people

So, I am vacationing in Karachi after a nightmare of a semester. A newlywed school friend called me up to ask if I’ll join in for a little coffee-table chatter at one of the dear little coffee-shops, with a bunch of dear little female acquaintances. The thought of a social detour which involves mingling with rich married girls my own age practically paralysed me. I protested, but the married friend seemed to have acquired newfound levels of determination. As I began to pity her husband, she arrived at my doorstep to bundle me in her car and whisk me off. An ...

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How to run the economy (for dummies)

Anyone can run the economy. Ask any lawmaker and he’ll point out exactly what is wrong with the economy, what is needed to fix it and what conspiracy has prevented a solution from being implemented. But the economy is still alive and kicking and the country has not defaulted on its sovereign debt just yet. The following is a collection of ‘winning’ arguments that have been presented by legislators. It is important to note here that even monkeys have been known to run an economy quite efficiently. I’m sure we can do better. Here’s what they said: 1. Eat less sugar – A legislator ...

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Why pay for online information?

Shortly after the internet revolution, newspapers and magazines were publishing their articles and news online for readers and it was not long before it was necessary for them to have online editions. Publications started competing for more website visitors resulting in the emergence of the e-paper which put a scanned version of the publication online for free viewing. It did not take long for people to become dependent on these free e-papers and many readers cancelled their subscriptions of the print edition. As revenues fell, publishers were left scratching their heads. Had they made a mistake by going online? However, they could not ...

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Butt, where is the shame?

“I am not playing in the event, I thought it was worth participating as an expert,” said Salman Butt when he was asked to comment on his recent decision to appear as a cricket commentator for the World Cup on a local news channel. I am outraged at his decision, and my anger is the result of a bruised cricket-loving ego. Salman Butt lost the right to associate himself with cricket the day the ICC proved him a liar and cheater. His cockiness regarding the matter is appalling; it’s almost like he’s telling the world “they were just no-balls, it’s not a big ...

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Valentine’s Day is a scam!

Disclaimer: I am single and not looking for a relationship at the moment. I may sound like a bitter party pooper, but I am not. The following views are my own and I do not mean to ruin anything for you. I dread February 14 every year because it turns normal people into lovesick, drooling idiots. It is, however, refreshing to know that some people aren’t big fans of this stupid day. Maybe I hate Valentine’s Day because every Tom, Dick and Harry goes overboard to celebrate it. Has love been locked up in some closet for 364 days a ...

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Money 101: When cash ruins relationships

Amir and Kyran are college buddies; they shared the proverbial dhabay ki chai during their skint student days and were quite comfortable sharing their monetary (or lack of) woes. Three years after graduation, Amir is a rising star in a leading investment bank and Kyran is a do-gooder in the non-profit sector working for the betterment of Pakistani women. Sheer finances have managed to complicate this relationship which has survived difficult parents, three break ups, erratic bosses and so on. Kyran’s income is roughly half of what Amir takes home. While she does enjoy going to fancy restaurants once in a while, ...

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The banned trio and the unjust punishment

The troubled trio involved in the spot-fixing case has finally received a verdict that has ruined their cricketing careers – a severe but expected decision. Cricket fans had earlier speculated that Mohammad Amir would be cleared to play with a penalty or short ban but the five year ban has put a big question mark on his career and in the minds of cricket fans. The bans imposed on 26-year-old Salman Butt and 28-year-old Mohammed Asif have as good as finished their careers; 10 and 7 year bans mean that at this age, they have a rare chance of making a ...

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Veena Malik is no fool!

Veena Malik’s appearance on Bigg Boss 4 and her current interview on Express News has been the subject of many a cushy drawing room debate.  Liberals everywhere are incensed by the mufti sahab who did not even watch Bigg Boss and yet was quick to pass judgement on Malik. Fair enough.  Malik’s supporters have rushed to Facebook to give her a big thumbs up and cheer their ‘hero’ on.  Veena takes on mullah and wins, they scream. Now we all know that this was pretty much a setup. Kamran Shahid pitched Malik against a mufti and then called Ashmit Patel who made some ...

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Whose country is this anyways? (Part III)

Corruption is the one word that explains government failure, greed, misallocation of public resources, abuse of power and undeserving state patronage. However, depending on who is involved, the degree of condemnation varies, which is a curious anomaly in what should be outright condemnation and a clear recognition of right from wrong. A dog’s life Recent reports have suggested that Pakistan’s Defence Ministry is demanding Rs1.66 billion to establish a National Canine Centre to train dogs.  3,260 dogs are to be trained over a period of 10 years, which works out to Rs2.7 million per dog. The army already manages a well regarded dog-training ...

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