Stories about money

Begging: Pakistan’s new profession for kids?

They keep navigating from one car to another, knocking at your car windows and doors until you pay attention to them. This is the time when we are waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. They make sure their appearance is seen and not ignored. They are adamant and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Every summer I come down to Pakistan to spend time with my grandparents, and on my way home from the airport, I feel disheartened looking at these children navigating between cars. These are the handicapped young children on the streets of Pakistan asking for alms. The secret of getting ...

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Pakistan’s Stock Market: A lost investment opportunity?

The phrase ‘stock market’ has a charm around it, which grabs the attention of almost any listener anywhere in the world. In Pakistan, however, it portrays a picture of an exclusive club for the aristocrats who bet their easily earned fortunes in the corporate bazaar. However, perceptions are often incorrect and the same is the case with the Pakistan’s stock markets, where the consequences usually involve lost opportunities to rake in money. A recently published report in The Economist concluded that the proportion of capital to labour is rising in developing economies. Simply put, to employ your human capital, as an entrepreneur, provides more financial ...

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When we were too poor to afford Blue Band margarine

I still remember the day that Blue Band margarine was introduced to Alamdar Bakery in my home-town of Quetta, Pakistan. The glossy silver packaging and the light blue printing stood out among all the other butter in the bakery’s refrigerator. However, I refrained from taking an interest in this new product since I was well aware that my parents would not be able to afford it. I continued to consume the inexpensive Liaquat Makkhan for breakfast even after the older brother of the baker recommended Blue Band with great zeal; I consoled myself by thinking that he was just trying to improve his sales. As the weeks ...

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Meat distribution: How you can give back on Eid

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.” – Mother Teresa. This quote, illustrates very simply yet eloquently, the core principles upon which a social worker functions. Unlike most organisations, the objective of social organisations is not consideration, that is, receiving something in return for giving something. Instead, their work stems from the belief that the aim in life is not personal contentment and satisfaction; rather, it is about ensuring some level of happiness for those ...

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10 reasons why university students should wear uniforms

Should university students wear uniforms? This is a contentious and much debated topic amongst the academia and other social circles. Be it in Pakistan, or around the world, this idea has been discussed multiple times and on different forums. However, I feel that university students should definitely wear uniforms, and here are a few reasons why: Saving money An average student spends around Rs50,000 a year on clothes for university. Having a couple of uniforms instead of fashion statement clothes for the university will not amount to more than Rs10,000 per year. This means that an average of Rs40,000 can be saved ...

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Why you should pick a college away from home

Unlike the West, where living away from home is a norm, a large part of our traditional Pakistani society is new and rather averse to this notion. Most parents are overprotective by nature and are unwilling to disrupt the family dynamics. Thus, they are reluctant to even consider the possibility of sending their children away from home. Sure, attending college in one’s hometown is an experience in itself.  However, I think that the purpose of college education entails character-building, ability to deal with copious amount of pressure and exploring the person that one is or wishes to be. Dorm-life, in ...

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Have the British Council and CIE become moneymaking machines?

Recently, the British Council of Pakistan dropped an email saying that I was required to visit its office to collect my Cambridge International Examination (CIE) certificate. As the scheduled time clashed with my university hours, it was almost impossible for me to go myself. However, when my mom called the office to ask if she could come and collect it for me instead, the person answering the phone said, “No. Your daughter will have to come and collect it herself. We need her identification card. We are not dispatching the results this year.” I had no choice; I direly needed my ...

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Wenger in, Wenger out and shake it all about

This summer wasn’t an easy time for Arsenal fans. The eight-year trophy drought had already cast doubts over Arsene Wenger’s ability to deliver silverware at the Emirates and there were thoughts if it was time for the French tactician to hang his boots. Fans turned against him and went so far as to call for his head. Arsenal’s lack of success coupled with their reluctance to spend money in the market over the past seasons had aggravated frustrations among its ranks and fans. With rival clubs dishing out Russian oil money and Arab capital to strengthen their squads, one thing was ...

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Financial fraud in the Virgin Islands: Money laundering by the filthy rich

Located within the larger Caribbean region, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a British dominion, resembling paradise on earth and attracting over a million tourists annually. Famous for their enchanting landscape and white beaches, the Virgin Islands host wealthy vultures who have made these islands their second home by laundering money in to evade taxes in their countries of residence. In fact, these tiny islands may be hosting one of the largest financial fraud of the current times. Trillions of dollars are stashed into bogey financial institutions run by middle men and front men on behalf of the global money ...

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Cowards’ portfolio: The best time to ride the bull wagon

The last time I was writing a speakers’ corner, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) was jumpy, mainly due to the fact that the imported cleric Tahirul Qadri had taken the streets of the Islamabad for his encore. Coincidentally, when I am writing this piece the market is turbulent, but due to very different reasons. The stock has lost some 1,800 points since peaking at 22,757 two weeks ago, but that was expected as despite stocks being available at a bargain, the market was overbought. Last year, Pakistan’s largest stock market outperformed all major indices across the globe, so you need not ...

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