DISCLAIMER - NIKZAFRI.BLOGSPOT.COM
In no event shall nikzafri.blogspot.com be liable for any damages whatsoever, including, without limitation, direct, special, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages, or damages for lost profits, loss of revenue, or loss of use, arising out of or related to the nikzafri.blogspot.com or the information contained in it, whether such damages arise in contract, negligence, tort, under statute, in equity, at law or otherwise.
BIODATA - NIK ZAFRI
* Kelantanese, Alumni of Sultan Ismail College Kelantan (SICA), Diploma (Management), IT Competency Cert, Certified Written English Professional US. Has participated in many seminars/conferences(local/international) in the capacity of trainer/lecturer and participant. Affiliations :- Council Member of Gerson Lehrman Group NY, Institute of Quality Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Management, Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Association, Auditor ISO 9000 IRCAUK, Auditor OHSAS 18000 (SIRIM and STS) /EMS ISO 14000:2004 and Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS, CIDB (Now BCA) Singapore)
* Possesses 20 years experience/hands-on in the multi-modern management & technical disciplines (systems & methodologies) such as Knowledge Management (Hi-Impact Management/ICT Solutions), Quality (TQM/ISO), Safety Health Environment, Civil & Building (Construction), Manufacturing, Motivation & Team Building, HR, Marketing/Branding, Business Process Reengineering, Economy/Stock Market, Contracts/Project Management, Finance & Banking, etc. He was employed to international bluechips involving in national/international megaprojects such as Balfour Beatty Construction/Knight Piesold & Partners UK, MMI Insurance Group Australia, Hazama Corporation (Hazamagumi) Japan (with Mitsubishi Corporation, JA Jones US and Ho-Hup) and Sunway Construction Berhad (The Sunway Group of Companies). Among major projects undertaken : Pergau Hydro Electric Project, KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, LRT Tunnelling, KLIA, Petronas Refineries Melaka, Putrajaya Government Complex, Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang (SILK) etc. Once serviced SMPD Management Consultants as Associate Consultant cum Lecturer for Diploma in Management, Institute of Supervisory Management UK/SMPD JV. Currently – Associate/Visiting Consultants/Facilitators, Advisors for leading consulting firms (local and international) including project management. To name a few – TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore), LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd. and many others.
* Ex-Resident Weekly Columnist of Utusan Malaysia (1995-1998) and have produced more than 100 articles related to ISO-9000– Management System and Documentation Models, TQM Strategic Management, Occupational Safety and Health (now OHSAS 18000) and Environmental Management Systems ISO 14000. His write-ups/experience has assisted many students/researchers alike in module developments based on competency or academics and completion of many theses. Once commended by the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia for his diligence in promoting and training the civil services (government sector) based on “Total Quality Management and Quality Management System ISO-9000 in Malaysian Civil Service – Paradigm Shift Scalar for Assessment System”
Among Nik Zafri’s clients were Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn. Bhd, The HQ of Royal Customs and Excise Malaysia, Veterinary Services Dept. Negeri Sembilan, The Institution of Engineers Malaysia, Corporate HQ of RHB, NEC Semiconductor - Klang Selangor, Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia, State Secretarial Office Negeri Sembilan, Hidrological Department KL, Asahi Kluang Johor, Tunku Mahmood (2) Primary School Kluang Johor, Consortium PANZANA, Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC) – Authorised Training Center (ATC) – University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) Kluang Branch Johor, Kluang General Hospital Johor, Kahang Timur Secondary School Johor, Sultan Abdul Jalil Secondary School Kluang Johor, Guocera Tiles Industries Kluang Johor, MNE Construction (M) Sdn. Bhd. Kota Tinggi Johor, UITM Shah Alam Selangor, Telesystem Electronics/Digico Cable (ODM/OEM for Astro), Sungai Long Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Bina Puri Group), Secura Security Printing Sdn. Bhd, ROTOL AMS Bumi Sdn. Bhd & ROTOL Architectural Services Sdn. Bhd. (ROTOL Group), Bond M & E (KL) Sdn. Bhd., Skyline Telco (M) Sdn. Bhd.,Technochase Sdn. Bhd JB, Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM), Shinryo/Steamline Consortium (Petronas/OGP Power Co-Generation Plant Melaka), Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Association for Retired Intelligence Operatives of Malaysia, T.Yamaichi Corp. (M) Sdn. Bhd.LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd., PJZ Marine Services Sdn. Bhd., UNITAR/UNTEC (Degree in Accountacy) Cobrain Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (Managing Construction Safety & Health), Speaker for International Finance & Management Strategy (Closed Conference), Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9001:2008-Internal Audit for Construction Industry), Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn. Bhd. (C & S, Geotech), Malaysia Management & Science University (MSU), Innoseven Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT MSPR8 - Internal Audit (Construction) & Awareness Workshop ISO 9001:2015 for the Construction Industry, Amiosh Resources - Lembaga Tabung Haji - Flood ERP, Amiosh Resources - Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plan - Prelim, Conceptual Design and Final Report etc.
* Has appeared for 10 consecutive series in “Good Morning Malaysia RTM TV1’ Corporate Talk Segment discussing on ISO 9000/14000 in various industries. For ICT, his inputs garnered from his expertise have successfully led to development of work-process e-enabling systems in the environments of intranet, portal and interactive web design especially for the construction and manufacturing. Some of the end products have won various competitions of innovativeness, quality, continual-improvements and construction industry award at national level. He has also in advisory capacity – involved in development and moderation of websites, portals and e-profiles for mainly corporate and private sectors, public figures etc.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So, what can our world governments do? I humbly think that the financial market should be slowly integrated to become a global network or hub. Except for US, I've seen efforts via conferences and seminars towards implementing such plans. I'm also shocked to know the rate of countries retreating from Euro these days.
US on the other hand; if not properly controlled; may affect even to the security matters - just wait if New York started to feel the pinch and everything will start to lead to one problem to another. (esp. security matters) I do not know if US need to cut down on foreign assistance at the moment - but if this is the case, then the fiscal pinch may affect the amount of such aid. If I may say, I hope that New York can start efforts of working together with other financial hubs to become a network of global capitals. The only setback is the global political stability as whenever there are plans of more effective and beneficial integration, the political element has to be part and parcel of financial market. Of course, I don't need to tell how much US can save by less interfering in other countries internal affairs as what have been done in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. US Bush Administration has tried their best to save their economy but it is too sluggish - I hope they can crush their ego and restrategize - try to create a better relationships with other countries - they have tried too many models and these models just don't work...
We can no longer depend on IMF, World Bank (now almost irrelevant) and even the UN (they themselves are now in hot soup despite funded the US) but we have to do something NOW to create a healthier market - e.g. making more rooms for reserves. We know that UN's stand on Darfur, Georgia & Pakistan - total silence for unknown reason.
When I talk about integration or interdepence, I'm not really pointing towards globalization as it is still a concept of uncertainty that may become a friend or a foe. That is too much for a small guy like me to anticipate. Just referring to the good ol' concept working together as a team. This 'teamwork' may lead to good global financial governance will create better monetary policies, securities regulations and even signifcant changes can be made to auditing and accounting standards.
Where would be the ideal starting point? The answer is the first tier - Banking and Financial Institutions. I would like to open this suggestion to Asia (or SEA) as Asia is a very unique continent that has always found a way towards survival. (perhaps some democratization of financial policies should be in place) Most important is TRUST and coordinated efforts one another - as every bankers and financiers have all the knowledge. (Don't wait for someone else to start first) There should be no more too much dependency on certain elite groups or industries that are 'controlling the financial world' and we have seen the impact when these 'big mega industries' started to fall. (NASTY!)
Again, my 2 sens worth!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
This Time, Uncle Sam Has Got Our Back
By Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Perry MehrlingThursday, October 9, 2008; Page A21
For starters, the biggest subprime mortgage gamblers have already failed, been nationalized or been married off, shotgun-style, to banks run by grown-ups. Yes, lots of small shoes may still drop, but the Paulson "buy-up" bill, and, ultimately, the Fed's ability to print money, provides the Treasury and Federal Reserve all the tools they need. The media don't seem to have noticed, but Section 113 of the bill authorizes government capital infusions into the banking system as necessary -- something the British government is now doing and the Swedish government successfully did in the recent past. That means any bank with a viable business will not be allowed to fail simply because it is temporarily undercapitalized.
This may sound like socialism or state capitalism, but it's simply rearranging the financial furniture. As Americans have freaked out, Uncle Sam has stepped up. He'll continue doing so until we realize the sky is not falling. The $700 billion rescue authorizes the federal government to keep doing what it has been doing for the past year to the tune of $400 billion -- buying distressed assets at bargain-basement prices and selling insurance at high premiums. If all works out, Uncle Sam will make a killing. This would be great, given our government's real problem -- paying the long-term Social Security and medical costs of retiring baby boomers.
Point three is clear: This financial chaos has ruined our sleep but left our physical and human capital unscathed. We have the same productive capacity today we had a year ago. And if our capital hasn't changed, we've suffered no overall capital loss.
The economic tragedy comes if we get hypnotized by the bad news, ignore the good news, fight about things we're already doing (e.g., having Uncle Sam buy and insure troubled assets) and pull our economic heads inside our shells. We Americans have lots of moxie. What we need is a strong pep talk and absolute assurance that credit will continue to flow, that insurance policies will continue to be honored, and that Uncle Sam is willing and able to invest directly in the private economy on our behalf.
So after scaring us half to death, this would be a good time for our other uncles -- Hank and Ben -- to make clear that we're heading for a safe landing and that there is no way in hell they will let this economy go down the tubes.
Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University, is co-author of "Spend 'Til the End." Perry Mehrling is a professor of economics at Columbia University's Barnard College and author of "Fischer Black and the Revolutionary Idea of Finance."
Some of the fault lies closer to home - By John Gapper
Published: October 8 2008 19:06 Last updated: October 8 2008 22:37
The previous moment of maximum danger for British banks in my lifetime came in 1973 when, during the secondary banking crisis, National Westminster Bank needed to assure investors that it was solvent. Words would not do this week: public money was required to prop up NatWest’s parent bank RBS.
When in trouble, humans tend to blame others and many British people have blamed Americans for the subprime mortgage mess, which started the global financial crisis. If only the Wall Street banks had not cooked up loans for people who could not afford to repay them, things would have been all right.
The British, Irish, Spanish and others could have carried on enjoying sharply rising property prices and cheap mortgages. European governments would not have spent the week gazumping each other with ever higher guarantees of assistance to their own country's banks.
Americans, meanwhile, are taking it out on Wall Street financiers. Dick Fuld, chairman of Lehman Brothers, and Martin Sullivan, former chief executive of American International Group, were hauled in front of a congressional committee to account for their blunders.
Both were excoriated by politicians for the millions they received in the good times. They looked, as Samuel Pepys wrote in October 1660 of a Puritan soldier who was hanged, drawn and quartered, “as cheerful as any man could do in that condition”.
There is no question that professionals of many nationalities – bankers, financiers, estate agents and regulators – behaved badly. They got paid a lot of money and wilfully loosened credit restrictions to keep house prices rising and bonuses flowing. Many of them, although far from all, were American.
But I would like to propose another culprit for the difficulty that many economies are in: you and I. We home buyers and mortgage borrowers share the blame, whether we are American, British or Icelandic.
Take nationality first. A year ago, when the US subprime mortgage debacle was evident but the British housing market was still doing well, I took a trip to London from my home in New York. On a visit to friends in west London, I was struck by the number of houses in their street with “To Let” boards outside.
At the time, there was a lot of talk about how the UK housing market differed from that of the US because it was a small island with a limited housing stock, there was no equivalent of subprime lending and so on. But those “To Let” boards said something different to me.
They showed that cheap debt and rising asset prices had led to housing speculation all over the world; it just took different forms. In wide, flat Florida it created sprawls of condominium apartments; in densely packed UK cities it generated a rush into buy-to-let properties. For subprime mortgages in the US, read “self-certified” UK loans.
The US housing market had unique flaws: the outsized role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home loan agencies; low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve after September 11, 2001; high fees that gave estate agents and loan appraisers incentives to pump out mortgages.
But the housing bubble was global. It was financed by securities that were constructed and sold as much in London as New York and people from many nations borrowed to buy homes. Wednesday’s co-ordinated interest rate cuts, and part-nationalisation of UK banks, illustrate that.
Then there is our tendency to blame everything on bankers and other financial professionals. Here too, we are kidding ourselves. Bankers did many foolish – and, in some cases, unethical – things during the boom. But they did not force people to buy houses or take out mortgages; they mostly provided enough rope for borrowers to hang themselves.
In the past, people used to rely on bankers to guard themselves from their own worst financial instincts. They might have wanted to borrow 100 per cent (or 125 per cent) of the value of a home without the need to demonstrate thrift and reliability by making a down-payment. But they were shown the door.
Without bankers saying “no”, many people borrowed to the hilt, assuming that rising asset prices had eliminated all risk. Some confined themselves to buying bigger houses for themselves, while others bought second and third homes to rent them out while their capital appreciated.
We know why this occurred because we all lived through it, and financial bubbles are peculiarly intoxicating. When you are surrounded by people constantly talking about how much money they have made (on paper) by buying a house, you end up wanting to get a piece of the action and fearing being left behind.
It was the madness of crowds and, unlike some bouts, it crossed borders. Even countries with comparatively low rates of home ownership, such as Germany and Belgium, were caught up in the speculative rush.
Human nature is not going to change so public policy cannot focus – beyond the need for more financial education – on eliminating our urge to get rich quick. It is more practical to sharpen up regulation and reduce the incentives for bankers to finance our foolishness in future.
But, if for no other reason than to increase our chances of doing better next time, we must beware of blaming bankers and foreigners for everything. The fault lies closer to home.