The week was dominated by the appointment of Hammad Azhar as Finance Minister and the unceremonious exit for Hafeez Sheikh that this appointment caused. This, of course, was followed by rumors of Shaukat Tareen replacing Azhar in only a couple of days. However, Hammad Azhar’s appointment is something we have discussed in more detail in another piece in this issue.
For this week’s social media round up, we look at how State Bank Governor Reza Baqir might be going from Governor to Viceroy according to some, along with speculation of who will star in a Pakistani version of ‘The Big Short.’ The autonomy of the SBP dominated most conversations, and there was fierce contention over whether the sale of Eurobonds is a success or not so much. On a lighter note, we also look at how the finance side of Pakistani Twitter dealt with the infuriating landmine of April’s Fools jokes that are apparently still a thing. Profit’s Ariba Shahid looks at all this and more.
- Help wanted
Who will be our Margot Robbie to explain how a 10x leveraged NPC is structured?
— Ammar Khan (@rogueonomist) April 1, 2021
The Big Short was the movie that first introduced this reporter to the fascinating world of Capital Markets and Finance. And while the presence of Ryan Gosling proved a distraction from the numbers and technicalities, it was Margot Robbie whose explanations of financial terms in made the movie memorable. Ammar Khan asks an important question – who will do the same for Pakistan? Will it be Saba Qamar or Mehwish Hayat? Or maybe even Mahira Khan?
- Eurobond question
Not a single country here is a B-. Most are AA. Hong Kong — there is Hong Kong in this list! PK did a super issuance. No doubts here.
— Ammar Khan (@rogueonomist) March 30, 2021
In a less off-beat tweet, Ammar talks about how selling Eurobonds is no triumph, but that doesn’t mean you call it underwhelming. Pakistan being a B- rated country, grey listed by FATF and with political instability (hint hint, FM was just sacked), managed to perform well in the international market. Credit where credit due?
- Those snooty LUMS grads
Have LUMS, IBA, economic policy think tanks etc not produced a single capable finance wizard in the last few decades that we keeping going back to the same old crew of Sheikh, Tarin etc.? Why not finally let the next generation take the lead!
— Taimur Malik (@taimur_malik) April 1, 2021
IBA and LUMS grads often have a sense of entitlement and a very strong hint of “we’re better than you” attitude. Trust us, lots of them exist. Despite the abundance of these finance dudebros/sis, the same people keep showing up in the government. However, it is important to note that graduates from these institutions would rather be corporate sellouts than national sell-outs (if that is a term).
- Same old same old
Twitter is like being at a bar. You’ve got the people just trying to chill and have fun, the finance bros giving you stock tips, some trying to drown their sorrows, the creepy guy making all the girls uncomfortable, and the ones that are constantly trying to pick fights.
— Arhum (@arhuml92) March 29, 2021
Every week, whilst preparing our twitter round up, we often witness the same few people. Arhum manages to sum up the Pakistani twitter experience in 280 characters. As for the finance bros giving stock tips, Profit advises caution whilst advising stocks for greater compliance to the market regulations.
- Bank autonomy
Relevant development on CB autonomy
”Lawmakers in Brazil have voted to grant autonomy to the central bank in a move aimed at improving the country’s reputation among int’l investors by removing the risk of political interference in monetary policy..” 1/N https://t.co/KK9eNpTyeI
— Rooshan Aziz (@rooshanaziz) April 2, 2021
Remember everyone going crazy over the SBP autonomy bill and making up imaginary worst case scenarios? Brazil recently made their central bank autonomous, and Rooshan Aziz, a financial services professional based in London is reminding Pakistani’s through a thread of subtweets on how central bank autonomy is completely normal and desirable, despite the fact that critics will always be there.
- The cupboard they don’t tell you about
My bank probably has 1000 copies of my ID card. Where do they store them?
— Nadeem Haque (@nadeemhaque) April 1, 2021
Nadeem ul Haque at PIDE is asking all the questions. Honestly, at this point I don’t even know how many copies of my ID card I’ve ever made. It’s fascinating how many banks keep around. It is also nice to see Nadeem ul Haque still using twitter, and not getting in trouble for it as he has tended to on a few occasions in the past.
- April’s fool is still a thing
April’s Fool is an interesting day for marketing professionals. Why? Well they can come up with the wackiest offers and fool their audience into believing them. For instance, KFC claimed to give away their fried chicken on twitter. However, sometimes marketing teams tend to forget its April’s Fool day and post their advertisements and promotions on the dreaded day. As a result, the targeted audience have their guards up and view posts with skepticism. This happened with Roomph, advertisement which may or not be a prank. Regardless, if you’re getting people to talk about your promotions, you’re doing something right.
- Viceroy Baqir
Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Pakistan’s new Voiceroy, Sir Reza Baqir!
— Uzair Younus عُزیر یُونس (@UzairYounus) March 29, 2021
Remember when someone said Reza Baqir was an agent and we said he was cool but not cool enough to be an agent? Well, this is what he’d look like if he was one, or even a viceroy as Pakistani armchair drawing room analysts have called him over the autonomy bill.