TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Thursday 2-1-2024

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Tishwash:  Saleh: The financial situation in Iraq is stable and good

Advisor to the Prime Minister for Financial Affairs, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, confirmed on Thursday that the financial situation in Iraq is stable and good, in light of expectations of increased demand for oil globally.

Saleh said in a press statement, “The federal general budget for the year 2024 remains stable, with an expenditure ceiling of approximately 199 trillion Iraqi dinars and allocations in investment expenditures exceeding 25 percent of the total expenditure ceiling, and oil exports are stable at their set rates of approximately 3.4 million

.” A barrel of oil per day, at a barrel price for the purposes of calculating budget revenues from exported oil of $70 per barrel,” pointing out that “oil market indicators are still more than the price specified in the budget by more than 10% until the moment.”

He added, “Energy market expectations lead to an increase in the needs of continued demand for crude oil in general,” noting that “the future outlook on Iraq’s financial situation is stable.”

He pointed out that “there is high stability as we enter the second month of the current year, which indicates that the budget is in balance and carries some surpluses, so the situation is stable, good and sound.”   link

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CandyKisses:  Al-Hakim informs Blackschaert: We support negotiations to end the tasks of the international coalition in Iraq

Baghdad today – Baghdad 

Today, Thursday (February 1, 2024), the head of the Iraqi State Forces Alliance, Ammar al-Hakim, confirmed his support for negotiations to end the tasks of the international coalition in Iraq, while calling on the international community to assume its responsibilities towards the Gaza crisis.

Al-Hakim said in a statement received by “Baghdad Today”, “We met this morning with the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert,” noting that “the meeting reviewed the political developments in Iraq and the region and the inter-relationship between Iraq and the United Nations.”

Al-Hakim added, “The meeting stressed the importance of moving to the stage of bilateral partnerships with the international organization after Iraq has overcome most of the challenges at the internal and external levels,” explaining, “We also stressed preserving the stability achieved through the sacrifices of Iraqis from all components.”

The meeting stressed “the importance of the upcoming provincial councils and local governments to enhance stability and sustain the wheel of reconstruction and development, and we expressed our full support for the Iraqi government in managing negotiations with the international coalition to confront terrorism to end its tasks and move to the stage of bilateral relations to serve both sides.”

Al-Hakim concluded the statement by saying, “We called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the Gaza crisis, and we said that silence towards the genocide of an unarmed people represents a flagrant targeting of international values, principles and laws, and We called for stopping the war and bringing in aid and relief for the displaced who are spreading the ground in this bitter cold.”

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Tishwash:  Which is more dangerous for Iraq: bombing American bases or selling oil for anything other than the dollar?

 Today, Thursday (February 1, 2024), economic affairs expert Nabil Al-Marsoumi raised a question about the greatest danger facing Iraq, and whether it lies in the American bombing or selling oil in a currency other than the dollar? 

Al-Marsoumi says in a blog post followed by “Baghdad Today” that, “In 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia agreed to accept the dollar as the sole currency to buy oil in exchange for America providing military protection for Saudi oil fields. In 1975, the other OPEC countries agreed to price oil in dollars only, and they succeeded.” With this deal, America links the dollar to oil instead of gold.”

Dollar instead of gold

The economic expert explained, “This deal forced all oil-importing countries to create a fixed supply of dollars to buy oil,” adding, “Therefore, these countries were forced to export goods to America, and in return, America provides them with dollars that will only cost them the cost of printing them.” 

Al-Marsoumi added, “From here, a new system began to maintain American hegemony over the global financial system, and its name is the petro-dollar,” noting that “dollars leave America and anything America needs comes to it, and as a result, the United States has become very rich.” 

He pointed out that “this process did not lead to inflation because the countries of the world are in constant need of dollars to buy oil and participate in international trade. Therefore, those dollars remained outside America, and after linking the dollar to oil, America was able to spend more money on its military forces, which became the first in the world.” . 

Al-Marsoumi continued, “In 2000, Iraq announced the beginning of linking Iraqi oil sales to the euro instead of the dollar, which, along with other factors, prompted the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime by military force,” noting that “in 2011, Muammar Gaddafi tried to create a gold currency in Africa called the dinar.” Al-Dhahabi succeeded in forming a bloc of African countries, but the Americans overthrew the Libyan regime and killed Gaddafi because selling a country, even a small one, of its oil for something other than the dollar would cause the dollar’s strength to destabilize.” 

Oil supports the dollar 

He stated that “currently there is nothing that supports the dollar except oil, and that America will not hesitate to use its military power to crush any threat to the dollar, and that linking oil to the dollar and preserving it for the longest time is an American priority,” indicating that “the price of oil in dollars is not only linked to standard oil crudes.” Which are priced in dollars, namely Brent crude and West Texas crude, but because oil trade is the largest in the world, as it is not limited to the exchange of oil in commodity markets only, but also because there is a very large trade in paper barrels amounting to more than tens of times the real exchange, especially on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Through speculation in futures contracts, as the New York Stock Exchange deals with about 3 billion contracts annually, with an average value of 1,000 trillion dollars.” 

He noted that “the calls to sell Iraqi oil in a currency other than the dollar lack realism and reflect a wrong understanding of the basics of oil pricing in the global market, and because it will expose Iraq to very violent American reactions, because abandoning the dollar is an American red line, as it will threaten the global position of the dollar, which currently constitutes 60 percent.” % of global monetary reserves and will undermine the economic importance of the United States at the global level.

After the exacerbation of the dollar crisis and the sanctions imposed by Washington on a number of Iraqi banks, the country is seeking to move to a new stage of monetary transactions, sometimes oil in exchange for goods and other times purchasing in the currency of the countries exporting those goods, including the yen, the currency of China.    link