Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pakistani-American Tops Richest Americans of South Asian Origin

With a net worth of $3.8 billion, Shahid Khan tops the Forbes list of the richest Americans of South Asian origin. Overall, Khan ranks 122nd on Forbes 400 list for 2013, up from 179th in 2012.

Born in Pakistani city of Lahore, 63 year old Shahid Khan is a mechanical engineer and a self-made billionaire who built his fortune as a top supplier of bumpers to the auto industry. Khan made history in 2011 by becoming the first non-white owner of a National Football League team when he bought Jacksonville Jaguars. Recently, he acquired an English soccer team Fullham for $300 million.

There are four Indian-Americans on Forbes 400 this year: Syntel chairman and co-founder Bharat Desai and his family, Symphony Technology Group founder and chairman Romesh T. Wadhwani, Google investor Kavitrak Ram Shriram and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, according to India West newspaper.

 Desai, 60, who lives in Fisher Island, Fla., is in 252nd place with a $2.2 billion net worth. He was in 239th place in 2012.

Wadhwani, 66, has a net worth of $2.1 billion, good for 260th place on the Forbes list. The resident of Palo Alto, Calif., was listed 250th last year.

Shriram, 56, a resident of Menlo Park, Calif., and a managing partner of Sherpalo Ventures, is in 325th place with assets of $1.75 billion. He dropped from the 298th spot in 2012.

Khosla, whose Khosla Ventures continues to invest in green energy and other forward-looking technologies, is in 352nd place with a worth of $1.5 billion. The 58-year-old Sun Microsystems co-founder was 328th last year. He lives in Portola Valley, Calif.

Here are some of the highlights of Pakistani-American data from US Census 2010 as gleaned from a report titled "A Community of Contrasts Asian Americans in the United States: 2011" published by Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice:

1. There are 409,163 Pakistani-Americans in 2010, the 7th largest Asian-American community in America.

2. Pakistani-American population doubled from 2000 (204,309) to 2010 (409,163), the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

3. 6% of Pakistani-American population is mixed race.

4. 65% of Pakistanis in America are foreign-born. 57% of foreign-born Pakistani-American population is made up of naturalized citizens.

5. There are 120,000 Pakistani legal permanent residents of which 42% are eligible to naturalize.

6. There were 69,202 immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis from 2001 to 2010, the 5th highest among Asian nations.

7. 28% of Pakistanis have limited English proficiency.

8. Average per capita income of Pakistani-Americans is $24,663.00

9. 15% of Pakistanis are classified as poor; only 1% of them are on public assistance.

10. 8% of Pakistanis are unemployed, a figure lower than the general population of Americans.

11. 55% of Pakistanis own their own homes.

12. 55% of Pakistanis have a bachelor's degree or higher.

13. Median age of Pakistanis in America is only 29 years, lower than most of the Asian groups and the national median age of 36.8 years.

Pakistani-American community is the second fastest growing community in the United States, according to 2010 US Census. It is also a very young community with the median age of just 29 years, compared to 32 years for Indian-Americans and 37 years for all Asian-Americans. 34% of Pakistani-Americans are under the age of 17 compared with 26% of Indian-Americans and 24% of  all Asian-Americans.

More of the Pakistanis in America are college educated than the general population of whites and various immigrant groups. The youthful energy and higher education levels of Pakistani-Americans are opening doors for them to rise and shine in America, in spite of the current economic difficulties in their adopted land of opportunities.

Here's a CBS 60 Minutes segment on Shahid Khan:

 Here's a Forbes interview video of Shahid Khan on his path to success:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani-American NFL Team Owner

Silicon Valley Pakistani-American Wins Big in IPO

Pakistani-American in $500 Million Deal to Buy St. Louis Rams

Shahid Khan's $112 million Luxury Yacht 

Edible Arrangements- A Pakistani-American's Success Story

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision

OPEN Forum 2010

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Huma Abedin Calm Amid Twittergate

Silicon Valley Summit of Pakistani Entrepreneurs

Pakistan's Multi-Billion Dollar IT Industry

Media and Telecom Sectors Growing in Pakistan

Pakistan's Middle Class Growth in 1999-2009

Social Entrepreneurs Target India, Pakistan

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Pakistan Quake Triggers Massive Offshore Gas Release

Pakistan is known to have significant natural gas deposits trapped in the form of methane hydrates in sedimentary rocks off the coast of Baluchistan. Tragic as yesterday's earthquake is in terms of loss of human life, it may also have triggered the release of substantial amount of gas which pushed up a new island in the Arabian sea. A team of scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography in Karachi will visit the site this week to investigate it.

In a study published online in the journal Nature Geoscience and reported recently by New York Times, European researchers said that an underwater quake off Pakistan nearly 70 years ago likely fractured seafloor sediments and created pathways for the release of methane gas which still continues to bubble up from below. The researchers say the phenomenon may be widespread enough that climate scientists should take it into account when estimating the amounts of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

Dr. David Fischer, the lead author of the study, told New York Times: “The quake broke open gas-hydrate sediments and the free gas underneath migrated to the surface.” The hydrates themselves did not dissolve. “They remain there,” he said.

While the existence of offshore methane hydrate deposits has long been known in many parts of the world, it's only recently that Japan demonstrated that natural gas can be produced commercially from such deposits.

Methane hydrate is also known by other names such as methane clathrate, hydromethane or methane ice. This last name relates to the fact that it is an ice-like crystalline substance, basically, frozen methane. Methane hydrate is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be found in soft sediments in Arctic environments. It can be extensively found in the uppermost few hundred meters of slope and rise sediments in continental margins where the right temperature and pressure conditions are present.

Methane hydrates have been discovered on the Atlantic and Pacific margins of both North and South America, especially at equatorial latitudes. They are also found off the coast of Canada, Alaska, off the West coast of Norway, the Black Sea and off the coast of Pakistan. Smaller fields have been discovered off the coast of New Zealand and Antarctica, according to Oceaflores.

One cubic meter of hydrate contains 164 cubic meters of gas, once the gas is released, it expands to more than 150 times the original volume. As a consequence, methane hydrate reserves are thought to contain more than twice as much fuel energy as all currently known fossil fuel reserves.

Methane hydrate is not yet ready for prime time as a substantial source of energy. However, it could become commercially viable in the future for Pakistan if the Japanese succeed in their efforts.  It could be another significant energy revolution similar to the shale revolution now unfolding in America. Pakistan is blessed with both-shale and methane hydrate-in huge quantities enough to fuel the national economy for a long time.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Methane Hydrates in Pakistan

Affordable Fuel for Pakistan's Electricity 

Pakistan Needs Shale Gas Revolution

US Census Bureau's International Stats  

Pakistan's Vast Shale Gas Reserves

US AID Overview of Pakistan's Power Sector 

US Can Help Pakistan Overcome Energy Crisis

Abundant and Cheap Coal Electricity

US Dept of Energy Report on Shale Gas

Pakistan's Twin Energy Crises

Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

Pakistan's Gas Pipeline and Distribution Network

Pakistan's Energy Statistics

US Department of Energy Data

Electrification Rates By Country 

CO2 Emissions, Birth, Death Rates By Country

China Signs Power Plant Deals in Pakistan

Pakistan Pursues Hydroelectric Projects

Pakistan Energy Industry Overview

Energy from Thorium

Comparing US and Pakistani Tax Evasion

Pakistan's Oil and Gas Report 2010

Circular Electricity Debt Problem

International CNG Vehicles Association

Rare Earths at Reko Diq?

Lessons From IPP Experience in Pakistan

Correlation Between Human Development and Energy Consumption

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Silicon Valley's Pakistani-American Founder Makes it Big in Technology IPO

NASDAQ IPO of Silicon Valley's cyber security firm Fire-eye has made its Pakistani-American founder Ashar Aziz worth $430 million at the market close on Friday, according an estimate by Forbes magazine.

The high-tech company priced its initial public offering of 15.2 million shares at $20 per share late Thursday, raising about $304 million after increasing its expected price range to $15 to $17 per share. Shares of FEYE were trading up by more than 100% during the day before closing up $16 or 80% to $36.00 on the Nasdaq Friday. FEYE closed up another 4% to $37.45 on Monday.

Aziz owns about 10.91 million shares in the Milipitas, Calif.-based security company; that 9.3% stake after the offering alone is now worth more than $392 million.

Fireeye Founder and CTO Ashar Aziz
FireEye, founded in 2004, has a virtualization engine which protects its customers' infrastructure from attacks that may come through the web and email. Its dynamic virtual cloud analyzes incoming data, providing real-time intelligence to its users.

FireEye is riding high on a wave of growing cyber security concerns amid increasing cyber attacks being reported almost daily from around the globe. FireEye's founder Ashar Aziz is among the top recognized experts in the field of Internet and computer security. With the $50 million round from top investors in January 2013, the company raised $100 million in venture money before going public. The venture funding came from investors including Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs, Juniper Networks, Silicon Valley Bank, and others.  Several other security companies including Illumio, CipherCloud, Mocana  have recently significant sums of money from venture capital firms.

Here's a video of Ashar talking about  the effectiveness of his technology in blocking new and  previously unidentified attacks by not relying on signatures:

Interview with Ashar Aziz, CEO of FireEye from Richard Stiennon on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley 

US Promoting Venture Capital & Private Equity in Pakistan

Pakistani-American Population Growth Second Fastest Among Asian-Americans

Edible Arrangements: Pakistani-American's Success Story

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

US Firms Adding Jobs Overseas 

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistanis Study Abroad

Pakistan's Youth Bulge

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani-American NFL Team Owner

Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Catch the Wave

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's

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Friday, September 20, 2013

PM Nawaz Sharif's First 100 Days Report Card

FDI is up and load-shedding is down during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government's first 100 days. However, there has been little progress on resolving fundamental issues such as lack of security, growing budget deficits, high current account deficits and continuing heavy subsidies to the power sector and various public sector enterprises like Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA, Railways, etc.

Foreign Inflows Jump: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's first 100 days in office have seen a significant increase in foreign capital inflows.

Pakistan has $105.4 million foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first two month of the current fiscal year 2013/14 compared to $52.4 million received during the same month of the previous year, according to a Reuters' report. This is a continuation of the trend from the PPP government's last year in office which saw 76% year-over-year jump to reach nearly $1.5 billion foreign investment in fiscal year 2012-13.

Foreign remittances from Pakistani diaspora also saw a 7% increase to reach $2.64 billion in July-Aug 2013. IN addition, Pakistan reached a deal with IMF for $6.6 billion loan and the first tranche of $500 million was disbursed last week.

Load Shedding Decreases:

Circular debt payment of $5 billion by the government has induced power companies to buy more fuel and better utilize installed generating capacity in the last two months. As a result, the people are experiencing fewer hours of load shedding across the country.

The fundamental issue of the gap between cost of generating electricity and the electricity revenue receipts still remains. However, the Nawaz Sharif government is pushing higher electricity rates and lower fuel cost options to reduce this gap. Meanwhile, the circular debt has piled up again to nearly $1 billion in just the last two months. If this debt continues to mount and the government fails to clear it, the load shedding is likely to significantly increase soon.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government is trying to start talks with the Taliban militants in an effort to reduce the mounting death toll in terrorist attacks. An all-parties conference in Islamabad has endorsed peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. The TTP leadership has welcomed the talks offer but it has continued to kill soldiers, policemen and civilians to dictate terms to Pakistan government. This was brought in sharp focus when the Taliban killed a top general in Upper Dir recently. The Taliban appear to be exploiting the perceived weakness being communicated by the government in response to continuing attacks.

Recent data from South Asia Terrorism Portal indicates a decline in overall death rate from terrorism but it also shows that more security personnel are continuing to lose their lives in such attacks.

Structural Problems Remain:

Pakistan imports a lot more than it exports. Exports add up to about $25 billion while imports stand at about $45 billion. Similarly, Pakistani government spends a lot more than it takes in as revenue, leaving a budget gap of 6-7% of GDP. It is forced beg and borrow billions of dollars a year to fill this gap. Fundamental structural issues remain in terms of high current account deficits, widening gap between public revenue and spending, and large subsidies to public sector units including the power sector sapping public treasury. FBR is missing revenue target of Rs 2.5 trillion by Rs. 130 billion, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment. Debt is accumulating again in the power sector. Economic growth is barely keeping up with population growth.  Creation of new jobs lags growth of new entrants into the work force. National savings rate is only about 10% of GDP which reduces domestic investments needed for the future.


Reviving economic growth is the biggest challenge facing the Sharif administration. It's going to be difficult to revive the economy without structural reforms to increase domestic and attract foreign investments, which in turn requires solving the basic issues of terrorism, energy shortages and  tax collection.

Here's a  video discussion on the subject and other topics:

First 100 Days of Nawaz Sharif Government; Taliban’s Islam is false Islam; Sumbul case; Sheema Kermani from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan to Beg and Borrow Billions More in 2013-14

Power Companies Profits Soar at Taxpayer's Expense

Does Nawaz Sharif Have a Counter-terrorism Strategy?

Pakistan's Tax Evasion Fosters Aid Dependence

Pakistan's Vast Shale Oil and Gas Reserves

Pak IPPs Make Record Profits Amid Worst Ever Load Shedding 

Global Power Shift Since Industrial Revolution

Massive Growth in Electrical Connections in Pakistan

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar's Budget 2013-14 Speech

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Russia's Putin Vs American Exceptionalism

"My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different,but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal." Russian President Vladimir Putin's Op Ed in New York Times

Clearly, Mr. Putin does not like the fact that the United States considers itself exceptional. But what does "exceptional" mean?

To me,  "exceptional" is just another word for "special". I don't know of any nation that doesn't think they are special in some way and they use it to whip up their own brand of nationalism.

In the case of  United States, however, there are genuine reasons based on rational data and facts that establish US as "special" in multiple dimensions.  The US is a multi-dimensional hyper-power the likes of which the world has not seen.

The current world order and its institutional framework were architected by post-WW II American leaders. Establishment of international institutions like the United Nations and its multiple agencies, the World Bank, IMF, GATT and WTO was spearheaded by Americans.

Not only is the US the biggest military power many times larger than number two Russia, the US dollar is the world's unchallenged currency which is used for the bulk of international trade and as reserve currency by central banks around the globe. The US is the world's largest economy and the biggest trading partner of most of the countries of the world. The US also boasts the world's top entrepreneurs, most innovative companies and bulk of the top universities with the lion's share of Nobel prizes. The US leadership in wide range of technologies and industries is unquestionable. And the US lead is growing, not shrinking with new developments.

In spite of its great technological advances, the US still retains many vestiges of its Wild West.  With its powerful gun-rights advocates in many western,  mid-western and southern states, the US is still a gun-slinging frontier society in many ways which makes it jealously guard its exceptional status in the world.

The US seeks to avoid the fate of other great empires of the past which were brought down by barbarians and desert tribesmen over the centuries.

Here's a excerpt of a piece by NY Times Nobel Laureate economist-columnist on Ibn Khaldun's lessons for established powers: "Desert tribesmen, he argued, always have more courage and social cohesion than settled, civilized folk, so every once in a while they will sweep in and conquer lands whose rulers have become corrupt and complacent. They create a new dynasty — and, over time, become corrupt and complacent themselves, ready to be overrun by a new set of barbarians...I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to apply this story to Microsoft, a company that did so well with its operating-system monopoly that it lost focus, while Apple — still wandering in the wilderness after all those years — was alert to new opportunities. And so the barbarians swept in from the desert".

US intelligence analyst and author George Friedman in his book "The Next 100 Years" describes the United States as "young and barbaric" with the barbarian instincts to fight off most threats, including those from the rag-tag bands of  tribesmen and barbarians who have toppled great empires of the past like the Roman empire, the Byzantine empire, the Persian empires, the Umayyid empire, the Abbasid empire and the Soviet empire.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is America Young and Barbaric? 

US Dollar as International Trade and Reserve Currency

Godfather Metaphor for Uncle Sam

Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective

US Drones and Cyber Warfare

US Dominates List of World's Top Universities

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