The end of the story.. Iraq is a prisoner of the dollar, and there are no solutions on the horizon that “reduce” the exchange rates - Urgent[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] |Today[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Baghdad today - Baghdad
The Iraqi dinar has been falling relative to the US dollar since the year 2020, when Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s government decided to raise its exchange rate to 1,450 dinars per dollar, until it reached today close to 1,600 in what is called the “parallel market” or “black markets,” despite its reduction from Before the Sudanese government reached 1300, but in reality these markets and their masters are the ones who control the exchange rate.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
In an interview with “Baghdad Today,” economic expert Nasser Al-Kanani described the attempts of the government and the central bank to control the exchange rate as “patchy measures,” saying, “Most of the decisions taken by the government and the central bank are patchwork decisions that do not address the problem.”
At the end of last year, the US Federal Reserve informed the Central Bank of Iraq of the need to prevent 4 private banks from entering the currency auction on charges of their involvement in smuggling currency to a country on which the United States imposes severe sanctions. These are the banks (Middle East, Al-Ansari, Al-Qabeel, and Asia), which own most of the capital. Its money is businessman Ali Ghulam.
Despite the implementation of this order by the Central Bank, the four banks are still practicing their banking work, but they are prohibited from entering into the currency auction. Following this action, the US Federal Reserve imposed new controls on the central bank for selling currency to merchants and banks.
The procedures included submitting statements about the entity benefiting from the dollar, whether at home or abroad, within a maximum period of 24 hours, instead of 20 days as was the previous deadline, which directly contributed to the reluctance of private banks, merchants, and money exchange owners from entering the currency auction for fear of being included. With punitive measures preventing them from practicing their work, according to what was stated in the US Federal Reserve’s statement.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
An electronic platform was imposed on Iraq to sell the dollar, as the Central Bank of Iraq directed, on January 29 of this year, to stop work on cash sales of the US dollar, and cash will be sold through the electronic platform only.
In addition, the government has come up with a plan to impose dealing in the Iraqi dinar in markets and retail stores in various governorates, and the security services have warned that failure to adhere to this will expose merchants to legal accountability, but to no avail, as economic expert Salam Sumaisem commented by saying that “any police action in this The issue will lead to dealing in the dollar being hidden and in closed rooms, and that these procedures are wrong, and that the alternative to that is to convert all government transactions to the Iraqi dinar, which is what the government began implementing recently by imposing the government authorities to sell airline tickets for Iraqi Airlines in dinars instead of dollars, if necessary. For more similar actions.
Iraq is a prisoner of the US dollar
Economist Nabil Al-Marsoumi discussed the plan for foreign transfers using a basket of currencies and its impact on addressing the dollar crisis in Iraq, on his Facebook page, saying:“In the context of researching new measures to control the large discrepancy in the exchange rate of the dollar against the dinar between the official and parallel markets, the Central Bank of Iraq announced the opening of transfer channels in different currencies, including the Emirati dirham, the Turkish lira, the Indian rupee, and the euro, for the purpose of facilitating and accelerating financial transactions, which in theory will reduce... of import costs and protects exchange rates inside Iraq from the risks of fluctuation,” indicating that “there is caution that this mechanism will have its effects on the Iraqi economy, which will face the risk of rising prices of foreign goods and commodities directly linked to the rise and fall in the prices of the dollar globally, as this decision will face the challenges of the lack of The Chinese currency and other currencies are in Iraqi banks, which means that the goods that Iraq will buy from China and other countries will be calculated in their currency, but their value will be paid in dollars, because Iraqi banks do not have enough foreign currencies to settle their commercial transactions. The bank has previously stated thatThe Central Bank decided to deal directly in trade exchanges with China in the Chinese yuan instead of the dollar.
Yesterday, Sunday, the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, said, “The bank is proceeding to dispense with external transfers next year, and is seeking to open channels of direct communication for Iraqi banks with their foreign counterparts in correspondence, commercial exchange, and other matters. This came in intensive stages, while what is currently underway is opening transfer channels in different currencies.” Including (the Emirati dirham, the Turkish lira, the Indian rupee, and the euro).”
Al-Marsoumi continued: “Although Iraq began diversifying its cash reserves six years ago, the dollar prevails because oil revenues are in dollars, and it only has a few of the currencies mentioned, as Iraq today is trying to restore the value of the dinar through a strategy that is now being followed by other official banks in the Middle East.” .
He explained, "This strategy includes relying on a basket of currencies, as the authorities seek to provide other foreign currencies for commercial transactions in addition to the US dollar. It is known that many countries have begun taking the same steps that the Central Bank of Iraq is taking, and others have already begun implementing them, as Saudi Arabia issued a decision that includes obtaining... On the Chinese yuan instead of the dollar in exchange for oil sold to China, while Egypt decided to replace guarantee bonds with the yuan instead of the dollar, before Israel followed suit, which also announced the use of the Chinese yuan alongside the Canadian and Australian dollars as a direct alternative to the US dollar.
He continued, "As long as oil is priced in dollars and as long as oil exports dominate Iraqi exports in light of the almost complete disappearance of non-oil exports, it becomes impossible for Iraq to liberate itself from the US dollar, as Iraq ultimately needs the dollar to obtain other currencies, and therefore Iraq's reliance on... “It will not change anything about the yuan and other currencies to finance its foreign trade with China and other countries, and it will remain captive to the dollar.”
He pointed out that "it is uncertain whether adopting a basket of currencies in commercial transactions between Iraq and certain other countries will help overcome the risks of the exchange rate problem, which means that the issue is related to controlling dollar smuggling more than other measures that will save the country's national economy." And avoid any serious financial repercussions.
Between monetary and trade policy
Economist Nasser Al-Kinani adds, “Iraq imports most consumer goods through black transfers, so the dollar exchange rate will continue to rise and will not stabilize without bold decisions by the government and the central bank.”
However, former official at the Central Bank, Mahmoud Dagher, confirmed in previous statements that “those who believe that monetary policy in Iraq can work alone are mistaken. Rather, it must work in harmony with financial and trade policy, so that the economic policy model for Iraq is valid.”
Mahmoud Dagher added, “Exchange rates are the core of monetary policy in Iraq, because we import everything and do not manufacture or grow, and therefore trade policy is in direct contact with monetary policy and helps it reach good results,” indicating that “trade policy is responsible for the entry of goods.” From countries with which Iraq does not have banking transactions, and to which prices are paid in black dollars, in addition to the presence of unofficial outlets and the entry of goods without customs.”
The former Director General of Debt at the Central Bank explained, “This process creates additional demand for the dollar outside the platform approved by the Central Bank and outside Iraq’s monetary policy, which leads to a rise in exchange rates,” stressing that “the only solution is to link all countries’ transactions to the system.” banking, controlling ports and entry of goods.”
For his part, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, the economic advisor to the Prime Minister, said that the monetary policy of the Central Bank under Law No. 56 of 2004 is to preserve the purchasing power of the Iraqi dinar, and that dealing locally in any currency other than the Iraqi dinar leads to striking centers of economic stability.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]The Central Bank's procedures require restricting dealing with the dinar, according to Saleh, who confirms that the goal of this campaign is to reduce local market turmoil, noting that currency dualism is one of the most dangerous aspects facing countries.
The Prime Minister's economic advisor confirms that recent government policies through the central bank's currency selling platform have led to a decline in the dollar exchange rate, but organized crime gangs continue to smuggle currency.
Saleh believes that this rise will be temporary, and that the government has actually begun to reduce this phenomenon, and that the dinar will rise again soon, pointing out that the lack of widespread knowledge among Iraqis about using credit cards has caused this problem, and that the government has begun a series of measures to reduce the smuggling of these cards, This is what I succeeded in over the past few days.
When will the crisis end?
Mahmoud Dagher earlier pointed out that “isolating the economy from politics is difficult and that the content of the current crisis in reality is the conflict between the United States and Iran, and mainly the nature of trade relations between Iraq and Iran.”
He explained, "Expectations in such crises are difficult, because Iraq engages in trade amounting to approximately 10 billion dollars, and therefore millions of dollars are withdrawn monthly, and this is difficult to stop."[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
As for the head of the Al-Amsar Center for Strategic and Economic Studies, Dr. Raed Al-Azzawi, in press statements, he said, “It is clear that the raging conflict between Washington and Tehran is having a stifling effect on Iraq economically, as the steps of the US Federal Reserve led to curbing the flow of funds in dollars to Iran from Iraq, despite There are, of course, many ways to smuggle it there, and unfortunately the Iraqi government and people are the ones paying the price for this matter.”
He added, "Despite the talks between the US Federal Reserve and the Central Bank of Iraq to remedy and address the crisis, it seems that no concrete solutions have been reached yet, as there are demands from the American side to stop large and unjustified financial transfers to Iran, and to control the entry and exit of the dollar from Iraq, and in return." It seems that there is pressure from Iran and from Iraqi political parties affiliated with Tehran, to push towards maintaining dollar smuggling operations to Iran, and the beneficiaries of this are not limited to the Iranian side only, but there are other countries that benefit from dollar smuggling from Iraq, such as Syria and Turkey.”
While the Future Center for Strategic Studies believes that “immediate solutions and treatments must be put forward in the foreseeable and medium term to confront and contain the crisis of the rise in the exchange rate, and what is basically known includes how to manage the American-Iranian conflict in Iraq and directly negotiate how to distance oneself from the repercussions of this conflict and get rid of... Submitting to the tools and means of both parties to bend the other’s arm, but there are no positive indicators that the current government has for success in this mission, especially with the unwillingness of both parties to concede because it means a decline in the influence of one of them in Iraq at the expense of the other, and this context has worrying repercussions in the balance of power and mutual deterrence between the two parties and their allies.”
The citizen pays the price
The Iraqi dinar continues to fall against the dollar in commercial transactions, amid warnings from economists about the impact of the new decline on the prices of imported foodstuffs, and calls for the Central Bank to undertake new financial reforms to support the stability of the dinar.
Hussam Al-Khaizan, a financial expert at the Baghdad Stock Exchange, confirmed in press statements that “continuous speculation in hard currency and smuggling still threaten the value of the Iraqi dinar.”[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Al-Khayzaran added, "Smuggling and speculation networks have found new ways to avoid the Central Bank's measures," calling on "the authorities to take new steps to address the crisis of the deteriorating value of the national currency."
He considered that "families pay the highest price, because most food items are imported and linked to the dollar, not the dinar," expecting "a new rise in poverty rates if the dinar's value decline and instability continue."
In media statements, economic researcher Ahmed Abd Rabbo called on the Central Bank of Iraq to launch a new reform package that will restore stability to the dollar exchange rates.
While financial expert Ziad Al-Hashemi confirmed, in his blog post, that “the scarcity of the dollar supply in the local market has led to new rises in its exchange rates,” expecting “more rises.”
Source: Baghdad Al-Youm + agencies