Super Bowl Commercial From Best Buy

Recently, while wasting time and watching television, I saw a commercial that I thought was a FIRM ASSET. It was the same commercial that was played during the Super Bowl. During the first fifteen to twenty seconds, the commercial had short clips of professionals who said what they created. For example, the first guy was named Philippe Kahn who created the camera phone, the next guy was Ray Kurzweil who invented text-to-speech synthesis and speech recognition technology, followed by a few others like Matti Makkonen who created text messaging and so on and so on. Immediately, the commercial had me hooked because all these everyday things that I see, use, and watch other people use, I can now know who created them. Usually, the only tech guys that an average Joe will know are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Other than that, we do not really know who invented the Hi-Def television or the person who created the GPS and all the other great technological advances that have happened in the past two and a half decades.

This made me assume that the commercial was for a social media website or some innovative new company that was trying to explain the power of innovation. Better yet, maybe it was an inspirational commercial that was trying to inspire us through the economic problems of today. I waited patiently to see what this commercial was trying to sell me or in fact what statement it was trying to make. Also, I should admit the background music was a great way to create suspense. It was a great usage of mellow tones with a slight progression. So I listened and waited….

While watching and hearing all of this I knew this commercial was going somewhere with a strong statement. What was interesting was that it was not. The commercial ended with a staff of employers from Best Buy, the electronic department store. That was a pretty big let down. However, Best Buy was smart in creating social recognition for all these great innovators, while manifesting a brand image that was trying to connect them to that type of environment.

Yet, in the end, all Best Buy was stating that all these great innovations for smart phones can be seen and bought at their stores with all the notable carriers in the U.S.A. I would give kudos to the marketing team behind this idea because the emotion stirred from the music and the filming was done very well and hit home. On the other hand, I felt that this message could have been better used to create inspiration for young aspiring inventors to create something on their own. I do have to say, Best Buy is not doing too well economically, so maybe when people do want to buy a smart phone, people will likely remember to go to Best Buy first.

Firm Asset Writer Fahad Shariff

A Firm Asset I Would Vote For

Make More Sense Than Mitt Romeny

Do Sanctions Work?

While reading the news recently, I have been seeing the word ‘sanction’ multiple times. While listening to the news on various channels, many report on countries that are being sanctioned in the world by international organizations or by various countries.  Pondering about what do sanction exactly do, I thought about the implications of a sanction. Some countries use sanctions as a way to punish another country to stop doing things that may be harmful to the world or to their own people. Of course, this is their opinion, but doesn’t the sanctions ultimately hurt the general base population more than the more privileged in the society.

One way to sanction a country is to stop its international trade and to stop its international transactions with its central banks, which both lead to a heavy impact on the economy of the country. Ultimately, it will leave less money in the peoples’ pockets as a whole, which means less money circulating in the economy, which leads to less economic growth. The consumption is lowered, investment will take a hit since their is no strong investment that will be profitable, and the government has a cut in funds since the tax revenue will decrease. My intuition states that if all these negative events occur simultaneously, won’t the people begin to revolt and question the government or the particular reason they are being sanctioned? With a riled population, the government may become afraid because their power will become undermined leading to a possible regime change. This will probably be the ultimate result that the countries or organizations enforcing the sanctions want.

There are some instances where I can understand why this process is effective, however, doesn’t it show that the country or organization that has the power to sanction, has too much power? If someone has enough influence to stop another country’s economy, basically it can control that country on the basis that money is the very important to any country’s existence. From another aspect, what if the government that the sanctioned country was voted by its people. Now after being voted by the people, a foreign country imposes sanctions. This seems to me that this does not give the general population of that country the proper rights as they deserve to elect their own officials who they feel represent them.

After learning more about what is happening in Syria and the sanctions that are being imposed on that country, a person who supported the opposition to the Syrian government stated that they general population want the sanctions because it will threaten the current government to clean up its act on its corrupt ways. He admitted that the Syrians are sacrificing today for a better tomorrow. But, how long will they be able to handle this and will their economy be hurt for sometime to come in the future? Will they be able to handle a new lifestyle after their is a regime change?

I hope that I at least brought another side to the impact of sanctions. If I made have stated something incorrectly, let me know, however, if you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.

What is a Firm Asset?

A firm asset is strictly an objective opinion of what I believe is beneficial economic insight for people who are interested in global economics. I am an undergraduate student who is studying Economics and has a concentration in Chinese. When I read about the global economic news, there are some aspects of economic insight that I feel is not taken into consideration. For example, there has been a growing real estate bubble in China, but in my opinion, I realize that some of the demand that fuels home-buying is that when a woman marries a man, she would prefer a man who is stable and has his own home. This drives the demand of buying a home and thus increases the price of property. This is a part of the modern Chinese culture and because China has such a large population, the amount of marriages they have is probably larger than that of foreign countries. As long as woman demand homes, the price will continue to go higher. Of course, there is a slow down in growth in China, but this is just my opinion

With my insight taking into account the economics, the culture, and the politics of the issues that I look at, I hope  this will help me, as well as, my readers to see a different perspective.

Keep in mind that I am not the most knowledgeable person in Economics, however, it is something that I have an affinity for. If I have made a mistake or said something that was not right, please let me know. I am not perfect, but I do want to maintain my website as a Firm Asset.

With that being said, is a website that watches the global curve in the International market.

Saudi Arabia = Firm Asset


I think Saudi Arabia will be a growing impact on the global economy. A country that has a history of nomadic tribes and known for its vast amounts of oil is successfully diversifying its business ventures and becoming less oil reliant. Of course, this is a slow transition, but in 2011 “the non-oil component of the economy expanded by 7.8% (” This is a growing trend in other places in the Middle East such as Qatar, where  an official has announced investing money into alternative energy’s and in Dubai where it heavily relies on its financial sector, its real estate sector, and its tourism sector.

Although I have heard much about other countries in this particular region, there is not much being reported about Saudi Arabia’s rise in the global economy. Saudi Arabia has been ranked 16th by the World’s Bank 2009 Ease of Doing Business index. It is ranked 27th in the world for global competitiveness. It is building multiple “Economic Cities” across the country to invite foreign direct investment in different sectors of its economy. Recently, Mars Inc, the candy company, invested $210 million for the next 10 years in building a factory that will supply the Middle East region with its products ( In a statement, the Mars Inc. Representative made it a point to say that this move is to “develop and nurture Saudi talent.” However, the future is not relying on just one company that has invested in this particular economic city. In 2007, the government began to develop two economic cities that gave foreign investors a place to settle down as if it was their home country. It is a “policy at SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority) that hosts the needs of the corporations within an environment that suit the needs of businessmen” of foreign countries (

Having stated many positives about Saudi Arabian business practices has overshadowed the culturally gap that it has holds with Western countries. The treatment of woman in Saudi Arabia is something that is not exactly approved by the U.S.A. and it has a history of not treating lowing class citizens well. My opinion on its treatment of woman is that it is a theocratic monarchy. The country is supposed to follow the rules of the land and these are rules of Saudi Arabia. Things may change in the future and we have all witnessed the changes across the Middle East so we will have to wait and see. The ill-treatment of its immigrant working class is prevalent throughout the Middle East, and every western country has a demographic that is employed for low skill cheap labor so I believe this is an effect of the capitalistic system.

All in all, Saudi Arabia is a Firm Asset. I will include other aspects about Saudi Arabia in later posts such as its investments in commodities and its stock exchange, Tadawul. If I made any mistake please correct me and if you have any questions feel free to comment me on the firmassets website.