31 January 2008

Central Bank of Iraq is Up in Smoke

With the drop in violence in Baghdad, a lot of folks, both Iraqis and Americans, are starting to wonder when the hell the economy is going to pick up in Iraq. With oil, land for agriculture, and a large skilled labor pool, you'd think the place would sell itself. Idle hands are the devil's play thing, and unless Iraqis start getting employed with legit gigs, young males are going to continue gravitating towards Uncle Sadr to earn a quick buck. This whole central bank of Iraq catching on fire thing sure ain't helping matters. Iraq needs foreign investment from its neighboring richie-rich countries to rebuild the crappy infrastructure that was Saddam's legacy. None of these sheikhs in places like Qatar, Dubai, and Jordan are going to want to invest if they can't even count on records of their transactions holding up to the elements.

What's more cause for concern is that rumors are running around the Iraqi media that the whole thing was a conspiracy purported by the central government to cover up fraud. From Azzaman:

“The fires have turned into ash important documents condemning officials for corruption,” the statement said. Both fires caused no casualties and officials said Central Bank’s possessions of god (sic) and hard cash were safe. The statement demanded the formation of an independent investigation commission to “determine those causing such calamities.” Despite reports of massive corruption in which senior officials are said to be involved, the government has brought no one to justice so far.

This story has started to stir up rumors similar to the Basrah badger story that was running around the regional news this summer. For those not familiar, the Basrah badger was purportedly a nasty little creature released by the British stormtroopers to terrorize the unfortunate locals down south. The UK embassy actually had to issue a press release to deny it. So whether or not Maliki's government actually torched the bank is irrelevant, it's already a rumor circulating the region, which is like a slap in the face to sound finance in Iraq. Until that money starts flowing in, a lot of it will be on Uncle Sucker's dime (that's you, Mr. and Mrs. US taxpayer) to fix up this country. Just a big bunch of suck all around.

Just like when I torched my unprofitable comic book store

4 comments:

membrain said...

Hey LT Nixon. Rumors! Iraqis thrive on them. Apparently Iraq has a substanatial amount in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. I saw this story today.

Iraq not using oil cash to rebuild
By Sharon Behn

Increased Iraqi oil revenues stemming from high prices and improved security are piling up in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York rather than being spent on needed reconstruction projects, a Washington Times study of Iraq's spending and revenue figures has shown.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080130/FOREIGN/458073763/1001

LT Nixon said...

Holy smokes! Well that's no good. Thanks for adding gasoline to the fire, Membrain, haha.

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