hello again my friends. its your bud here with another worth of a take on what i see happening within the borders called iraq. and it is really good news from my vantage point! the topic of this opinion piece is the '6 major factors that influence an exchange rate'. i will cover each factor briefly in reference to iraq and hope to derive whether or not those invested are either in a good or bad position.
as many know, the importance of an exchange rate revolves around one country's trading relationships with other nations. trade relationships is the sole purpose of an exchange rate. where there is no international trade, an exchange rate tied to a currency has no domestic significance. with this in mind lets peer into the 6 factors of exchange rate influence between iraq and its trading partners.
1) Inflation - iraq has done a fantastic job steering its inflation rate. the latest report (aug 2015) has inflation at 2.2%. some economists would mark this as the ideal inflation rate. this places iraq is a great position with trading partners for determining a strong exchange rate to the iqd.
2) Interest Rates - iraq has maintained a steady interest rate of 6% over the last 5 years. compared to other nations, it is a phenomenal rate. the importance here is the attractiveness it has to foreign investors. should iraq sure up the security situation with daesh and clean up political corruption, foreign investors might feel confident enough to pour funds into iraq at these rates.
3) Current-Account - iraq has done quite well between trading partners and has held a positive current account balance (exports vs imports) over the previous 9 years except for 2010. oil is its primary export and it has been strong enough a commodity to keep iraq experiencing gains in its current accounts. as iraq build its non-oil sector through the plan for increased industry and agriculture, exports should increase and it will be reflected in the current account.
4) Public Debt - this is where the hidden gem is revealed and the reason for the title of my opinion piece. everything in the papers speak to iraq's "deficit financing". however for some reason it appears to be seen in a negative light. my opinion is much different. not all debt is good but in this instant i definitely believe it is. when most developing nations look to expand its economic markets as iraq is doing, there will be an inevitable deficit to fiscal policy (the budget). in the short term, this is a very very good thing! where most under developed nations utilize deficit financing for payment of domestic and foreign loans, this does not hold true for iraq. iraq is using this tool as developed nations would, for capital formation for economic growth and boosting the private sector. this type of debt is the best stimulate for the economy in the short term. (here is a good slide-show presentation explaining deficit financing.)
5) Terms of Trade - balance of trade for iraq is simply outstanding and last reported at approximately $40B usd ($44B previous year). compared to turkey (-$6B usd), japan (-$268B yen), germany $24B eur. i would say that iraq comparatively has a case for a strong dinar. its current accounts and balance of trades are unbeatable (maybe a little exaggeration there).
6) Political Stability & Economic Performance - well, you can't shine everywhere . unfortunately this important piece is dragging iraq down.....and i mean wayyyyyyyy down. nobody in their right mind want to stick hundreds of millions in an environment like this. this area alone is holding iraq back the most. all things considered, if this one area is corrected there is no reason why foreign investment wont flood the country and the domestic currency surge in demand.
there you have it gang. hopefully this piece wasn't too long. this should give us all a solid overview of the factors that influence the dinars TRUE exchange rate the most. from it we should be able to make a sound judgement on where the currency is headed and whether or not we want to remain involved.
Posted on May 16, 2015by Martin Armstrong
This Sovereign Debt Crisis is the nature of the beast we face. Understanding that crisis is half the battle for after the business cycle turns, there will be a lot of finger-pointing but you can bet it will never be pointing at government. It does not matter what country we are from, the people are the same. The audience last night in Warsaw was articulate, understood, and the audience made it known that they too distrust government. It really matters not our nationality. People never start wars, only governments which are not the people.
It is also never private debt that causes the end of a nation, it is the debt of government. When people default, their assets are seized and they were often thrown in debtors prison. When government defaults, you get revolution. Adam Smith called this the highest impertinence of kings to pretend to watch over the debts of the people and not their own. This cycle of political change is about 309.6 years. The last wave began in the 1600s and culminated in the late 1700s, The wave before that is where capitalism began during the 14th century with the reintroduction of wages and taxes following the Black Death of 1346-1353.
The American people were not in support of the revolution until the very end like a Phase Transition. Those who wanted to leave Britain were only about 33%. Then a writer issued a pamphlet by the name of Thomas Paine entitled Common Sense. Paine explained that the nation or society is only the people and that government views itself as the nation yet is entirely different right from its origin. He further explained that “Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse (cooperation of people creating an economy) the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.”
We can see that despite the American and French Revolutions, government reverts always back to the dominant punisher assuming the very same power against which the people revolted to begin with. We can see Thomas Paine’s words are applicable today. The US government called Snowden a traitor for telling the people the government was illegally searching and seizing everything. It was irrelevant that he informed the people about the illegal acts of government. It was treason by their definition because he revealed what they were doing illegally to the people. That reflect what Paine said – they see themselves as the nation not the people who they exploit for their own survival.
Understanding who is the enemy is the very first step in the reform process. About every 309 years we reach a crisis in government. This has been resolved unfortunately with violence for whoever is in power never goes quietly into the light. The late 1700s was of course the American and French Revolutions and today the people of both nations have less rights than existed when they rose up in their respective revolutions. Both were sparked by a debt crisis.
In Britain, George III needed money so badly, he was taking Spanish coins and counterstamping his own image and making them English. The Assignates were paper money issued by the French that was back by confiscating the property of the Catholic Church. The Crown had bailed out the debt of the Mississippi Bubble of 1720 and that imposed harsh taxes upon the French people. We are in the very same position of a Sovereign Debt Crisis once again that is turning to confiscating everything we have as well as government is always driven by debt.
Thomas Jefferson was highly practical. He wanted the Constitution to automatically expire every 19 years and he was against any government debt. Why? A national debt to Jefferson was taxing the next generation without representation. Indeed, we are being heavily taxed to support the continued rollover of debt.
Without question, this is where we are once again. Jefferson understood looking at history that it repeats because human nature never changes. He saw war was caused by standing armies and once government is paying to maintain such a force, it is like have a car you never drive.
If we look back 309 years from the 1700s, we come to the 14th-15th centuries. In Florence it began with a revolution where they too ran out and hanged bankers. The great series of tax revolts began on that cycle in England and France that finally culminated following the Black Death (1346–53) where capitalism really began with the reintroduction of wages given the shortage of labor.
Perhaps this time we can put pressure for political change in eliminating debts and this viscous cycle of Sovereign Debt Defaults that destroy society. We can prepare for our individual survival by comprehending the nature of the beast. As was discussed in the session in Warsaw, it is true gold is no longer the savior since we cannot hop on a plane with a briefcase full of gold and seek a new start. Gold’s role may be local and in an underground economy, but make no mistake about that, government is well aware of that role as well.
Governments are robbing anything travelers might have these days. There were even signs in Poland warning if you have more than €10,000 in cash or “assets” when traveling it was illegal. They will look for jewelry, stocks, gold, or diamonds. Anything they deem of value they can confiscate.
This is a new age of authoritarianism and is not ending nicely. The idea of crypto-currencies is also rather foolish for nothing can compete against a government that is ruthless and broke. They have the guns and then tanks and will use them against the people. Our hope is to identify the problem and spread the word. Yeltsin stood on the tanks in Russia and asked the troops not to fire on their own people. If the pawns of government refuse to massacre their own people, then we can win. It is critical to understand that police and military will become the tool for both sides.
This is why Brussels is now calling for a European Army. That will be their power and sending Greek troops into Germany will prevent the troops from siding with the people. This is also why there is a mad rush to create robots for war. They have no emotions and cannot be turned. Government understands their weak-link for throughout history it has always been the loyalty of the troops.
That is what we must understand and we must understand that private assets are the means to survive – not pensions or government bonds. Eliminating cash is their way to force people into banks and prevent a bank-run. That will end in the total authoritarian government for you will not be allowed to buy or sell except without the grace of government.
I am trying to understand what the community is referring too when the topic of taxes are raised as it relates to the impending CE. I asked my tax advisor, and he explained to me that because the Currency being exchanged is in fact a debt note, and NOT a SECURITY, there are no taxes to be paid on any gains realized when the exchange is completed... so, please help me with understanding what I'm missing... Thanks everyone~!
Confessions of an Over-Saver: Why I Hate Spending Money
Karen Mazzola, as told to Alden Wicker Posted on May 31, 2013
Everyone is talking about the crisis among twentysomethings. We don’t save enough. We’re behind on retirement. Our loans are untenable. We have high credit card debt.
I’m a 27-year-old legal consultant in New York City. I don’t make six figures, but I make a comfortable income. And I like saving. A lot. Maybe a little too much.
I max out my 401(k), have a robust savings account and no credit card debt, and I paid off $34,000 in student loans in less than a year. Even my parents think I’m an over-saver, and they save a lot.
The author, Karen Mazzola at her mother’s wedding, where she wore a dress from Filene’s Basement and made her own bouquet. What Made Me This Way
I was raised on Staten Island, New York in a middle class family. My dad was a teacher, and my mom worked for the government. We were generally financially secure, though somewhere below what would be termed “comfortable.” But for some reason, I got it into my head at a young age that we were poorer than we were.
It probably had something to do with the fact that both my parents came from poor families. My dad’s parents were both factory workers who lived in Brooklyn in an apartment with no heat. When the factories would close down for a month in the summer, they went on temporary welfare.
My mother grew up the oldest girl of seven kids in a two-bedroom house in Queens. She went to Queens College even though she was valedictorian of her class, because it was all her family could afford. I think she’s always regretted that she didn’t go somewhere fancier, so she’s made it her goal to give me and my brother as much as she could.
For this reason, she tended to spoil us. I had several dozen Barbies, the Barbie dream house, the Barbie limo, the Barbie yacht (that thing had a working blender on it) and nice clothes.
Of course, my mom bought everything on sale whenever she could, because that’s just how we roll in our family. And the rest of her money she saved and put in savings bonds … so she could give it to me and my brother later.
(She gave my brother the down payment for his first condo and money for his next home with his wife, the result of saving a little bit of each paycheck since the day he was born.)
I walk to work—it takes a half hour each way—rather than spend $2.50 each way on subway fare. That also saved me from getting a gym membership.
I saw my parents fight about money a couple of times, and they were separated by the time I was eight. Though I later found out that their divorce was for very different reasons, I think that in my head I at least partly attributed their separation to money, which made me think that more money equaled less discord.
How I Got Four Degrees and Owed Just $34,000
My mom had saved money for college, but she thought it made more sense to go to undergrad for free and then go to a good graduate school. I applied to nine schools, got into all nine and I got four merit-based full-ride scholarships. Out of those four, I chose my favorite, the University of Delaware.
College was basically free. My full ride came with housing and meals. I usually had some money left over from my book stipend, and I would live on that. I rarely ate outside of my meal plan. I didn’t drink until I was 21. There wasn’t much to do in my college town, and campus events were free or very cheap. I didn’t have a car, so I went to the mall maybe twice.
The only thing I paid for was study abroad in Australia (and I went back for free as a teaching assistant the next year) and some summer classes, since I was getting two degrees, in civil engineering and English.
After I graduated, I went straight to law school at Cornell. I used all the money my mom had saved for college, and during the summers I worked at a law firm. The rest of my degree I financed with the maximum amount of federal subsidized student loans.
My second and third years in law school, I was a residential adviser. I loved being an R.A., but saving $10,000 a year on housing was definitely the impetus. I cooked most of my own food. My budget for going out and eating and drinking was probably less than $50 a month. I still had no car.
When I did one more year at NYU to get my master’s in tax law, I lived with my dad in his studio in the city, even though all my friends lived in a dorm by the school. By the time I graduated, I had four degrees and only $34,000 in student loans.
The day I graduated from law school in 2011, my mom found out she had breast cancer. I moved back home to live with her on Long Island, and used that time to apply for jobs. I got a job offer in the late fall, right around the time my mom finished with her surgeries and my student loans kicked in. My dad moved to Florida, so I moved back into his apartment in the city.
Transitioning to Adulthood—and Saving Even More
As soon as I started my job, I maxed out my 401(k) by putting in 21% of every paycheck. I put at least $1,600 (half of my take-home pay) toward my student loans each month – more than four times the minimum payment. My mom put $600 toward paying them off as well.
The rest of my paycheck went toward roughly $700 for maintenance on my dad’s apartment, $100 for cable, $50 for utilities, $100 for groceries (vegetarianism and home cooking for the win!), $100 to charity, and a little bit to occasionally go out. I also tried to put money in my savings account, but inevitably took it out to put toward my loans anyway.
While it might not be everyone’s idea of fun, I was obsessed with budgeting. Every dollar I spent on things other than loans had a 6.55% surcharge in my mind, because that was the percent I was being charged on my loans.
I was really into online calculators and I maintained a massive spreadsheet detailing the principal, daily interest I was paying, and how much I would save overall if I paid off my loans faster.
I was spending $5 a day in interest in the beginning, so I balanced this by walking to work—it takes a half hour each way—rather than spend $2.50 each way on subway fare.
That also saved me from getting a gym membership and being crushed in rush hour subway traffic. I didn’t go out to eat often, if at all. I never got takeout.
When I went drinking with my friends, I only paid in cash because then you can’t get a crazy bill, and you won’t forget your credit card somewhere. When the introductory price ran out on my cable, I cancelled it and switched to a digital antenna and a streaming video subscription.
I will not pay retail on clothing—the most I’ve spent on a single piece of clothing this year was $100 on a deeply-discounted coat.
I feel like there are two types of shoppers: hunter/gatherers like me, and farmers. The latter like everything in rows, organized by color and size, and they pay full price for the convenience. But I like to hunt for the one perfect piece and I will not spend more than 50% of the original price.
My goal is to get 80% to 90% off. To do this, I go to stores like Marshalls and Century 21 (and then head straight to the sale section) or browse eBay and the local thrift stores.
I have not taken a single day off work since I started 15 months ago. I reasoned that if I quit or got fired (not likely, but you never know), I would get paid for those vacation days. Each one is worth around $300, so I would think to myself, “Do I want this day off or do I want the $300?”
I’m not sure if my bosses have noticed I’ve never taken a vacation day, but they definitely know I’m a saver. At work we generally congregate in the conference room for lunch after everyone gets takeout from various restaurants, but I always bring my lunch.
I can’t fathom spending $15 for the convenience of having someone else make a salad for me when I don’t even spend $15 on my whole week of lunches—and they’re healthy (and delicious) lunches with lots of fresh veggies.
So yeah, I’m vocal about it.
My friends make fun of me sometimes, but in a good-natured way. Many are also recent law school grads, and they have incredible student loans, so they understand. We’ll get dollar pizza and Trader Joe’s wine and play video games at my apartment or go to dive bars.
Sometimes they’ll comment on the fact that I’m more frugal than they are even though I no longer have loans and don’t pay full rent, but not in a negative way. I think anyone who would seriously criticize you for not spending as much them is a jerk, and I probably wouldn’t want to be friends with them anyway.
Oh, and I never use my credit card. I probably have a terrible credit score, but I won’t need to take out any new loans any time soon. I just really hate paying interest.
Bye-Bye, Student Loans
I paid off my loans in September, less than a year after they kicked in, saving myself over $11,000 in interest. I switched from playing with loan calculators to retirement calculators (I love online calculators), and maxed out my IRA.
I check my net worth every day and examine my spending using an online budgeting tool, like the LearnVest Money Center.
In the past, I’ve never had more than $2,000 or $3,000 in the bank because I immediately put it toward my loans. Now I have real money, and I don’t know what to do with it! I’ll probably invest in the stock market or redo the bathroom in my apartment.
I do spend a little more than I used to, and I don’t feel as guilty. If I see a piece of clothing I like, I’ll give myself a pep talk. “It’s $30, you like it, and you can afford it.” I still only buy items when they’re on sale, though.
I feel like my life is pretty full, though I’m terrible at dating. I like to pay for my own food and drinks on a date, and I’ll think, do I like this guy enough to swipe my Metro Card to get there, pay $20 for food, $10 for drinks, and Metro Card it home? The answer is often no. But for my friends? I’ll pay that much to see them. It’s all about knowing what’s worth it to you.
I know what you’re thinking, and it’s true: I’m pretty responsible, but I couldn’t have gotten here without my parents’ help and guidance. I’m incredibly grateful, especially to my mom.
You know what my ultimate financial goal is? I hope to someday be rich enough that my mom never has to worry about money again. It’s probably impossible given her nature, but it’s my hope nonetheless.
Love reading other people’s financial tales? Check out more great LearnVest-exclusive personal stories.
World Bank Insider Blows Whistle on Corruption, Federal Reserve
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve. The network has seized control of the media to cover up its crimes, too, she explained. In an interview with The New American, Hudes said that when she tried to blow the whistle on multiple problems at the World Bank, she was fired for her efforts. Now, along with a network of fellow whistleblowers, Hudes is determined to expose and end the corruption. And she is confident of success.
Citing an explosive 2011 Swiss study published in the PLOS ONE journal on the “network of global corporate control,” Hudes pointed out that a small group of entities — mostly financial institutions and especially central banks — exert a massive amount of influence over the international economy from behind the scenes. “What is really going on is that the world’s resources are being dominated by this group,” she explained, adding that the “corrupt power grabbers” have managed to dominate the media as well. “They’re being allowed to do it.”
According to the peer-reviewed paper, which presented the first global investigation of ownership architecture in the international economy, transnational corporations form a “giant bow-tie structure.” A large portion of control, meanwhile, “flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions.” The researchers described the core as an “economic ‘super-entity’” that raises important issues for policymakers and researchers. Of course, the implications are enormous for citizens as well.
Hudes, an attorney who spent some two decades working in the World Bank’s legal department, has observed the machinations of the network up close. “I realized we were now dealing with something known as state capture, which is where the institutions of government are co-opted by the group that’s corrupt,” she told The New American in a phone interview. “The pillars of the U.S. government — some of them — are dysfunctional because of state capture; this is a big story, this is a big cover up.”
At the heart of the network, Hudes said, are 147 financial institutions and central banks — especially the Federal Reserve, which was created by Congress but is owned by essentially a cartel of private banks. “This is a story about how the international financial system was secretly gamed, mostly by central banks — they’re the ones we are talking about,” she explained. “The central bankers have been gaming the system. I would say that this is a power grab.”
The Fed in particular is at the very center of the network and the coverup, Hudes continued, citing a policy and oversight body that includes top government and Fed officials. Central bankers have also been manipulating gold prices, she added, echoing widespread concerns that The New American has documented extensively. Indeed, even the inaccurate World Bank financial statements that Hudes has been trying to expose are linked to the U.S. central bank, she said.
“The group that we’re talking about from the Zurich study — that’s the Federal Reserve; it has some other pieces to it, but that’s the Federal Reserve,” Hudes explained. “So the Federal Reserve secretly dominated the world economy using secret, interlocking corporate directorates, and terrorizing anybody who managed to figure out that they were having any kind of role, and putting people in very important positions so that they could get a free pass.”
The shadowy but immensely powerful Bank for International Settlements serves as “the club of these private central bankers,” Hudes continued. “Now, are people going to want interest on their country’s debts to continue to be paid to that group when they find out the secret tricks that that group has been doing? Don’t forget how they’ve enriched themselves extraordinarily and how they’ve taken taxpayer money for the bailout.”
As far as intervening in the gold price, Hudes said it was an effort by the powerful network and its central banks to “hold onto its paper currency” — a suspicion shared by many analysts and even senior government officials. The World Bank whistleblower also said that contrary to official claims, she did not believe there was any gold being held in Fort Knox. Even congressmen and foreign governments have tried to find out if the precious metals were still there, but they met with little success. Hudes, however, believes the scam will eventually come undone.
“This is like crooks trying to figure out where they can go hide. It’s a mafia,” she said. “These culprits that have grabbed all this economic power have succeeded in infiltrating both sides of the issue, so you will find people who are supposedly trying to fight corruption who are just there to spread disinformation and as a placeholder to trip up anybody who manages to get their act together.… Those thugs think that if they can keep the world ignorant, they can bleed it longer.”
Of course, the major corruption at the highest levels of government and business is not a new phenomenon. Georgetown University historian and Professor Carroll Quigley, who served as President Bill Clinton’s mentor, for example, wrote about the scheme in his 1966 book Tragedy And Hope: A History Of The World In Our Time. The heavyweight academic, who was allowed to review documents belonging to the top echelons of the global establishment, even explained how the corrupt system would work — remarkably similar to what Hudes describes.
"The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole,” wrote Prof. Quigley, who agreed with the goals but not the secrecy. “This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations."
But it is not going to happen, Hudes said — at least not if she has something do to with it. While the media are dominated by the “power grabber” network, Hudes has been working with foreign governments, reporters, U.S. officials, state governments, and a broad coalition of fellow whistleblowers to blow the entire scam wide open. There has been quite a bit of interest, too, particularly among foreign governments and state officials in the United States.
Citing the wisdom of America’s Founding Fathers in creating a federal system of government with multiple layers of checks and balances, Hudes said she was confident that the network would eventually be exposed and subjected to the rule of law, stopping the secret corruption. If and when that happens — even if it may be disorderly — Hudes says precious metals will once again play a role in imposing discipline on the monetary system. The rule of law would also be restored, she said, and the public will demand a proper press to stay informed.
“We’re going to have a cleaned-up financial system, that’s where it is going, but in the meantime, people who didn’t know how the system was gamed are going to find out,” she said. “We’re going to have a different kind of international financial system.... It’ll be a new kind of world where people know what’s going on — no more backroom deals; that’s not going to keep happening. We’re going to have a different kind of media if people don’t want to be dominated and controlled, which I don’t think they do.”
While Hudes sounded upbeat, she recognizes that the world is facing serious danger right now — there are even plans in place to impose martial law in the United States, she said. The next steps will be critical for humanity. As such, Hudes argues, it is crucial that the people of the world find out about the lawlessness, corruption, and thievery that are going on at the highest levels — and put a stop to it once and for all. The consequences of inaction would be disastrous.