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In the words of a very good friend: "Asim Khan is an indescribable object, no sorry, a human"

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Man Law - Thoughts from the grill

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Layman's Terms: Inflation

It would seem as if the public’s cry for control over increasing prices fall on deaf ears, or at least our leaders do little to convince us otherwise. As the political realm gears up for another round of unfulfilled promises, one issue that will rear its ugly head is the burden on the common man’s pocket.

Be it budgeting for chicken instead of lentils (after Musharraf’s infamous solution) or the grand larceny at the pump, what matters most to people is how far their hard earned rupee could be stretched.

With all the talk about possible relief in the past budget for the poor or the lack of, it is imperative to understand the concept of inflation and how this menace has plagued our economy for as long as it has. Also, we must understand what our leaders can do to rid ourselves of this problem, and whether they can at all.

Inflation is the upward trend in general level of prices of goods and services in an economy. An inadvertent upside of the rising inflation is the reduction in unemployment. Inflation and unemployment are two of the most closely watched indicators of economic performance.

The price of oil and petroleum related products have soared in the recent past, and as such, this has created a supply shock that has sent inflation through the roof. Worse yet, such supply shocks receive monetary validation from the state bank through increase of money supply (i.e. printing money). This in turn causes the prices to go up even further, making each rupee less valuable.

State bank of Pakistan can control inflation by controlling the quantity of money. State bank can lower the rate of growth of money supply, creating an excess demand for money. This in turn would spike the interest rate, reducing real aggregate demand and also any inflationary gap. Much to our dismay, this is easier said than done. Reducing inflation takes time and incurs significant costs.

A direct result of reducing inflation is a decline in the national income, caused by greater unemployment. A dip in the amount of jobs created in the economy is severely frowned upon, as we already suffer from a huge brain drain, the effects of which, is a topic for another day. Also, the temporary increase in interest rate translates into lesser borrowing and as a result, reduced economic activity.

Therefore, reducing inflation is a catch 22 situation. It is one that requires short term pain for long term gain. The real question is whether we can tinker with a fragile economy, already on crutches. Whichever policy we choose, the only thing certain is that we will feel its effects.

Friday, August 08, 2008

For that special someone!


A prince traveled across the seas and into the wards of the world;
His quandary was he was incomplete and was growing old..

The sands of time would remind, nothing but his troubled mind;
Irate, he drew his sword, nothing getting through to him, not even a word..

A wise saint read his mind, concluding but a woman was his find;
He proclaimed, "There will be someone, worry not oh prince, the night will see the sun"

The prophecy but came true, he found his day in the night;
The perfect damsel for the troubled knight..

Merrier things became, so precious was this beautiful dame;
As if a new day, a new earth, a new moon begun!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


The following excerpt is from the infamous comedy series Seinfeld. For those of you who don’t know about the show, it’s about a few friends trying to go about their routine life and the problems they face, to which many of us can easily relate. In one of the episodes where George meets a Chinese lawyer, I couldn’t help but indulge myself in a comical yet very captivating thought about how people treat birthdays. Those loiters who are bored by now can amuse themselves with the music player at the bottom of the page. So here it goes:

[Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year has gone by and
how little we've grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better
self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake, we know it's not
to be, that for the rest of our sad, wretched pathetic lives, this is who we are
to the bitter end. Inevitably, irrevocably; happy birthday? No such thing.]

Birthday off course can be a grim reminder of how life just went on by another year. Instead of beating ourselves down for wasting another year, I’m sure the religious ones amongst us would concur that we should be thankful we got to live another year. Are we not responsible for how we choose to indulge ourselves and how we spend our time? Sure, you must deal with whatever luck throws your way, but who is to blame for the guy who spends all his days locked in a basement just because he is too lazy to get out or has a serious confidence problem? Where does the blame lie when a girl becomes obsessive about non-issue things like some stranger not wanting to be friends with her?
How our days go by depend largely in part on our priorities and what we stress about. I’ve seen many people enjoy their lives even in the toughest of times. So is it always luck or is it us too? Are we just robots leading lives according to a script written for us or do we make things better or worse for ourselves?

That’s it for my useless drivel. Now, what’s your take?

Friday, May 18, 2007

we should try this with japanese..

Deja Vu anyone?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

300 - Message for the Queen!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Right, right...raaaaaaaaaaaaight!

When is right actually right? Or is that becoming more of a self-set standard than a rule. It’s not right until its right for “you”? Leaving the black and white, more and more just fade into those grim and dim shades of grey. When it comes to most of us, we break and bend rules but immediately shoot it down if we are at the receiving end of it. When everyone is gunning for the others’ heads, understanding or empathizing is nothing but a far cry. How do you hold one accountable for such behavior? And what if the supervising or controlling authority is at fault itself? Crooked cops anyone? Or more like a drunk cop asking you for a DUI test. Off course god forbid should anyone say anything about those overly myopic control freaks.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Top 10 Urban Legends


10. The ATM Reverse-PIN Trick
The most-forwarded Net rumor during the final months of 2006 purported to offer a tidbit of esoteric knowledge about the workings of ATMs, namely that there is a hidden safety feature whereby users can quietly alert police of an attempted robbery by entering their PIN (personal identification number) backwards. Let's hope no one has tried it. The reverse-PIN system does exist on paper and its inventor claims it would reduce crime with widespread use, but the technology has yet to be implemented anywhere in the real world.

9. The Brown Recluse Spider Bite
Topping the "Gross & Disgusting" category this past year was a set of images purporting to document the progressive deterioration of a wound caused by the bite of the poisonous brown recluse spider. The unretouched images do depict symptoms consistent with a severe case of arachnid poisoning, but they could also be associated with gangrene or necrotizing fasciitis. Not for the squeamish!

8. Crikey, Steve Irwin's Really Dead!
An urban legend came true on September 4, 2006 when Steve Irwin, TV's famed "Crocodile Hunter," died after suffering a stingray attack while shooting an underwater documentary off the Great Barrier Reef. Having made a career of putting himself in harm's way by getting up close and personal with a variety of dangerous wild animals, Irwin was no doubt accustomed to hearing premature reports of his own death. So were we. Unfortunately, this time it was for real.

7. The (Ongoing) Attack of the Camel Spiders
The ever-popular Middle Eastern "camel spider" returns to the Top 10 this year after being bumped in 2005 by rumors circulating in the wake of the tsunami in Asia and Hurricane Katrina. It's not the close-up image of the pair of fist-sized, khaki-colored critters that arachnid experts take issue with; it's the exaggerated claims concerning the species' predatory prowess. "With a vertical leap that would make a pro basketball player weep with envy," the caption reads, "these bastards latch on and inject you with a local anesthesia so you can't feel it feeding on you. They eat flesh, not just suck out your juices like a normal spider." Uh-huh.

6. World Record Grizzly Bear
Look here for authentic photos of one of the biggest bears you'll ever see, but don't believe the tall tales accompanying them. Weighing in at a not-quite-world-record 1,000 to 1,200 pounds, the Alaskan brown bear bagged by off-duty airman Ted Winnen was undoubtedly ferocious, but not a man-eater, contrary to email reports. An additional image purporting to show the remains of one of the bear's human victims was unrelated and attached after the fact. View at your own risk.

5. Mr. Rogers, Trained Assassin?
Believe it or not, some folks are convinced that the gentle, soft-spoken children's TV host Mr. Rogers hid a secret past as a trained sniper for the Marines (or Navy Seals) — nevermind that he spent his whole life in broadcasting, studying to become an ordained minister on the side. Nothing in Fred McFeely Rogers' biography suggests he ever entered military service, let alone underwent training as an assassin. Hard as it may be for cynics to accept, Mr. Rogers was exactly who he seemed.

4. Ashley Flores Is Missing
It all started as a little prank on, say Ashley Flores' friends. But once they'd launched a bogus rumor to the effect that the Philadelphia teen had been kidnapped and was still missing, they were at a loss as to how to stop it. Half-a-year later, it remained one of the most-circulated hoaxes on the Internet in 2006.

3. Bill Gates Is Sharing His Fortune...with YOU!
This logic-defying email hoax is now eight years old and still going strong. As originally composed, the purported message from Microsoft founder Bill Gates promised $1,000 to each and every person who helped him beta test his new "email tracking software" by forwarding the missive to everyone they know. Subsequent versions included phony news reports about mergers taking place between AOL, Microsoft, and chip manufacturer Intel. Do I need to add that not a word of any of this is true?

2. Breast Infestation
The image is bizarre, allegedly depicting the symptoms of what began as a "breast rash," then developed into a full-blown infestation of larvae with tiny worm-like creatures peeking out of gaping crevices in the patient's skin. "Ladies, please wash all bras and underwear before wearing them," warns the cautionary e-tale accompanying the photo. It's largely hogwash, of course, but the surprising grain of truth is that there is, in fact, a medical condition known as furuncular myiasis of the breast — basically, an infestation of fly larvae in the living tissue!

1. Quick! Add Your Cell Phone to the 'Do Not Call' Registry!
As I noted two years ago when our current top-circulating Net rumor first took off, the only thing Americans hate more than unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers is the prospect of receiving them on their cell phones. Sparked by announced plans to compile a universal 411 directory of private numbers — an idea that still has yet to get off the ground, and may never do so — this email alert urging recipients to add their mobile phone information to the National Do Not Call Registry before it's too late hasn't lost an ounce of steam since it went into circulation in 2004.

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