Saturday, July 28, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Running for MP

Caricature by Jaafar Rajab, Al-Rai newspaper

5,000 KD salary for being a Major Pain in the ... that's not bad at all!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Getting Things Done

The danger is that executives running public companies end up spending so much time dealing with shareholders, regulators and campaigners that they neglect the business. Indeed, these different “stakeholders” may well demand different, and irreconcilable, things. Entrepreneurs, the type of people who like to “get things done” may not want the hassle.

Public v private equity | The business of making money |

The above quote is from an article comparing public vs. private companies. It reminds me of an analogy: Kuwait vs. Dubai. Kuwait is the example of a public company hurdled by attempting to please so many constituencies and ultimately neglecting the business. Dubai is the entrepreneurial star that is just getting things done. Democracy is great, but sometimes you just want to get things done without the hassle!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Currency Appreciation

The GCC currency regimes are coming under the spotlight. There is increasing pressure for change as a result of rising inflation and a growing international call for imbalances to be addressed. Over time, we estimate that the region’s currencies need to appreciate by 37% in order to reduce their excess savings.

In the shorter term, we estimate that the UAE or Qatar will move to peg to a basket of currencies this year. We currently hold a long AER, KWD vs. short USD position in our discretionary portfolio. Moves to tighten policy also have global implications. In tandem with policy tightening elsewhere, this should place carry trades under pressure. The moves would be generally USD-negative.

Merrill Lynch, Global FX Strategist Report, July 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Everybody Hates Chris

I wanted to be class president because I wanted everyone to believe in me, but the only way I became president is by believing in myself.

Chris from Everybody Hates Chris

I remember watching this funny episode where Chris was running for school president. His geek friend prepared a polished speech for him. His opponent, the school bully, stole his speech. So Chris had to face the crowd with no prepared speech. He just spoke his heart out plain and simple: things that mattered to him such as the quality of the Jello served in the cafeteria or the boring school trips. It turns out that’s what mattered to others as well and he was elected school president by speaking his heart out and keeping it real.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rogi Makes History

Rogi, otherwise known as Roger Federer, made tennis history today by matching Bjorn Borg’s 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles. This came after an epic match against his nemesis Rafael Nadal. Both players played top notch tennis that was witnessed by Borg the legend himself.

I remember in my childhood how much I admired Borg and it’s so good to see Federer today match his record after earning so much admiration from fans all over the world. Go Rogi!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Waiting Place


The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the Places You'll Go.

Quote from one of my favorite books Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. Works for me every time I am feeling down or just stuck..

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Book Burner

I used to be a book burner, but when I think about Salman Rushdie now, I believe the freedom to offend is a necessary freedom.

Comment is free: I used to be a book burner.

That was Inayat Bunglawala, the Assistant Secretary-General at the Muslim Council of Britain, commenting on the awarding of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie. Salman Rushdie has caused an uproar with Muslims after publishing his book The Satanic Verses in 1988 that got him a death fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini.

Inayat remembers how he opposed the book, even burning it and participating in demonstrations against it. However, with time he came to a different realization..

In the intervening years I have managed to travel to Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and elsewhere and it is always with a sense of warmth that I return to the UK. Our detractors had been right. The freedom to offend is a necessary freedom.
Moreover, Islam has flourished wherever there has been a free atmosphere. I continue to strongly disagree with the way Rushdie caricatured early Islamic heroes of mine, but banning the book was not the answer.