In Baghdad the security was increased due to the recent turmoil at the Church and at the Iraq Stock Exchange. I myself, went through several checkpoints consisting of the Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army that set up guard checkpoints on the road while I was travelling to a local Baghdad bank today.
Saudi Arabia has said it wants to bring Iraq back to the Arab fold. Iraqi National Coalition member, Al-Shalah has said that the National Coalition and the Kurdistan Alliance will not reject a Saudi Arabia invite. Shalah was quoted as saying “If the Arabs move one step towards us, we will move four steps towards them, provided that they move towards Iraq.” Sounds like some progress is being made.
The Al-Iraqiyah list has said continually through out this Iraq government deadlock that it will not participate in a Maliki led government.
The Iraqi people continue to suffer from lack of electricity as the government electricity is only on in certain neighborhoods for a few hours a day. The weather has been warm and mild this week and considered bearable compared to the summer months.
The rumors continue in reference to the small denominations. The truth of the matter is that these small denominations DO NOT exist inside Iraq. The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) is still continuing to sweep all government accounts by the order of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to determine the total amount of the governments money. There is a mistranslation here in regards to people reporting that 70% of the Iraqi dinar had been removed from circulation. The circulation of the Iraqi dinar is about the same if not more because there has been an increase of the Iraqi dinar’s that are being sold at the CBI auctions for U.S. dollars. The Iraqi’s still consider the green buck king as most of the large contracts are still denominated and dealt with in the U.S. Dollar.
The government of Iraq is learning how to operate with a limited government and is still operating to the best of their ability. All Iraq ministries as I’ve mentioned before have limited signature authority meaning they can sign a check for up to several million dollars without any oversight or problems. No one has questioned the ministries as of yet as there is no real government formed.
There is a plan in place for the new Iraq Dinar currency that will be issued at a later date and I can tell you that it is not the date that has been publicized. The CBI has reported that this would occur at the end of 2010 however, this date has been pushed back until much later in the year of 2011. The Ministry of Finance is still having issues trying to calculate the amount of funds in the government checkbook before the MOF signs off on any introduction of any new currency. The MOF is still in no rush at this time. Why would they be, there is no government to watch what the different ministries are doing.
The month of November is going to bring new dynamics to Iraq as the Iraqi government will attempt to form a fully operational government. Again, a prediction has been made by some that an RV will happen, this time in the month of November. These predictions are being made without thought and one really looking at the obstacles the common Iraqi citizen has to endure. I would like to note that its not just purchasing power that will make things all better. They still have daily issues that they deal with in regards to the lack of basic services. No infrastructure, cell phones that won’t work from one block to the next, also add the fact that they continue to have a lack of security as well as inflation that is still creeping upwards. My prediction is that there will not be an RV for the month of November 2010.
As always more to follow.
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