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  1. Socal you going to mining district meeting Saturday 9am, red roof inn, victorville off mariposa rd
  2. laid back, maybe right they pull in the 50 dinars (done) next the 250 and then 500 now you have old notes new note coming 1.000 1 5,000 5 10.000 10 25.000 25 50.000 50 100.000 100 they said the old and new would be equal if i read it right, then move to 1 to 1 just tossing it out there not a lopster
  3. if they pull this off then the goverment will take more and more land, all part of the agenda 21 act ( human reduction act has i call it) they try it in glamas but the off roads were helping replant the seeds by driving on them
  4. dame wish i would have seen this last week I would have can out, would have brought the jack hammer always next time right before the goverment closes it down because of a weed growing out there, anything to take away our land
  5. Iraq's implosion could redraw Middle East boundaries By Samia Nakhoul BEIRUT Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:52pm EDT The capture of Iraqi cities Mosul and Tikrit by al-Qaeda-influenced jihadists has not only redrawn the map of a country corroded by sectarian hatred. It could also redesign Middle Eastern national boundaries set nearly a century ago after the fall of the Ottoman empire, and lead to a forging of new regional alliances. As well-armed forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) raised their black flags over Mosul this week, routing an Iraqi army that fled rather than fight, the future of Iraq as a unitary state hung in the balance. As they pressed south towards Baghdad, the rest of the region, the United States and other powers woke up to the prospect that this Jihadi comeback could establish a dangerous base in the heart of the Middle East - an Afghanistan on the Mediterranean. "What we are witnessing is the fragmentation of power. The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will never be able to centralize power in the same way he has," says Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East expert at the London School of Economics. "We are seeing a redrawing of boundaries for sure," he said. As the conflict escalated, Iraq's most senior Shiite cleric on Friday urged his followers to take up arms to defend themselves against the Sunni revolt. A rare message from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest religious authority for Shiites in Iraq, said people should unite to fight back against the insurgency by ISIS fighters and former Saddam loyalists. Sistanis's intervention followed the failure of the government of Nuri al-Maliki, the Shi'ite prime minister re-elected in April, to convene a quorum in parliament to grant him emergency powers. Sunni and Kurdish lawmakers had stayed away. A stunned region The peshmerga forces of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq meanwhile seized Kirkuk, the oil-rich region bordering their self-governing territory, stepping into a security vacuum to claim a prize they have always regarded as their own. The ease with which ISIS, a Sunni Jihadi movement that has fed on the civil war in Syria and staked out the ungoverned space between eastern Syria and western Iraq, swept into Iraqi cities has stunned a region seemingly inured to shock. The insurgents, led by Iraqis who broke with al-Qaeda, are pressing south to Baghdad. Some experts say they may be over-reaching. But while ISIS's predecessors were defeated in 2007-08 by Sunni tribal militias empowered by U.S. forces, ISIS has exploited Sunni anger at Maliki's sectarianism and inherited networks from Saddam Hussein's army. "ISIS has been able to embed itself with a disaffected and alienated Sunni community", says Gerges. "In fact, the most important development about ISIS in the last year is its ability to recruit former officers and soldiers of the dissolved Iraqi army. If you observe how ISIS has been waging war you see a skilled mini army, confident, that has command and control, is motivated and using war tactics." The ISIS advance has been joined by former Baathist officers who were loyal to Saddam as well as disaffected armed groups and tribes who want to topple Maliki. So far the towns and cities that have fallen to the militants have been Sunni. "The Sunnis of Iraq are willing to go to bed with the devil to defeat Maliki, this is where the danger lies," Gerges said. Redrawing the borders The million-strong Iraqi army, by contrast, trained by the United States at a cost of more than $20bn, is hobbled by low morale and corruption that impedes its supply lines. Its effectiveness is hurt by a perception among Sunnis that it pursues the hostile interests of the Shiites, a majority in Iraq, raised to power by the U.S. led invasion of 2003. The Kurdish capture of Kirkuk overturns a fragile balance of power that has held Iraq together since Saddam's fall. Iraq's Kurds have done well since 2003, running their own affairs while being given a fixed percentage of the country's overall oil revenue. But with full control of Kirkuk - and the vast oil deposits beneath it - they could earn more on their own, eliminating the incentive to remain part of a failing Iraq. U.S. President Barack Obama threatened military strikes against ISIS, highlighting the gravity of the group's threat to redraw borders in a region already wracked by war. Hayder al-Khoei, Associate Fellow at Chatham House, said the jihadi onslaught leaves Washington in an awkward position. "With US-made military vehicles and weapons being paraded by jihadists in Mosul, policy-makers will be questioning the effectiveness of providing Baghdad with even more military hardware that may end up in the hands of the very people they want to defeat," he said. Ambivalent to hostile Reactions inside the region are ambivalent to hostile. Deep down Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies, which have never reconciled themselves to the loss of Sunni-ruled Iraq to the Shiites, detest Maliki for his alliance with non-Arab Shi'ite Iran. They would like to see Maliki brought down but did not want al-Qaeda affiliates to be the ones doing it. They believe Iran, backed by its allies, wants to build a Shi'ite crescent from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon. "I can imagine a Saudi official saying 'the wrong people are doing the right thing'," said Jamal Khashoggi, head of a TV news station owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. On the other hand, Iran, which has strong leverage in Iraq, is so alarmed by the ISIS advances that it may be ready to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back. A senior Iranian official told Reuters the idea is being discussed among the Islamic Republic's leadership. For now, officials say, Iran will send its neighbor advisers and weaponry, although probably not troops, to help Maliki. Turkey, which has turned a blind eye to Jihadists crossing its border to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is not ready to intervene militarily because it fears its own sectarian demons and will focus on securing its borders, experts say. The Kurds, crucial players, will likely resist Baghdad's calls to be drawn in by sending troops to recapture Mosul and other towns. They will instead consolidate their presence in Kirkuk and along their borders, Kurdish officials said. Iran weighing in Iraq watchers say ISIS, estimated to have a few thousand fighters inside Iraq, won't be able to advance into Baghdad, a capital of 6 million where Maliki has his special forces deployed, backed by Iranian-trained militias. "I don't think they will run as far as Baghdad. They haven't got the numbers, they overreached themselves...It is more about the weakness of the Iraqi state than it is about the state of ISIS," said Toby Dodge, Director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics. Just as there is little chance of ISIS taking over the Shi'ite-dominated capital, the Iraqi army is unlikely to dislodge ISIS from Mosul or regain full control of the north of the country, even with Shi'ite militia volunteers and likely Iranian support. With the rising Sunni insurgency, Iran may have to weigh in to salvage its ally and Tehran's influence in Iraq as it did in neighboring Syria. Diplomatic sources said Iran already has high-ranking commanders, including two close aides of Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards elite Quds force, regularly holding meetings with Maliki. Malikis' mobilization of Shi'ite militias, endorsed by the highest religious authority, has the potential to trigger all-out sectarian strife, analysts say. And there are concerns that Iraq might disintegrate into sectarian and tribal conflict, shattering into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish entities. "Maliki is playing with fire by trying to unleash Shi'ite militias, this is a recipe for disaster. That's exactly what ISIS wants - to trigger all-out sectarian war," Gerges said. "Iraq has never healed, it is a mutilated country. The crisis is reaching a tipping point whereby Iraq will splinter into 3 or 4 states or reconcile. To reconcile you need a new leader, a new mindset and you don't have it there."
  6. I get it from NEWS SITES just like everyone else, no biggie i can always not post what i read. Just like i just read 4000 arrived in baghdad and 3000 arrived in sulaymaniyah
  7. A security source revealed, Wednesday, for the arrival of 4,000 U.S. troops to Baghdad International Airport for the award of the security forces in the fight against "Daash." The source said that "4,000 troops Amarki arrived today, to Baghdad International Airport, coming from a military base in Turkey to support the elements of the Iraqi army in the face of the organization" Daash "terrorist according to the strategic agreement signed between the two countries." And add that "the security forces regained control of most areas of Mosul and Salahuddin remote control" Daash "on a number of villages and airport Sharqat military watchtowers in Baiji."
  8. Baghdad: security source said, Wednesday, that there is news about the arrival of five thousand U.S. troops to Iraq to participate military operations. The source told "tomorrow's Press," that "there is news about the arrival of five thousand U.S. troops to Baghdad airport, this afternoon." The source, who requested anonymity, that "it is likely to be involved these forces conducted a military operation at midnight today," without giving further details. The militants Daash took control, on Tuesday, the province of Nineveh, fully and marched to spend Alherquae, escaped governor of Nineveh province and officials all the leaders of the army and police to Arbil, the militants seized control of the military headquarters and seized the banks, government and airport preservation and fled all the prisoners from the prison Badush, while Prime Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on high alert and called on the House to convene an emergency session to declare a state of emergency in the country. It is noteworthy that Iraq and the United States signed at the end of November 2008, agreement was called the strategic framework to support the ministries and agencies of the Iraqi transition from the strategic partnership with the Republic of Iraq to the areas of economic, diplomatic, cultural and security, as well as providing important sustainable for the rule of law, including the police development program and the completion of coordination and supervision and the report of the Fund for Iraq relief and reconstruction.
  9. A report issued by the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) , based in London warned on Thursday from the bankruptcy of Iraq in three years because of the budget deficit , which now threatens the Iraqi oil sector clearly , as the report indicated that the military operations in Anbar cost per day seven million dollars. According to the report , the deficit exceeded $ 50 billion , Iraq would be at risk of bankruptcy in 2017 . Iraq will be unable to pay the salaries of its employees . It seems that the indicators of bankruptcy is looming , especially that the Iraqi government pays the salaries of its employees , including the salaries of the staff of Kurdistan Region in monthly form, which has allocated 4.5 billion dollars for February and did not send the salaries of next March , because the available amount is not enough but for one-third of the staff of Iraq . The report pointed out that the deduction of 15% of the budget allocated to investments in oil has contributed to reduce Iraqi exports of 2.62 million barrels per day to 2.28 million barrels per day during the past three months , what impact clearly on state revenues and plans to increase exports to more than 3.5 million barrels during 2014 . The report adds, that the giant oil companies are unable to cope with the volatile environment of the Iraqi economy threatening to withdraw from it. In addition to the security factor that reveals the financial and administrative corruption, bureaucracy, lack of experience and the need for Iraq to infrastructure and train 70 thousand workers in the oil sector to reach the desired goals. The report refers that “BP “company has cancelled contracts of dozens of foreign contractors in South Rumaila field and threatened to withdraw from Eni Zubair field in Basra because of bureaucratic complications that delayed the signing one of the contracts for six months. The cost of Anbar war is 7 million dollars a day It seems that the budget deficit in Iraq has contributed to weaken the state's ability to establish security , being engaged in a war in Anbar that cost the Iraqi economy seven million dollars a day , which is exhausting burden to the budget and affect the state's ability to carry its other burden in the defense of the rest of Iraq . The report of ICDS notes to the real deficit in the Iraqi budget which has risen today to 32 billion dollars in the absence of an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil on oil exports , the adoption of five dollars in compensation to each oil producer province and the adoption of laws that do not fit with Iraq's ability to carry its financialburden. The budget deficit is not justified ICDS believes that the deficit is not justified , for the fact that the budget has been prepared on the basis of price of $ 90 a barrel , while the price of oil did not get less than $ 100 , meaning that the budget must achieve a large surplus , especially that the completion rates in most Iraqi provinces did not exceed 40 % and in some of them was zero. In addition for that, the retained amounts from previous budgets up to 2012 was more than 50 billion dollars , raising questions about the real reason to talk about the deficit , if not a new attempt aimed to steal the public money and convert the benefits to personal gains of senior officials in the state. Nouveaux The report of the International Center for Development Studies explains that financial and administrative corruption in Iraq has led to the emergence of a new class of rich people and new entrepreneurs affiliated with the Iraqi government , who came to get rich quickly , prompting the emergence of a market for luxury goods in Iraq , most notably the private aircraft in which its prices could reach $ 16 million , while a third of the Iraqi people live under the poverty line . That issue has led the Ministry of Transport to issue checks for the purchase of these aircraft , which means that the volume of applications submitted needed the issuance of such instructions. The report expressed surprise that economist and advisers to the Iraqi government were able to prepare budgets since 2004 , in the absence of clear closing accounts that show real spending for its resources and allows control orders on the exchange , indicating clearly the fears of disclosing them and deliberately hiding them for fear of detecting large financial and administrative corruption in Iraq for years
  10. By David Kashi on November 14 2013 6:48 AM Iraq oil A worker rides a bicycle at Najaf oil refinery in Najaf, 160 km (99 miles) south of Baghdad, October 3, 2013. Iraq exported an average of 2.07 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in September, the lowest rate so far this year, oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said on Friday. The slowdown was due to maintenance and expansion of Iraq's southern export terminals, Jihad said. In August, Iraq exported an average 2.579 million bpd. Picture taken October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Mousa While recent headlines out of Iraq mostly tell of worsening sectarian strife, the troubled nation is on the cusp of reasserting its place as a premier player in oil production and export. And according to a recent report from U.K. bank Standard Chartered, Iraq is poised to ramp up its production faster than any other nation and has the potential to become the world's largest crude exporter. Between now and 2035, Iraq could potentially generate approximately $5 trillion in oil revenue, or about 40 times the country’s 2010 GDP, according to International Energy Agency estimates from October 2012. Iraq oil and gas fields Location of Iraq’s oil and gas fields. Hydrocarbon resources are geographically highly concentrated Standard Chartered Research “Not only does Iraq have massive oil reserves, extremely favorable geology makes its crude oil among the cheapest in the world to exploit,” the report said. The IEA estimates that the investment required for a new energy supply infrastructure will total more than $530 billion. How Syria Is Losing Out To Turkey On Oil Yes, Syria, Too, Has Oil And Gas Iraq's proven reserve Iraq’s proven oil reserves and probable potential. Standard Chartered Research But if Iraq wants to become an oil-production leader, it will have to overcome political instability, and first of all stop attacks on its oil infrastructure. Already the latest projections put Iraq’s crude output at 6.08 million barrels per day (mmbd) by 2017, about half of the 12 million barrels a day previously forecast. While Iraq faces challenges and setbacks, the report points to new fields coming online that will help increase production, offsetting the recent shortfall. "One advantage Iraq’s oil fields have over the rest of the world is its geology, which makes drilling less complicated and expensive than in countries like U.S., Canada and Brazil. Furthermore, Iraq’s crude requires less-intensive refining than competitors." Crude oil average extraction cost Crude oil average extraction costs. Standard Chartered Research “Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show the sharp difference in average exploitation costs between Iraq (less than $5 per barrel of oil) and anywhere in the world, including the rest of the Middle East,” the report stated.
  11. NEW YORK/ERBIL,—The NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and the Erbil Stock Exchange (ESX) have signed an agreement to power the ESX with NASDAQ OMX’s X-stream trading technology to increase market participant involvement, in the region and internationally. X-stream will provide ESX with a solution to trade equities and debt instruments, and position ESX to move into other asset classes as its market expands. “This is a historical moment that not only illustrates our strategic relationship with NASDAQ OMX, but also, by the creation of a modern stock exchange, will support a market-oriented economy and promote investment in the Kurdistan region,” said Abdullah Ahmed Abdul Raheem, Chairman, ESX. ESX’s decision to adapt X-stream technology from NASDAQ OMX is the result of a comprehensive market analysis by the ESX Board and its advisor, the Louis Borger Group Inc. (LBG). The analysis supported ESX’s belief that multiple markets must operate in a very similar manner, enabling investors to move seamlessly between the markets with their investment activity. The X-stream platform will provide ESX with proven access to international investors and will ensure that ESX will remain current with the most updated trading platform technologies and trends facilitating regional and global securities business. The new trading platform can also disseminate real-time market data and may be also used as an index calculation engine. The new trading system will be implemented in a two-phased process: phase one is the actual delivery of X-stream, which includes the configuration, installation and testing of a customized X-stream version that meets ESX business requirements; the second phase will cover the ongoing support and maintenance of the system, for a period of five years, utilizing NASDAQ OMX’s extensive global status as a market and technology leader, and its customer support network. "This partnership with ESX is an exciting opportunity to help establish a new open and transparent market that will expand their business and bring investors to the region,” said Lars Ottersgård, Senior Vice President, Market Technology, NASDAQ OMX. “NASDAQ OMX, like ESX, have the belief that well-functioning capital markets are cornerstones for economic development and encourage a well-balenced model of growth.” NASDAQ OMX's X-stream technology is currently used by over 26 exchanges, making it one of the most widely-operated trading systems in the world. About NASDAQ OMX: The inventor of the electronic exchange, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., fuels economies and provides transformative technologies for the entire lifecycle of a trade - from risk management to trade to surveillance to clearing. In the U.S. and Europe, we own and operate 26 markets, 3 clearinghouses and 5 central securities depositories supporting equities, options, fixed income, derivatives, commodities, futures and structured products. Able to process more than 1 million messages per second at sub-40 microsecond speeds with 99.99% uptime, our technology drives more than 70 marketplaces in 50 developed and emerging countries into the future, powering 1 in 10 of the world's securities transactions. Our award-winning data products and worldwide indexes are the benchmarks in the financial industry. Home to approximately 3,400 listed companies worth $6 trillion in market cap whose innovations shape our world, we give the ideas of tomorrow access to capital today. Welcome to where the world takes a big leap forward, daily. Welcome to the NASDAQ OMX Century. To learn more, visit Follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( (Symbol: NDAQ and member of S&P 500) About ERBIL STOCK EXCHANGE: ESX is a private sector led initiative with committed Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) support. It positions Kurdistan as a gateway to investment in Iraq and its growth-oriented companies. ESX was set-up as a joint stock company with share-ownership from day 1 with majority ownership by the private sector. ESX has an initial capitalization of over IQD10 billion (US$8 million) with 56 shareholders comprising reputable companies, financial institutions, chambers of commerce as well as the Ministry of Finance of KRG among others. ESX governance structure consist of a diversified 7-member Board of Directors. ESX is modern market that parallels legislation, regulations, institutions, technology, information and processing of the developed markets in the region. ESX falls under the regulatory purview and oversight of the Iraq Securities Commission (ISC) and the Kurdistan Governance Committee (KGC). ESX business model is designed to create a sustainable market with assured revenue streams from: • Primary Market (To Include Any New/Additional Offerings) Issuance of Equity and Fixed Income Securities; • Secondary Market Listing; • Government Securities Market; and • Growth in Market Capitalization (From New Issues, Stock Price Increases and Secondary Offerings). ESX business is set up to manage its own independent trading platform with the intent to share one common post-trade processing platform with other stock exchanges operating in Iraq under the regulatory oversight of the ISC. Among many other benefits, ESX will lower cost of capital to issuers; unlock value of the region’s companies; serve as the basis for firms to eventually list in other established markets,, increase awareness among investing public and enable better investment choices. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about X-stream and NASDAQ OMX's other products and offerings. We caution that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond NASDAQ OMX's control. These factors include, but are not limited to factors detailed in NASDAQ OMX's annual report on Form 10-K, and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements
  12. Iraq to Raise Bank Capital To Address Housing Crisis BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq plans to increase the combined capital of the only two governmental banks in the country, from about $23 million currently to about $360 million next year. Deputies in parliament say that this increase is aimed at supporting housing loans for citizens, in order to help them face the increasing housing crisis in the country. It is worth mentioning that Rasheed Bank’s capital is 2 billion Iraqi dinars (about $1.72 million) while Rafidain Bank’s capital is 25 billion dinars ($21.5 million). In May 2012, the council of ministers agreed to increase the capital of Rafidain Bank to 400 billion dinars and that of Rasheed Bank to 300 billion dinars, using the two banks' general reserve funds. However, the increase was not included in the 2013 budget. An informed source in the Iraqi Ministry of Finance told Al-Monitor, “The country's public budget for 2014 includes a capital increase for Rasheed Bank from 2 billion Iraqi dinars, and for Rafidain Bank from 25 billion dinars, to 200 billion dinars (about $180 million) for each of them.” The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, added, “The government's plan to raise the capital of the two banks consists of two phases. The first is supposed to be implemented next year, and the second will be implemented by 2015, when the capital of the two banks will be doubled again.” For his part, Ibrahim al-Mutlaq, a member of the parliamentary Economic Committee, told Al-Monitor, “The capital increase for Rasheed and Rafidain Banks is a step taken to support the credit scheme for citizens wishing to build residential units.” He added, “These two banks are running a credit program that will help citizens finance private housing projects. The most prominent feature of this program is the so-called ‘100 salaries' credit. This is a loan given to civil servants that is equivalent to 100 nominal [monthly] salaries, provided that the civil servant can show the bank a title deed for a residential unit in his name.” Mutlaq continued, “This program was halted due to an increased demand and lack of liquidity,” and confirmed that “Iraqis desperately need this loan due to the suffocating housing crisis affecting the country.” He explained, “The increase in the capital of the Rasheed and Rafidain Banks will be achieved in the 2014 budget.” As for the investment, he said, “The ‘100 salaries' loans do not yield the desired revenues for governmental banks. They are, however, designed to help people overcome the housing crisis.” Abdul Abbas Shayya, a member of the parliamentary Economic Committee, explained, “The increase in the capital of the two banks is not of great [significance]. Banks are not usually driven by capital, but rather by deposits and banking transactions.” Speaking to Al-Monitor, Shayya added, “Deposits in the two banks exceed 18 trillion dinars [$15.48 billion], which is not that big. Yet the banks are limited by the banking law and do not have the right to invest all of this money. They can only use these deposits to lend to employees if liquidity is available.” He pointed out that “Part of these deposits are frozen and can’t be used in investment projects.” Shayya said, "Iraq needs a new banking law that allows a transition from a totalitarian economy to an open-market economy.” Furthermore, Bassem Jamil Antoine, an Iraqi economic expert, said, “The capital of Rafidain Bank was 25 billion dinars, which hardly fulfills the needs of the bank, because it deals with many billions [of dinars].” Antoine told Al-Monitor, “The decision to increase the capital of the two banks came because of a similar increase in private banks, which will increase their capital by at least 250 billion dinars this year.” He explained, “These numbers are considered small compared to the volume of transactions and the deposit balance in the Rafidain and Rasheed Banks, which are government departments. Accordingly, government departments and ministries don't deposit their accounts in private banks.”
  13. [millionday] , forcing a number of government departments, employees receive their monthly salaries categories of cash very small up to the category of “250 dinars” and certainly that these currencies Small exist between them damaged and torn because of the large Tdoualh in the market reverse groups large. and because of monetary policy lagging in Iraq, the state project in the deletion of zeros from the national currency or issuance of the coin Majlan for unknown reasons. confirms senior officials in the Ministry of Finance that the issue of receipt of the damaged currency and replace it with a new process is vested in the Central Bank is solely responsible for this thing, and it must follow the plans set in love with those currencies of the market without causing any impact of it. [millionday] now let me have the floor and tell you about this piece of info [millionday] they were discussing in a meeting and this is a report that came from it --- the citizens are complaining about [millionday] the condition of the currency because they have as we see here --- taken the currency out of circulation that is higher then a 250 dinar and some are in such poor condition that the [millionday] merchants are no longer accepting them due to the inability to even know what they are for certain so here is what they have said [millionday] the report stated that they took the largest out because cbi was expected to activate the monetary policy and for "reasons unknown to them" they have not moved forward with this so, [millionday] they have now started with this ingenious plan and they have the banks giving out what they call a , "receipt slip" that is to Read more: The people who come to collect their pensions are not treated the same way as others,” Makiya complains. “To get clean, undamaged bank notes you have to pay the bankers a bribe.” Additionally Makiya says that if anybody complains about the IQD3,000 that is usually deducted from the payments by the bankers –a service fee taken for no apparent reason, she says - they are punished by being given even more of the damaged or distressed banknotes. “And then when you get the damaged bank notes you can’t do anything with them because nobody accepts this money,” Makiya says. The descriptions “talef” and “naqes” are often used by people like Makiya when they talk about money. Respectively the words mean damaged and missing and are terms used to describe the smaller notes – the IQD1,000 notes and the half and quarter dinar notes – that those who can’t afford to pay for better, bigger banknotes end up with. And there’s big business being done around the damaged bank notes in Iraq. Yousef Nafea has an exchange shop in Basra’s central Ashar market and he’s well known for his proficiency at fixing the damaged notes; he says he mostly uses transparent sellotape and that he heats it slightly to make the repairs invisible. Visiting him, one immediately notices the piles of notes on his desk. "I fix the damaged one, half and quarter dinar banknotes and sometimes I fix the hundred and the IQD1,000 banknotes too,” he explains. “If I am asked to fix the US$100 note then I have to take great care. Fixing these notes requires that the tape is cut in a special way so it doesn’t look like the bank note was damaged at all.” This kind of repair business is also done by local housewives. Rabab Hussein is one of them and she says she uses sellotape and clear nail polish. “The bank notes are often not only damaged, they are also dirty,” Hussein says. “And they’re ugly. And they’re not good quality, which is why they get damaged so easily,” she concludes. After the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein’s government, new currency was introduced and the bank notes were printed by a British company, De La Rue. Despite repeated calls for the bank notes to be reissued and the currency to be re-denominated, this has yet to happen. Hamid Ghani, the manager of the Iraqi Investment Bank’s branch in Basra believes that a vicious circle of profiteering has developed because of the damaged bank notes in smaller denominations. “The exchange shops make agreements with the bankers – and in some cases, with the bank managers – to replace the smaller notes with bigger ones, in return for a service fee,” Ghani explains. “The service fee is deposited at the bank, in the exchange shop owner’s account. He then withdraws that money in larger, undamaged denominations. In some cases, this equals millions of Iraqi dinars.” Indeed, exchanging one’s smaller bank notes for larger ones at local exchange shops – at a rate of IQD8,000 per million dinars – is common practice today. An example is provided by one local, Ahmad Nofal, who arrives at an exchange shop with two large bags stuffed with Iraqi dinar notes, denominations of one dinar and a quarter dinar. “We usually do this when we receive our salaries. We exchange these for bigger notes because the smaller notes are a hassle to carry around and if they’re damaged, we pay for that with our own money,” Nofal explained. After only a little research into this area, it is easy to conclude that when it comes to Iraqi currency, there are two social classes here. Those who earn good money and end up with clean notes like the red IQD25,000. And those who do not earn much and who are left with dirty and damaged notes in small, useless denominations. As Ayad Bader Sayah, another Basra exchange shop owner, tells NIQASH: "Customers who have accounts at the government banks come to an agreement with the cashiers and bankers and they are able to return the damaged, smaller notes and get IQD10,000 and IQD25,000 notes in return. Then the damaged bank notes are redistributed to those who can’t afford to pay for cleaner money, like the pensioners and low income families.” Although he himself makes some profit in this area, Sayah doesn’t seem that enthused about the business model. “We always hear that the central bank is going to replace the old bank notes but up until now, nothing has happened,” he notes. “And We’re not really happy with the profit we’re making,” he says, “because we know the poorest citizens are paying the price.”
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