Shaaz Nasir

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Mind the Economy: “Currency War” made simple

In Advice, Beijing, Blog, Business, Canada, China, Economics, Global Vision, Globalization, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, India, Kuala Lampur, Life, Lunch, Malaysia, Ottawa, Packing, Shenzhen, SME, Song, Success, Technology, Television, Traveling, Uncategorized, University of Ottawa, World on October 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

How do Currencies and Interest rates play off each other?

More recently, many developing countries have had to contend with their own currencies rising and undermining their competitiveness.

The problem is that those low interest rates in the developed world have led investors to seek higher returns elsewhere, in emerging markets.

To invest in those markets, they need to buy the currency and that pushes its value up. That in turn makes those countries’ goods more expensive for foreign buyers and the overseas investment money creates a danger of unsustainable bubbles in their property and financial markets.

China has stopped its currency rising much by buying foreign currency. If it were to refrain from that and allow the yuan to rise, it would probably help other developing countries that compete with China, as well as the US which is protesting the most.

But there is another force behind the rising developing world currencies. Their economies are growing robustly, while the rich countries are not.

The tension over between the US and China over currency policy surfaced once again at the International Monetary Fund Talks

USA renewed the pressure on China to allow its currency to rise. The US has a long-standing grievance over China’s currency policy, which limits the movement of the yuan against the dollar. The American complaint is that it gives Chinese exporters an unfair competitive advantage.

There was a vigorous response from Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank (The People’s Bank of China), who blamed the rich countries for problems in the currency markets. Mr Zhou said extremely low interest rates in rich countries had created “stark challenges for emerging market countries”.

My Thoughts on the Gap.

Tensions are rising among the developing world and developed as priorities on currency (non)manipulation begin to clash. However, should a country stop manipulating its currency in the name of “fairness”?

Destabilizing the economy in the short run, running the risk of damaging the private sector as businesses go bankrupt; jeopardizing an economy’s growth and ability to reduce poverty  does not sound “fair”. The notion of “fair” implies morals which begs the question: who is making these moral rules?

WTO….IMF….WB……USA…..CHINA…..WALDO?????

International Economics is a game where rules are subjective but actual substantive growth is tangibly objective. I am not for currency manipulation but neither am I for irrational and sudden policies  that would jeopardize  an entire economy….especially not the economy that’s the driving force of world growth in terms of consumer consumption ….

-Articles combined from BBC & CBC

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Mind the Economy: Jobless Recovery…Give me a break IMF

In Advice, Business, Canada, Culture, Economics, Experience, Faith, Future, Globalization, Life, Shaaz Nasir, Success, Technology, Trade, Traveling, World Bank on October 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

Four challenges: IMF

Strauss-Kahn highlighted four challenges to be addressed by the officials gathering in Washington…..

• Sovereign debt. Fiscal sustainability remains a problem for some countries, particularly those that entered the crisis with very high levels of debt. “So we are strongly in favor of medium-term consolidation, but it doesn’t mean that in the short term every country will have to tighten as much as possible. It depends a lot on their own situation and it is very country specific.” Where the recovery remains fragile and private sector demand is weak, support for demand is still needed.

• Jobless recovery. Just reviving growth is not enough. “We need growth with jobs. Growth without jobs doesn’t mean much for the man in the street. So obviously, for us, the crisis will not be over until the unemployment rate decreases significantly.”

• Financial sector reform. While a lot has been done to address improved regulation, particularly through the new Basle III accord, a lot more needs to be done on supervision and regulation of the financial sector, which was at the heart of the global crisis. In addition, Strauss-Kahn said the IMF supported moves to introduce taxation of the sector.

Global cooperation. The world got through the economic crisis through very close cooperation, but now the momentum was decreasing. One example of this is emerging competition between countries to adjust their currencies to gain an advantage. “What we all want is the rebalancing of the global economy, and this rebalancing cannot happen without a natural consequence of it, which is a change in the relative value of currencies.”

Politics +  Economics = headache

I have been noticing over the past two years that policy makers in the lime light or politicians using the phrase “growth without jobs is horrible” or ” we cannot face a jobless recovery ARHHH”….

Are these guys missing the point or adhering to misconceptions of growth and recovery formed by the pubic?

Depending on what sector, companies around the world  must experience substantive growth for around 12 to 20 months before they can consider hiring once again. Furthermore, during (and as a result of ) recessionary periods, companies examine  their internal workforce and re-prioritize organizational objectives. The restructuring period may lead  to massive overhauls (bigger than Wario’s) for the company’s structure and size. For example, GM…they cut their company in half by killing about 6 brands….people cannot expect them to hire the same amount of workers….

Furthermore, demographics  also play a vital role in unemployment rates. In Canada the time it takes for unemployment rates to return to pre recession levels takes twice as long for young professionals (defined as youth 16-25)…why..that’s another post for another day.

For now,

let us focus on these four challenges and the realization that time is the best public policy tool in the fight against unemployment rates, not fuelling economic misconceptions.

Shaaz in the Amazing Race Malaysia Video !!!

In Advice, Blog, Business, Culture, Experience, Failure, Film, Friends, Global Vision, Globalization, Greeting, Success, Technology, Uncategorized on October 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Racing in Malaysia

While in Malaysia we were fortunate enough to take part in the Global Vision Amazing Race!

Same concept as the real deal as our team was superb while running around like mad people in Malaysia for hours. We got a chance to see Malaysia thoroughly from using all types of transportation to find monkeys and much more!

Twist Baby Twist

Here was the twist, at the end of race you had a few hours to produce some type of presentation to the judges. The faster you completed the race the more time you get to prepare and make that crucial presentation that laid out all the answers.

Half way through the race our team realized that we could run around and simply take pictures to complete the tasks or take the time and actually talk to the locals and experience the culture. Furthermore , we merged with another group which did slow us down but on the positive side we really did engage in meaningful discussions.

Nonetheless, we finished last place because of shift in focus and merging with more people.

With only around 2 hours for 10 people to collect their answers, brainstorm, and produce a video….time was running out. After taking showers and coming up with a plan we I had 14 minutes left.  In contrast to teams that were half the size with double amount of time to work on the project.

14 minutes

We decided to create a video and I was the one with the skills and the mac book (iMovie). I had to capture the essence of 10 + people while summarizing around 6 hours into 4 minutes in 14 minutes …this was quite the challenge.  It was a solid team effort where the people generated solid ideas and unique marketing concepts. Keeping cool under pressure is a trait we all need to master as it allows you to find a strong foundation to be productive in an environment of utter chaos.  In other words, “just chill”.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it

Results

While I was making the video, the other team players were perfecting their pitch to the panel of judges. We all came to the conclusion that despite what some clock said…we did not come in last. The point of the amazing race was to better understand and immerse ourselves in the culture as your team, communication, and stress management skills were put to the test.  Not run around simply  taking pictures and pushing people out of the way…yes that would make a great impression on the Malaysians….

Thus we felt confident that although others “raced to the finish line” we took the path less travelled and “learned” to the finish line. With 1 minute remaining the video and pitch was in sync with our team roaring to go.

Everything went according to plan and as a result we went from dead last (10th place) to 3rd as many of those “racers” got numerous questions wrong and missed the point of the whole race.

3rd ….solid team effort with only 14 minutes to prove it.

Enjoy the video (dam youtube downgrades the video quality)

Keep in mind we had three presenters talking about what we did to further add to the video!

Japanese 3D WORLD CUP?!

In Blog, Business, Canada, Economics, Exercise, Fashion, Football, Friends, Frosh, Future, Globalization, Orientation, Ottawa, Technology, Television, Traveling, University of Ottawa, Women, Work, World, Youtube on September 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

In 2022, the Japanese claim that with over 150 HD cameras and special microphones they can create a 3D World Cup. What does this mean? Well imagine this…seeing Brazil play England in lansdowne park ….what?

Yes.

The Japanese say forget about sitting in an cinema with some cheap plastic ray-ban rip offs…

Brazil and England play in Japan during the World Cup while you are in Ottawa at Lansdowne park watching a 3D projection of that game on the field….with the sounds of the Japanese fans cheering with you.

This is monumental as the potential profits are simply unimaginable….fields in New York…London…Paris…Hong Kong the list goes on and on….

Profits?

1 game

90, 000 tickets to sell….

now take that number and multiply it by as many fields you want!

Calm Down

Turning the World Cup into a truly international experience does have its setbacks. The cost structure of setting up a 3D enabled field in the mega cities mentioned above would be key to the pricing of the tickets. Image rights for the players could also be troublesome and the actual technology itself is somewhat questionable….

But this could be the true game changer in Soccer with potential profits quadrupling as long FIFA has a plan to deal with the equal increase in cost and risk.

Where is the juice?

The games will be partially powered by solar panels AND  the kinetic energy created by a stadium full of fans. Simply outstanding as the passion and love for the sport will literally generate/sustain the World Cup  atmosphere.

Final Word

I say give the Japanese a chance with the World Cup in 2022….let  the beautiful game embrace the 3D movement.

Back to school…don’t think so!

In 101 week, Advice, Blog, Canada, Economics, ESA, Experience, Friends, Globalization, Ottawa, Success, Technology, University of Ottawa on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

The Start of the Start?

As the summer comes to an end, the same mundane thought creeps into our mind: back to school again.

Not this time, at least not for me. This is not just another school year; rather this is THE school year. Even before kindergarten, the importance of this year was being instilled in my mind.  From late nights to early mornings, everything was for the final year of my University Degree.

It’s a strange feeling as I approach probably the biggest milestone of my life thus far; it’s a great feeling in fact.  My family has been the sole reason for my success; their relentless belief in me has been my driving force. There have been moments when I have doubted my self or lacked the will power to charge through the obstacles at hand; this is when my sister, father, and mother caught me as I slipped.

Fire

Last year was successful in terms of “marks”, but I felt the passion I once had, the same passion that guided me to my degree, was beginning to dim. Don’t get me wrong I loved my third year, it’s just that burning passion to learn from others to further my knowledge in all my classes was being replaced by a misguided and unfortunate pursuit for “high marks”. Studying for tests became a game where I would master techniques to memorize thought processes rather then build my own and critically evaluate the questions at hand…”what would the TA like?”…..not what is my opinion and how can I best convey it?”

The Commitment

My mindset must return to what it was in first year…open and critical…always questioning but with the intent of understanding.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on learning…

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.  ~Alvin Toffler

Learning is like rowing upstream:  not to advance is to drop back.  ~Chinese Proverb

It is not hard to learn more.  What is hard is to unlearn when you discover yourself wrong.  ~Martin H. Fischer

This is not “back to school” …no this is the start of the realization that the next 10 classes, the next 2 semesters, the next 8 months is what I was working towards for the last 20 years of my life.

Time to shine.

 

Video for Education and Learning

Converting to Gmail

In Advice, Blog, Business, Canada, Experience, Global Vision, Meeting, Ottawa, Technology, University of Ottawa, Video, Youtube on August 21, 2010 at 8:25 am

Mr. Chow strongly recommended converting to Gmail to stay in touch with Junior Team Canada and better organize my life on the web. I have four solid reasons for the switch….

  • Treasurer  of uOttawa’s Tennis League
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Junior Team Canada Graduate / Canadian Trade Ambassador
  • Volunteer on Parliament Hill

All these titles/ jobs mean one thing: A TON OF EMAILS EVERYDAY EVERY MINUTE…which I love…but it can be daunting to manage and very important emails have slipped under the radar.

I also am going to try out “Buzz” from Google, in an attempt to reach out to citizens of the world wide web. One would hope that promoting your  brand to the world will yield some positive results. The transition is going smoothly as I am connecting my old emails to my new account on gmail…hopefully this results in faster response times and better results for the people I work for and with.

shaaznasir123@gmail.com

add me !

Crazy Chinese Video by Shaaz and Potters in Guangzhou

In Canada, China, Food, Friends, Global Vision, Globalization, Guangzhou, Life, Packing, Success, Technology, Traveling, World, Youtube on August 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm

As we entered our world class hotel, Mr. Potters was transfixed on the floating musical instrument….it was a white piano on some type of platform which floated on water (leave it to the Chinese to make something this epic).  Mr. Potters was tired from the long bus ride  and stated “this is some fine looking glass” as he jumped into the water (about 1 foot deep). He shortly realizes glass is not liquid as he scurries over to counter asking whether it was possible to dry his very nice shoes……

The man replies “Ah yes we will send them to the shoe cleaning centre”

we both replied “A SHOE CLEANING CENTRE?!?!!?”

about 30 mins later after we settle down in our amazing room, we decide to make a video ……..upon recording the Shoe Cleaning Centre enters the room by fluke….

The rest is history, enjoy the video of two very tired individuals being exposed to a world class hotel room.

please remember…we were running on 6 hours of sleep over 2 days…lol we were flipping out for no reason..also there was not a shanty town it was a construction zone…..it will all make sense once you watch the video.

I love Guangzhou. Good Memories.

Andrea chases bus on Chinese Highway…..FAIL.

In Global Vision, Globalization, Orientation, Success, Technology, Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 11:59 am

On our Journey to the Great Wall of China, a car accident renders the entire highway to a standstill. JTC members leave the bus as they are determined to use every moment they have to promote Canadian Culture. JTC got off the bus to hand out Canadian Pins and discuss some light topics with Chinese drivers.

As the situation settles down and the road is clear, JTC members rush back to get on board.

Unfortunately, on the road to the great wall of China ….there was a great gap in judgment. In a bid to be different, Andrea and her two friends travel BEHIND the bus, out of sight of everyone….

JTC crew count the numbers as the bus drives on….the highway is now in full motion…wait guys…where’s Andrea and Co…..oh great

The bus driver decides to pick up the speed as the JTC leaders try to convince him to stop, we see in the distance Andrea and CO (btw all three are on Team Kratos…not Team Hong Kong) Running on an chinese highway.

We could have left them stranded on a busy Chinese highway with NO way home…

Moral of the story: Stop pretending to be different or you will get Antoine chasing you on an Chinese Highway.

At the moment China does not like people uploading .avi movie formats to Canada.

Think the World Bank is useless…think again my friends

In Canada, Economics, Globalization, Ottawa, Technology, Women, World Bank on July 27, 2010 at 8:01 pm

World Bank

“beware of the scary and evil place…no”

Although the responsibility of ensuring high living standards for citizens lie with the state, financial institutions can play a positive role in her assistance.  Many people have insisted that the World Bank is evil or can do absolutely nothing in terms of development. Some even argue that the World Bank is a direct threat to sovereignty of all nations and should be shutdown.

I disagree.

Indeed the World Bank has many opportunities to improve itself, but to label the institution as evil, redundant, and useless is simply not accurate.  Regarding the threat to sovereignty, if the World Bank seeks to increase the living standards of a nation’s citizen, through improvements in productivity and efficiency, it’s only strengthening the nation.

People bring up the dependant argument, which can be summed up as “the country will be dependant on the World Bank to succeed”. Far too many flaws render this argument useless; if someone is lending money, you would hope the borrower would work with the lender. Teamwork is not a bad thing. Oh God forbid, actual communication between the two parties involve in a financial transaction.

No one can legitimately argue that it’s better to remain a poor but “autonomous” state, than a robust and active country. International trade, open economies, working with international organizations is not being dependant, it’s reality.

Again I stress that the World Bank is not perfect and as they need to work on their own efficiency in terms of people management and  financial resources.

Let’s take a look at an actual project the World Bank has been working on with Bangladesh.

Female Secondary School Assistance Project

The project will support a major increase in secondary school enrollment of girls in about a quarter of the country by providing stipends for 1.5 million girl-years of secondary education, financing the cost of additional teachers required by the growth in female enrollment, supporting an occupational skills development program for school-leaving girls, assisting with a female education awareness program, providing a school-based water supply and sanitation program, and financing an institutional development program for implementation and capacity-building support to the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) in the Ministry of Education.

That was the longest run-on sentence I have ever read.

I will showcase this project in the next post.

Check the blog tomorrow!

Ottawa my home

In Blog, Business, Economics, Food, Global Vision, Meeting, Technology, Trailer, Traveling, University of Ottawa on July 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm

“When moving forward, never forget where you came from”

I was walking to the bus stop from work when I noticed how gorgeous the Hill was looking today…. so I  sat down behind the Parliament Library to type up this post…..

A few words on my home

Ottawa is a stunning city with the perfect balance of lush green and bold concrete. Despite traveling to many places and living in Oxford England, Ottawa is still home and always will be.  From the architecture to its history, Ottawa has a permanent spot in my heart.

People whom dislike Ottawa simply live under a rock or have deep issues that need to be dealt with. Yes indeed, the nightlife is not on the same scale as London or New Deli, but as a friend once told me, people who blame all their worries on Ottawa ….let them run to another city ….the same problems will pursue them, you can’t escape yourself regardless of what city you run off to.

After meeting countless City Councilors and business/educational leaders from Ottawa I am ready to represent my home in China and Malaysia.