Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wall Street vs Wall Street II

"Money never sleeps. Wake up!", "Greed is good", "Easy to get in, but hard to get out", etc. Ring any bells?

Yes, Wall Street! Wall Street is a street at the south end of Manhattan in New York City, where New York Stock Exchange and other leading U.S. financial institutions are located. It is used allusively to refer to the U.S. money market or financial interests. It is named after a wooden stockade that was built in 1653 around the original Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.

And I have just had the pleasure to sit down and watch the famous sequel of Wall Street, thanks to my wonderful winter break from my university. The first film, broadcasted in 1987, showed the dangers of playing with fire and money; while the sequel tries to show that money is not everything. Family, love and trust are the valuable things you can ever have. Personally i liked the first Wall Street better, because it really shows how really Wall Street runs, where the second was a mere blockbuster. It was bit disappointing. Perhaps, i expected too much. Overestimating usually tends to disappoint you, doesn't it? Well, i have posted the two trailers for you:

WALL STREET (1987)






WALL STREET II: Money Never Sleeps (2010)



I'll let you enjoy and judge the movie.

Enjoy!
B

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Four Vulnerabilities of the 2010 Global Economy

I'm gonna keep it short, and post this awesome discussion happened at Carnegie Endownment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., about the vulnerabilities of the 2010 global economy.

Philip Suttle, the director of Global Macroeconomic Analysis, IIF states the following risk discussion on the following major four vulnerabilities in 2010 crisis:

1. Oil gives the world recession, same happened in 2008.
2. Fiscal issue. Turmoil in the treasury market.
3. Keeping fixed exchange rate in vulnerable credit environment, where unemployment rates go up in different regions in monetary zone. EU is facing this challenge of keeping the exchange rate fixed, and they will face this challenge for about 5 more years.
4. Banking.

Ring any bells?


SOURCE

economics: Four Vulnerabilities of the 2010 Global Economy. Video. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Web. 15 Feb. 2011.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poor Little Rich Girl


Dear Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan fans - do you know the socialite Edie Sedgwick? Factory girl is based on the rise and fall of the famous Edie Sedgwick. I know Andy Warhol's artworks and Bob Dylan's various songs, but I had no idea of HER existence. It was very fascinating to watch. The movie's plot is very well written and the scenes are very catchy and very Andy Warholish.





This movie is tragic, emotional and heartbreaking. I highly recommend you all to watch this movie if you haven't. Though the media and Bob Dylan criticized this movie to a great extent, i still think the movie is a brilliant movie, where all people can relate to. Loneliness, fame, friendship, love, career, money, industry, etc. Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" and "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" from his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde are about Sedgwick. His 1965 #2 single "Like a Rolling Stone" was also reportedly inspired by her.

Sienna Miller plays beautifully as a Edie Sedgwick, Guy Pearce plays as a bad Andy Warhol, and Hayden Christensen spices the movie as a Bob Dylan.

I'll leave it for you to judge. Enjoy!



EDIE SEDGWICK PHOTOS

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Batzul vs Danish Immigration Service


I have spent my Tsagaan Sar [Mongolian New Year] fighting against the Danish Immigration Service. I even forgot to do the morning 'muruu gargah' rituals and i ran straight to school! Felt terrible, cursing the Danish Immigration Service, I have managed to do the morning rituals the next day. I am not superstitious nor religious, but i just do it nevertheless.

PASSPORT EXTENSION - CHECK! BUT VISA - WHAT?

Lets get back to my case. Well, the thing is: i'm refusing to pay 1,600DKK to the Danish Immigration Service, which is equivalent to a USD 291,481, to extend my student visa. My visa was already given to me for my whole bachelors. The permit for my bachelors was given a shorter period of time due to my expiration date of my passport.

I went to Stockholm, Sweden, to extend my passport this January, since there was no Mongolian Embassy nor Consulate in Denmark. The newly established Mongolian Embassy in Stockholm is the one and only place, in the whole Scandinavian countries, where you can extend your passport or deal with visa and other problems. Everything was delightful and marvelous, the sun was shining and the morning was a 'GOOD MORNING' till the Immigration Service Representative started explaining how the rules regarding the immigration system changed, and started showing me the files of fees i have to pay in order to apply for an extension. The sun stopped shining immediately and the clouds prevailed the beautiful blue sky.


FEES FROM 2011 JANUARY 1.

The rules regarding the extension policy has changed in Denmark since January 1, 2011. I was certain that i would be exempted from this fee, since i had a contract explaining why i was given a shorter period of time. However, the Danish Immigration Service still demanded me to pay the fee, when i already had paid all the fees and proofs needed to get a permit for my whole bachelors two years ago before i came here. Why should i pay again? I will definitely pay for an extension for my masters, but i will NOT, and yes, i REFUSE to pay again for my bachelors.

Also, they kindly warned me that if i fail to pay/apply before the expiration date, i will be forced out of Denmark even if i am not finished studying my bachelors.

It seemed like the Danish Immigration Service has become a profit seeking place, because these fees do not guarantee that you will get the permit, so a lot of migrants and international students/wives/relatives are rejected and they apply over and over again to get a chance to live with their loved ones or study for a good degree. The enquiries for extension are always: whether you have paid enough tax and worked non-stop during your stay in Denmark or not.

I have talked to my University of Copenhagen's International Secretariat about this matter, but she explained no matter how sad and unfortunate the situation has become, the institute has no power over this matter. She wished me the very best of luck on a fight against the Immigration Office.

EXAMPLE 1

There are many examples of rejected applicants. A Chinese student, for instance, studying with a scholarship at RUC for her masters, got rejected because she had not worked enough during her studies. She explained how she couldn't work full time, while she was studying literally full-time. Plus the working permit she has on her visa, clearly states that, internationals are only allowed to work 15 hours per week! So why should she work full time?

Nevertheless she is applying once again for the residence permit, since her boyfriend is Danish, and she would like to work and stay longer in Denmark. She is paying 3,350DKK now twice.

She has studied in Denmark for 5 years; speaks perfect Danish; and has an excellent grades and an outstanding performances. Danish Expat studies always show that they need a lot of high skilled internationals, but why reject the highly skilled internationals that are already studying here in Denmark?

EXAMPLE 2

An Afghan translator who has served the Danish military for a number of years continues to be denied residency in DK. 22 year old Barialai Hassanzai returns to Afghanistan to act as a civilian interpreter for Danish troops in the dangerous Helmand province after again having had an application for permanent residency in DK turned down because he doesn't live up to the requirements of 'active citizenship' that requires at least 12 months participation in organization, social projects etc. He came to DK as a 13 year old in 2002 to be reunified with his mother who fled Afghanistan three years earlier. His mother and three younger siblings have all been granted residency, but now with the new strict rules of 2010, he is been rejected yet again. His comments were: 'i put my life on the line by helping Danish soldiers yet the Danish state continues to reject me'. The immigration service said sorry, but they explained how they have followed the correct procedure in the application process.

A LAWYER WHO SPEAKS ON BEHALF OF ME

Internationals are not the only people who think this point system is ridiculous. Some Danes think it is right, but some think it is absurb, ludicrous, and unrealistic. I have an advocate, whose hourly wage is 3000DKK per hour, helping me fight against the Danish Immigration Service FOR FREE; because she thinks and agrees that it is unacceptable that i am being charged when i have a contract that says i should get the visa immediately as soon as i extend my passport.

Pretty funny, isn't it? A lawyer that cost 3,000DKK an hour is helping me fight a case of worth 1,600DKK. LOL :D I am very fortunate and grateful that i am getting such a generous help.

DANISH IMMIGRATION SERVICE

Politicians are debating and talking about abolishing this point systems, but somehow Pia Kjærsgaards and Danish Folks Party always seem to brainwash people with her/their nationalistic points. For instance, this morning's front page of Berlingske newspaper stated that it takes 16,000,000,000DKK to take care of immigrants in Denmark, which is equivalent or close to the early retirement amount. Danes will clearly fuss and respond to this brainwashing big amount.

The question is: will Internationals, highly skilled or not, would like to stay and work here, after all this unwelcoming attitude?


I'll keep you posted regarding my case. Till then cross your fingers and wish me luck! And HAPPY NEW RABBIT YEAR, my dear Mongolians!

Best,
B

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Differentiated Attitude towards Internationals in DK

No one said living abroad was easy! I knew it wouldn't be a piece of cake, but i did not know that i was moving to such a discriminating, racist, pessimistic, complaining, and stereotyping country! Happiest country in the world? I absolutely not! There are so many depressed people EVERYWHERE in Denmark. The best healthcare system in the world? It has just been nominated as the "Cancer Country", because people consume excessive amount of alcohol and smoke. Did you all get blinded with Carlsberg Donations? Most uncorrupt country in the world? Highly unlikely, since connection is the "hidden translation" for corruption here. You can only get a job depending on who you know. Sounds familiar to a corruption? Perhaps, but it is called a "connection" here in Denmark!

I apologize for writing such an aggressive note on the first days of school, but I am writing the reality and I am writing, because nobody's expressing their feelings enough here. Internationals are extremely discriminated and treated separately compared to the natives in Denmark. There is no space for labour market for internationals. What's even worse, Denmark is talking about stopping their healthcare system for Internationals and stopping student grants for internationals and so forth. It is their way of fighting the bad economy. They say they only want the good internationals, not a poor and bad internationals. Fair enough, but does Denmark realize how bad image and message they are giving to the world? Is that the best solution you have to fight the bad economy? What are the Danish economists thinking??? Don't you think you have enough bad image after the cartoon crisis?

Also, the society in general! I wouldn't say that i have been everywhere in the world, but i have travelled to some decent extend, and Denmark is just simply the most depressing country ever! From a young age, they are taught to be normal and average. They do not encourage their students to apply to MIT, Harvard, Yale, Oxford or whatever; they would say, you should apply for University of Copenhagen and stay in their homeland. KU is not the worst place to study, but there are surely better schools! Due to this virtue, a lot of young genius Danes are stuck in Denmark without noticing they can do better! They don't get that they are actually really bright and witty people! The consequence is without a surprise: sadness, feeling inadequate, and just simply empty. Why would people ever like to feel normal? People should specialize and be good! They have every right to succeed and shine! Why this society always fade the light of their young students? Just looking at how the teachers grade their students at my school, i am just shocked at how low they evaluate people. With this grades, students will no longer have a possibility to apply for a greater universities elsewhere. They are simply ruining their opportunity to pursue a stronger and more firm study. I just don't get why they do this?

And Danes complain a lot. Like excessively a lot. Why do people always have to complain about everything? Why only focus on the faults? Why not on the goods? Why not appreciate a nice and a decent movie, a good art, a good music and a good book without complaining? Why do you always have to be so negative and so pessimistic? They do admit that they are so stressed and so close to being depressed. But they blame it on the lack of sun and the weather! Ha!

Also, what did Internationals do to make Danes such a protective and discriminating country ever? I understood from the bottom of my heart and to the bones that Denmark has a homogenous culture where you will always be an outsider if you were not born in this country.

I clearly understand that an excessive amount of international workers will lower your proud wages, but that is just a short term effect! Think about how the bright internationals can contribute later on! Why do you stereotype all the internationals as bad, or see internationals as a threat to your welfare system, beggars or whatever you call internationals. You want examples? How can Danish community send a letter to a woman who is married to a Dane, saying you are not allowed to get pregnant in Denmark? How can you ask international students to prove such a ridiculous amount of money in our own bank account, which most international students do not have! Most developing countries' students are dependent on their families and relatives.

No international would like to stay in such a discriminatory world. Only love and deep passion can make people stay. Internationals who fall in love with a Dane will stay, perhaps, but Denmark will loose some of their own citizens! Why would a Dane stay in Denmark if the Government is forbidding his wife to live in Denmark? People do crazy things in love and people will respond to incentives and move out for love!

I am one of the lucky internationals who had connections before i came to Denmark. I have made friends with many wonderful Danes (not all Danes are bitchy, annoying, and stereotyping). I am writing this to express how internationals feel left out and feel so miserable in Denmark. Language barrier, lack of 'connection', and the Danish society can make internationals very wretched and downcast. Is this humane?

I thought i came to a country where i would share an experience that i will share with proudness when i went back home, but Denmark do not deserve such a great tale from me or from any internationals residing in Denmark. This is from my experience, and many other internationals i know, who move out of Denmark even after finishing full bachelor and master degree in Denmark.

What is going on in this world????

Very worried,
Batzul