Posted on 22 May 2014
By Melissa Hancock for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
With the world’s eyes focused on the recent Iraqi elections, little attention is being paid to the major changes taking place in Iraq’s banking and finance industry.
As part of an effort to liberalize the economy, in the first three months of 2014, the Iraqi Central Bank granted approval to 15 Arab and international banks to open branches in Baghdad, with additional branches expected to open soon. There is also a notable drive to grow and promote the stock markets, with senior Iraqi government officials and representatives from the country’s two stock exchanges hosting a two-day forum in Dubai May 14-15 in a bid to court regional investors.
The Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) is currently in the process of upgrading to the latest Nasdaq trading platform after signing an agreement with Nasdaq OMX in June 2013. The new platform, currently used by more than 25 exchanges globally, is capable of supporting multiple asset classes, although the ISX concentrates mainly on cash equities.
“We will complete the implementation at the end of June, and it will go live at the beginning of July,” said Taha Ahmed al-Rubaye, chief executive of the ISX. “We are working hard to modernize the exchange.”
The ISX is also assisting the Erbil Stock Exchange (ESX), the first exchange in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, in setting up its Nasdaq trading system. It is due to be fully implemented in July, and the ESX hopes to see around five to 10 listings by the end of 2014, including a major telecom company. The ESX has $8 million in initial capitalization and 56 shareholders, primarily from the private sector.
The message on the TV News is that happy days are here again in that the Afghanistan war is over. How do we know that this is true? Well, we see the plan for troop reductions down to just a few thousand remaining. We also see the charade of bringing the last man off the field, out of captivity. So it must be true, right?
Folks, what we are seeing here is the same ole dog and pony show that’s been played out forever. It’s called “Catch and Release.” We get mad at them, catch them, kick the shit outta them, then release them and we each go our separate ways. Yep, Catch and Release. Otherwise, without the release it would appear to be empire building. Yep, Catch and Release.
But if we hear what Karen Hudes said earlier this week about the Romans we might see things in a different light. She said that the Roman armies pulled out of countries but left the Catholic church behind to control things. Hmmmm. Let’s look at it from this angle. Don’t forget that the church had authority over the royalty. Hmmmmm, as every cowboy knows, if you can turn the steer’s head you can turn his whole body!
Just prior to our being the “Kick Ass” country it was England. But Gandhi did them in and brought light on their “always in the sunshine” empire. So obviously America was going to be the New and Improved version for the bankers that took a loss when England went down. But did they? I am certain that as England pulled out of India and other colonies they left behind the corporations with their stranglehold on those countries’ resources and commerce.
And that is exactly where we are today in Afghanistan. That country is now covered by the fabric of control and ownership of the corporations. Although we never raised our flag over them like England did in it’s empire, I am sure that in a year we will see the last flag being lowered to prove to the world that it is Catch and Release. Catch and Release my ass! It’s Tag Em and Bag Em.
Published on Jun 2, 2014
This video explains why the coup took place. Why it was well accepted by the Thai people. Some western governments and politicians like the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, condemned the action and called for the Army to return to democracy and arrange early election without thinking about the sustainable solution for Thailand and its people. The video ends with the confession of a former U.S. Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, who shared to the world what the US government has done to other countries and there is nothing Democratic about it.