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Monday, November 28, 2016

Mountain Goat News Briefing for November 28, 2016

Mountain Goat News Brief


November 28, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Todays’ news is very, very exciting. It tells us so much about the dynamics going on in the Iraqi govt and between the Kurdistan region. Also about all the drama going on with the 2017 budget and it is absolutely amazing!

Last we knew they were supposed to take the final vote on Saturday 11/26. Did they? What happened?

We see it did not come up for a final vote due to more needed changes or disagreements so it was stalled again. We see some PMs wanted to continue to stall it again and again and even suggested holding the vote off until even next Thursday. But, as we read the articles below, we see pressure from Abadi to try to stop the delay. We see the pressure as they are down to the wire on getting the budget done.

This 2017 budget saga is all a very interesting as we, as outsiders, watch it all play out. But remember for the very first time they have never been in such critical stage for their nation, economically and financially and much of the future progress hedges on the success of this budget. Keep reading and you will find out why I am telling you all this today.

So much news too about the currency and the profiteering off the currency auctions. Are you tired of hearing about this too? Why won’t they just do something about it? I will tell you why.

The government is hesitant to do anything because they are going to force parliament to go along with the “project to delete the zeros”. This is a pressure tactic. They must fully justify it. Some say the CBI can do it without the govt approval. Yes this is legally true but this is not how politics work. They have a piece of legislation already written and ready to present to parliament once again on this project to delete the zeros just to get their buy-in. Do you see what they are trying to do. To ensure the success of the moving the "project to delete the zeros" forward again. But just how far can they go with the lessening reserves in the CBI?

If you have been following Mnt Goat news letters all along....I just think you are so smart now on what is REALLY happening with this RV. Thanks everyone for your continued support!

As always my comments are in italic RED.

Articles Begin

(The next of five articles all deal with the 2017 budget for the ongoing saga of getting the budget passed in parliament. If you read and follow the articles it is very interesting all the politics taking place. Please read what is going on to understand fully what Abadi has to go through just to get a piece of vital legislation passed in parliament. I placed them in sequence so as to understand them better.

So although we have seen much progress finally happening in Iraq, we can also see that there are still some blocks who oppose progress and are fighting this budget. Why? Incidentally the last article on this topic below is Abadi putting pressure on the Finance ministry to get it done ASAP or else.

Iraq might miss the 4 billion installment on the IMF loan. This loan is earmarked in the budget for many reconstruction projects. They only have till the first week in December to get the budget passed or else….?)


House of Representatives hearing The crowd waiting for the law to vote tomorrow (11/26) and reform "eager" for approval of 2017 budget

Long-Presse / Baghdad
His State of Law coalition, hopes to introduce his popular crowd Act to a vote in the parliament session on Saturday, while noting the reform front support for the passing of the bill with some "observations", he confirmed that they will attend tomorrow's meeting for a vote under the "national title" for all Iraqis.

The leader of the coalition of state law Keywords, in an interview to the (long-Presse), said that "differences on some of the paragraphs of the draft law of the popular crowd and try to block other new entry policy pertaining to its demands, in order to vote on it the previous parliamentary hearing."

Keywords and he expressed the hope that "the project poses law in the U-session on Saturday, (26th November 2016), with all the conditions to end the debates about itor start a new tour of discussions to finalize it."

(So this last sentence is telling us their intent for Saturday’s session by it in fact it may not pass on Saturday and may go into another round of discussions, thus getting delayed again. This is reality folks to hand in and hope it gets passed this time)

On the other hand saw the MP for the reform front, Ahmed al-Jubouri, the "Draft Law sate the popular crowd and debate Front plans to push ahead with the constitutional mechanisms for a vote."

Jubouri said in an interview to the (long-Presse), "The project is resolved remains, however, the majority with respect for other opinions, especially in light of the big draws at the House of Representatives for approval," calling on the Presidency of the parliament to "put the bill on the tomorrow session agenda, to take his way to vote. "

The MP for parliamentary reform front, "torque front to attend the next meeting and vote on the project to be a legal cover for fighters who sacrificed and sacrifice in order to defend the homeland," he said, adding that "the Front submitted its observations on the project and stressed the need to accommodate the crowd the people of regions and clans to Daesh the families of the martyrs, and be under the national title for all Iraqis, because they will not accept the existence of fueling sectarian division titles in the country.( "

(they are telling us some blocks are still “fueling sectarian division” or being obstacles to much needed legislation since the target date was originally Oct 1st, the budget is now almost 2 months late)

The presidency of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, has been postponed, (the ninth of November the current 2016), voting in the form of the popular crowd Act, while counting the first deputy speaker of parliament, Humam Hammoudi, the vote on the law "part of the fulfillment of the sacrifices of the crowd."

The MP for the Bloc citizen and a member of the parliamentary legal committee, Salim Chawki, Wednesday (23 November), for determining the next Saturday, the date for the adoption of the Law of the popular crowd, after the political blocs agree.

Finance: Budget Law immature for approval

According to committee member Ahmed Sarhan told a news that "the House of Representatives a statement would not be able to offer budget bill through the House of Representatives today 's session, and that the passing of the bill will be in place on Wednesday or Thursday of this week." (So they did push it off for a few more days? Well I don’t think they can afford to do that. The later articles verify my stance…lol…lol…)

Parliamentary Finance suggest a date next Thursday to vote on the budget bill
Baghdad: Euphrates News} likely vice president of the parliamentary finance committee for citizen Faleh suggested, next Thursday as the date to vote on the federal budget for the 2017 law.

He said in effect, told {Euphrates News} Today, " The committee has not completed its discussions on the budget law and therefore there are proposals submitted by members of the House of Representatives committees and stakeholders also did not afford the time until we take into consideration."

He noted that " as soon as the vote on the federal budget for the 2017 Law on Thursday, where he will pass the law on the same day an agreement on all the forces of its paragraphs."

The board of the Presidency of the Council of Representatives decided Saturday to postpone the vote on the draft general budget of the Federal Republic of Iraq for fiscal year 2017 submitted by the Finance Committee in order to allow them to mature. (so here it is again. Looks like they are suggesting strong to wait until Thursday 12/02 to bring the budget law up for vote. Will it be postponed again?)

Abadi discusses with the parliamentary financial to finalize the budget in 2017 and voted on it

[Oan- Baghdad]
held the Prime Minister Haider al – Abadi, a meeting on Sunday, the parliamentary Finance Committee in the presence of officials from the Ministry of Finance to discuss the draft 2017 budget law.

A statement by his office received by all of Iraq [where] a copy of it, that he ” had been discussed during the meeting put the finishing touches on the financial budget law for 2017 for a vote as soon as possible, in addition to the financial situation taking place in the country as a result of lower oil prices.”

He stressed Abadi ” the importance of approving the budget , which was adopted to reduce government spending to its lowest level and to cover the salaries of employees and retirees as well as entitlements necessary task of the sectors that contribute to development and job creation. ”

Parliament will vote tomorrow on the 2017 budget law

Baghdad balances News
Iraqi Council of Representatives included a vote on the draft general budget of the Federal Republic of Iraq for fiscal year 2017 on Monday session agenda . (so now we see speaker Joubori putting it on the agenda for Monday 11/28 and not Wed or Thurs…interesting, don’t you think?)

And a statement of the presidium of the parliament said that ” the meeting agenda of business on Monday also includes voting in principle to the first draft amendment to the law of the amnesty law No. (27) for the year 2016 (this is only the amendments to the Amnesty law that already passed just in case you are wondering. This is also the cause of the full implementation of the Amnesty law that was passed months ago. Do you remember all the excitement?).

The statement added that ” The Council also will vote on the candidates of the investigative committee regarding the review of all leases and investment of the marshes and waters .”

And will witness the meeting , ” a report of the Legal Committee on the work of the election commission and the number of board members and district and provincial elections and the elections , the House of Representatives and the report and discuss the draft Iraqi Commission for the adoption of a law, and the continuing debate on the draft Commercial Agency Regulatory Act, and report and discuss the proposed law to the board of Media and Communications .”

The House of Representatives had voted at its meeting on Saturday, in the form of the popular crowd Act, which the Council approved the law by a majority of the crowd 208 MPs from different blocs, a move resented by Sunni leaders .(Just so you know today 11/28 we just got word they are not going to vote on the budget law until in Thursday’s session and that is final news on the topic. Incidentally they just told us there are no significant changes made. So this delay has been political posturing after all. Do you see it?)

Iraq set to receive four billion dinars as a loan from the World Bank next month

11.27.2016 at 10:07 (Baghdad time)
Special scales News

Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister revealed the appearance of Mohammed Saleh, Sunday, that Iraq will receive four billion dinars as a loan from the World Bank, the start of the month of December next.(not getting the loan if the 2017 budget is not passed in parliament. Do you now see the rush in the final hours to get the budget passed?)

Saleh said, L / balance News /, that "Iraq will receive four billion dinars as a loan from the World Bank loans of the seven major industrialized nations and the European Union, the start of December next."

He said economic adviser, said: "The loan is allocated to support the general state budget for the purposes of investment projects, which include support for various projects, including vital infrastructure destroyed and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected areas."

Abadi adviser (Saleh) calls for the establishment of a new bank to finance trade and private sector

Sumaria News / Baghdad

Called on the prime minister for economic affairs adviser to the appearance of Mohammed Saleh, Sunday, to set up a new bank for trade finance to the private sector, while stressing the need for separation between monetary policy and the financing of foreign trade.

Saleh said in an interview with Alsumaria's News , "It is time to separate monetary policy and trade financing to the private sector through the proposal to establish a new bank is composed of government and private sector trade finance to the private sector along the lines of the Iraqi Trade Bank , which finances government trade , " noting that " the bank Central will sell the dollar for the last bank to turn to trade finance for the private sector. "

Saleh added that "whatever credits include breaches are the safest of transfers that are vague with weak Customs", adding that " the credits based on the shipment of goods that are clear and exaggeration in prices documents , it is censored."

Saleh continued that "hard currency source of oil to dispose of them and must rationally and central location , and therefore, the trade must be regulated by the government, but without restriction, " pointing out that "the trader not to trade bills and claims are incorrect result of obtaining the dinar illegally section including the mysterious ".

He stressed that the benefit of "separation between monetary policy and the central bank intervened to preserve the stability of the exchange rate and the trade finance needs to consider the strength and power in light of a difficult situation at the moment."

It escalated accusations over the currency that has cast a shadow on the sale of the dollar in the domestic market prices of smuggling operations, while MPs demanded that the government take the initiative to stop the sale of currency operations in the auctions of the Central Bank,and others stressed that Iraq loses big money due to smuggled daily out of bounds, under the pretext of foreign trade.

(Folks I want to conclude this article above with my own comments, if I may…This is amazing news! It is WOW news. Do you see just how amazing this is? In other words they are telling us the currency auctions {by the CBI} will end and be replaced by a separate bank that will handle international currencies. I quote from the article above – “to set up a new bank for trade finance” and “the trade must be regulated by the government, but without restriction”. (Now I have to ask- So what other currencies would they be so worried about in dealing with foreign remittences. Why would they need a separate bank just for this effort if they did not expect to be conducting trade with many other countries and converting many currencies of these countries?

Certainly this would not be needed in a “closed” Iraq economy, as they have today, as they already have the mechanism to handle exchange of dinars to US dollars. Its called the “currency auctions”. And this is handled by the CBI.

Oh – but I don’t think they are talking about just conversion of dinars to US dollars in this article to combat currency auction corruption. Oh No! The part about “without restriction” says it all. This means a free flow of monies during trade. Yes – this is needed if they are going to get out of their “closed” economy and open up an unrestricted trade with international countries. Folks this is just another tell-tell sign they are about to go international….WOW!l.)


Rafidain Bank stands ready to convert employees’ salaries electronically via the smart card

November 28, 2016

[Oan- Baghdad]
Rafidain Bank announced its readiness to issue smart card and turn the state departments salaries electronically instead of manual cash.

(Really? Thought all banks had a mandate to be ready by Sept 1st 2016? Do you remember this article? Same old Iraq, late again. But the good news is they are now ready. Remember what I told you is the significance of not paying in cash? They are not putting large sums of the 3 zero notes back into circulation. Remember the bank cash liquidity problem? One purpose, besides to limit corruption and theft is to not re-distribute the larger notes back into the public circulation once they are collected. Do see what they are doing?)

Press office of the bank said in a statement received by all of Iraq [where] a copy of it, that is “ready to issue the smart card to employees in departments and all state institutions instead of manual cash the bank.”

He pointed out that ” the use of the smart card in staff salaries distribution reduces the importance of the monetary circulation and keep the money in the form that allows for circulation at any time and place.”

He stressed that “ironing Card makes it easier for the holder receiving anywhere and prevent the exposure of funds transferred to employees manually to their constituencies from being stolen by weak people.”

Jubouri reveals the "obscene profits" generated through private banks sell the currency window

Jubouri said in an interview with Alsumaria's News, said that "corruption in the sale of currency is happening in the banks that do not sell in the same price agreed with the central bank, gets sales by more than 90 points a window," pointing out that "each bank liquidates through the window more than half a billion dinars a day. "

Jubouri said that "it is not called money laundering, but currency smuggling," noting that "banks take advantage of profiteering and this is a violation of the law because most of the remittances documents delivered to sell the currency for the dollar window is forged and we said it again and again."

Jubouri pointed out that " the reserves of the Iraqi state has fallen from $ 80 billion to 47 billion since 2014, and that means we lost $ 33 billion due to the significant decline in oil prices and a window sell the currency."

And was a member of the Committee on Economy and Investment parliamentary Najiba Najib she said, on Sunday, that the work of private banks in Iraq, "primitive", and indicated that its work has become limited to currency auction, as pointed out that glitch legislation for the protection of and behind the lack of trust between the citizen and the banks deposits.

It is noteworthy that the economic and investment commission in Parliament confirmed, on 23 this November, that "spoilers" control over the work of most of the banks is one of the reasons for "foot-dragging" of those banks and their reliance on auction sell the currency to obtain imports and profits and its inability to support investment. (I could not have said it any better. Why go through all the effort to attract investors and come up with risky loans when you have a “gravy train” from the currency auctions. If I was a banker and I could get away with it [like they are] I too would do the same and make millions too.

So how long are they going to talk about this issue before doing something about it? This issue has been dragging on for years now while they watch the CBI reserves drain. Remember all the articles from Tamami [finance committee member] for years now on this topic? Do they not have a plan to deal with it yet?

Yes they do and I presented one solution in an article to you above in this news letter today. Mohammed Saleh on Sunday proposed to set up a new bank for trade finance to the private sector, while stressing the need for separation between monetary policy and the financing of foreign trade. The proposed solution would eliminate the currency auctions in the current banks now used to convert dinar to US dollars to pay foreign remittences. But there are other solutions too.

Another solution-We have also seen recently the proposal to go to “letters of credit” as a solution this way the business owner must has a foreign trader, but again they can only forge the documents again and probably will

Another solution-bring the currency international and pay foreign remittances in Iraqi dinar. We know they are ready. They moved to Article 8 of the UN charter so this currency change over is pending and is very close. How much longer can they wait? Will they deplete the CBI reserves?)

Iraqi PM: Baghdad willing to pay Kurdish gov’t employees in return for Kirkuk oil

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has suggested that Baghdad is ready to provide the monthly salaries of all Kurdish civil servants if the Erbil government agrees to hand over to the central government Kirkuk’s oil which is currently under Kurdish control. (so just when you think Kurdistan and the GOI are singing Kumb-by-ya and embracing each other, again we see the breaking of agreements and misunderstandings. Will it ever end with these people? They need a formal all encompassing HCL [a law] passed in parliament and as I said before this is the only way they are going to conclude this constant misunderstanding and breaking of agreements.)

This statement was in a meeting with the parliamentary finance committee in Baghdad, said Kurdish MP Qadir Mohammed, who attended the meeting with the Iraqi prime minister.

According to Qadir, Abadi had said that the federal government was able to not only provide the monthly wages of all Kurdish civil servants, but pay Kurdistan Region’s budget in full. (really! so what’s the argument then?)

Qadir claimed that he and other fellow Kurdish MPs had told the Iraqi premier that his statement was not satisfactory and that he should take actual steps towards solving his disputes with Erbil instead.

Abadi told the parliamentary committee and Kurdish MPs that the government in Erbil earned 20 percent of Iraq’s overall income through its own oil exports “and therefore should be able to pay its civil servants,” Qadir said. (sounds like Kurdistan is getting the full payments from the GOI, as agreed, but it is not enough to take care of their employee salaries in Kurkirk and they are trying to get more)

Kurdish leaders have long dismissed such claims by Baghdad as political maneuvering and that in private meetings the Iraqi government, including its PM Abadi, have said that they cannot afford to provide Erbil’s budget as Iraq suffers from severe shortage of cash.

Qadir said that the Kurdish MPs had advised the Iraqi prime minister that the Peshmerga forces were part of Iraq’s defense system and that their budget should not be entangled in the Erbil-Baghdad disputes. (the Kurds are telling us that the Peshmerga is part of the Iraqi army and defenders of Iraq and must get paid separately, not as part of the monthly 17% monies to Kurdistan, but as part of the GOI defense budget)

Abadi’s response was that Baghdad has been giving out Peshmerga salaries every month without delay to the amount of 38 billion Iraqi dinars, said Qadir.

Shirin Housni, a Kurdish MP and member of the finance committee thought that such remarks from Abadi were only excuses and procrastination on the part of the federal government to avoid giving Erbil its fair share of the budget. (so we don’t know if this last statement is true or not. Who is right in this matter? Is Abadi simply covering to buy more time since the GOI is very short on cash? Who is really to blame?)

Iraq Commanders Weigh Tactical Shift in Mosul

ALI A. NABHAN
Nov. 24, 2016

MOSUL, Iraq—Ahead of the battle to oust Islamic State from its Mosul stronghold, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sent a message to residents: Stay in your homes.

Now, more than a month into the battle, Iraq’s top military commanders are lobbying Mr. Abadi to shift tactics, officials said, as the initial lightning advance toward Iraq’s second biggest city turns into a perilous urban slog, with gains measured in feet rather than miles.

Commanders want the government to encourage residents of Mosul to flee through the handful of neighborhoods the military has already secured, they said, and thereby free the military to use heavy artillery and air power that could cause widespread harm in densely populated neighborhoods.

The risk to residents is growing in the city, home to more than 1 million people. On Thursday, Shiite militias assisting government forces said they had cut off roads west of Mosul that lead to Syria, severing a major Islamic State supply route. The move could weaken the militants but also prevent Mosul residents from receiving aid, because the government and its allies are now besieging the city from four sides.

Iraqi soldiers have taken steps to reduce civilian casualties, including conducting assaults on foot and extensive night operations. Commandos are using night-vision equipment to take out Islamic State snipers and carry out raids while residents bed down for the night, said Lt. Gen. Abdul Ghani al Assadi, commander of Iraqi counterterrorism forces.

“Inside Mosul, we are handcuffed by the presence of civilians,” said Gen. Assadi, crossing his wrists to illustrate his point.

Troops have also minimized the use of airstrikes and artillery to reduce risks to civilians, according to senior Iraqi officers.

Iraqi counterterrorism forces are also being thrust into the unfamiliar role of policing and providing for a civilian population even as they try to weed out militants in crowded neighborhoods, Gen. Assadi said. Armored Humvees are being used to deliver water and other supplies to residents.

Hossam Ghadban stayed with his wife and children in their home in east Mosul when the offensive began in October. When Iraqi forces advanced on the neighborhood, the family spent four days and nights huddled in a room that was furthest from the street, where there was a barrage of bullets and explosions.

Two houses away, a home occupied by Islamic State fighters was torched during the fighting, its cement exterior pocked with bullet holes. Mr. Ghadban and his family lived off rations handed out by Iraqi forces.

“We were stuck in the middle and all we could do was pray that the shooting would stop,” he said. “We hoped we would survive with assistance from the government.”

Soldiers also have been using armored vehicles to transport civilians injured by snipers and mortar shrapnel to overloaded field hospitals outside the city that had originally been set up to treat wounded combatants. The United Nations said this week that Islamic State snipers are targeting civilians, including children, to deter them from fleeing.

According to figures cited by the U.N., 20% of injuries from Mosul are civilians, compared with a rate of 5% typical in previous battles against Islamic State. Many wound patterns show deliberate targeting, the U.N. said. (the Iraqi forces are not well into the center of the main city of Mosul and slowing pushing their way through the city to the west)

Articles End

Their words not mine…..No Rumors, No Hype, Just the FACTS!

Auf Wiedersehen
Much love to ya all,
Mnt Goat

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