THAT the countrys economic managers would try to portray the latest news about foreign remittances as a success is perhaps inevitable; but there is no real way that they can claim to have convinced the overseas Pakistani that Pakistan was a better place to send back his money. Be that as it may, the remittances from overseas Pakistanis, have increased substantially this year. So far, in the first 11 months of this financial year, remittances have reached $8054.47 million, up $988.21 million over last year. It should be noted that there is still all of June to pass by, before there is a final figure, but already remittances have exceeded the $8 billion level for the first time ever. This reflects either that Pakistanis abroad are earning more money than ever before, and are thus able to send more money home, or else it reflects the global financial crisis caused by the collapse of Greek foreign debt in addition to the housing crisis that is sapping the USAs financial health along with the gargantuan efforts it is making to pay for its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. If the former, the remittances would rise or at least stay where they are, and if the latter, the remittances will last at their present high as long as overseas Pakistanis feel that their money is unsafe abroad. There is also the belief that the money is now being sent through regular banking channels, and thus coming on record. If the supposed increase is merely an accounting trick, it will last, though it also begs the question as to why informal channels were so popular before. This latest news would also provide one more reason for there to be questions raised about the welfare of the people. News of a slight fall in foreign exchange reserves from historically high levels has also come, but the question remains of how does all of this affect the man in the street, the average citizen, while he tries to face the shortages that afflict him. If these remittances are not used in the national interest, they will be useless.