Bondlady’s Corner

Iraqi News Highlights Monday Afternoon 4-10-23

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Oil Prices Rose Amid Expectations Of Reduced Supplies

Economy| 08:19 – 10/04/2023  Follow-up – Mawazine News  Oil prices rose in early Asian trading today, Monday, supported by expectations of production cuts targeted by OPEC + starting next month, but concerns about the global economic outlook limited the gains.  Brent crude futures rose 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $85.25 a barrel by 2356 GMT.   While US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $80.84 a barrel. Ended 29/N33

The Mechanisms of Corruption in Iraq

By Sajad Jiyad   March 30th, 2023

While it is well known that Iraq is entrenched in corruption and that the

political elite are the key enablers of it,

the exact mechanisms of how corruption operates is not well understood.

A peculiar social phenomenon of Iraq is that public debate on corruption is constant, and

politicians engage widely on the topic but published research is limited.

Despite the competing political interests, the elevation of the economic interest above all else has led to a cooperative power-sharing arrangement dominating post-2005 Iraq.

This article previews a forthcoming report that will investigate the mechanisms by which the political elite in Iraq conduct corruption, mostly of the extractive type, and allows them to maintain a decentralised grip on power.

The most important element that allows corruption to operate systemically in Iraq is the political elite’s control of the state through all its institutions and at all levels.

Regime change in 2003 led to various parties taking over the state progressively and eventually led to the power-sharing system known as muhasasa, which is a method of apportionment of positions in the state based on the size of each party’s power and influence, usually measured through their seats in parliament.

The parties apply the muhasasa to every possible institution in the state, meaning the networks of the political elite spread through the state like a mesh.

Because the corruption in Iraq is systemic there are many types of corruption schemes in operation.

The first type involves public procurement and contracting,

The second type is theft of public funds using embezzlement (such as the ‘Heist of the century’).

The third is patronage (to ensure voters, loyalists and members are rewarded by pushing them into the public sector), payroll fraud (through abseentism or ghost employees) and salary skimming.

The fourth is smuggling of oil and derivatives, contraband and fake goods.

The fifth is facilitating the narcotics trade and other similar trades.

The sixth is bribery, extortion, blackmail for political or purely financial purposes.

In the middle of all of this is a key relationship that is not well known, that between the political elite and the businessmen who benefit from these schemes.

It is a kind of political-corporate complex in which politicians do not engage directly in corruption but work with businessmen who may have no political loyalties but are willing to facilitate corruption and launder proceeds from it in return for a cut.

Violence is a readily available tool that the political elite resort to, especially as most of the established parties have armed wings,

Iraq has the potential to be better but so far the political elite are relaxed enough that they do not feel the need to undertake reforms.

About the author  Sajad Jiyad:
Sajad Jiyad is an Iraqi political analyst based in Baghdad and a fellow at The Century Foundation. Sajad’s main focus is on public policy and governance in Iraq. He tweets at @SajadJiyad
Posted In: Iraq

Significant Decline In The Price Of The Dollar In The Local Markets

Monday 10, April 2023 09:53 | Economical Number of readings: 473  Baghdad / NINA / – The exchange rates of the dollar against the dinar decreased significantly today, Monday, in the local markets.

The selling prices of the dollar were recorded at 144,000 dinars per 100 dollars, while the purchase prices amounted to 143,000 dinars per 100 dollars./ End 8

The World Bank Expects Iraq’s GDP To Grow In 2024

Monday 10, April 2023 10:37 | Economical Number of readings: 384  Baghdad / NINA / – The World Bank report for the current month of April expected that Iraq would achieve the second largest growth rate in the Arab world in GDP, during the year 2024.

The bank stated in a report, that “Iraq’s gross domestic product is expected to grow during the current year 2023 by 2.8%.” After achieving a growth during the year 2022 of 7.9%.

He added, “It is hoped that Iraq will achieve a growth in GDP in 2024 by 4.4%, to rank second after Djibouti, in which the growth will reach 5.4%,” noting that “the growth of the GDP for Qatar for the same year will be 2.9%, the UAE 3.4%, and Saudi Arabia 3.3%.” While growth will reach 4% for Egypt, 2.4% for Jordan and 3% for Tunisia.

The World Bank report indicated that it is expected that “the growth of per capita GDP in Iraq will also increase during the year 2024, by 2%, after it was 0.4% in 2023,” explaining that “the highest growth in per capita GDP.” The total in the Arab countries for the year 2024 will go to Djibouti at a rate of 4.2%, followed by the UAE at a rate of 3.4%.

According to the report, the bank’s experts suggested that “the growth of the Middle East and North Africa region in 2023 will increase by 3%, by 3.1% in 2024, and it is expected that the growth rate in per capita GDP in the region will increase in 2023 to 1.6%.” And by 1.7% in 2024.”/ End 8

The Central Bank’s Dollar Sales Recorded A Significant Decrease In Today’s Auction

Economy| 11:14 – 10/04/2023   Baghdad – Mawazine News  Central Bank sales decreased in an auction today, Monday, to 213 million dollars.

The Central Bank Postpones The Deduction Of The Employee Loan Installment

Political | 03:59 – 10/04/2023   Baghdad – Mawazine News  The Central Bank of Iraq decided, on Monday, to postpone the deduction of the employee loan premium.

And the bank stated, in a statement, which Mawazine News received a copy of, that it “instructed licensed banks to postpone the deduction of employee loans for the month of April on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.”  And he added, “This is based on the directives of the Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani.” Ended

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