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CBI is preparing to take over Iraq’s assets in America “Development Fund for Iraq”

By , April 1, 2014 12:14 pm

http://theiraqijournal.com/cbi-is-preparing-to-take-over-iraqs-assets-in-america/

Yen Plunges on Pension Fund Speculations

By , March 6, 2014 6:10 am

A fan of 10,000-yen billsThe Japanese yen dropped today as the advisory panel said that Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund no longer needs to stick to a ”domestic-bond-centric portfolio” as the country moves out of deflation.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government was hoping that the GPIF will buy more domestic stocks bonds to generate higher returns for Japan’s population. But now it looks like capital may move out from Japan to foreign companies. The yen also fell as diplomats from Russia and the United States were talking in Paris, giving hope that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will end peacefully and reducing demand for safe currencies.

USD/JPY rose from 102.28 to 102.72 and EUR/JPY advanced from 140.46 to 141.27 as of 12:57 GMT today.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Japanese Yen, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Earlier News About the Japanese Yen:

Forex News

Arab Partnership Participation Fund 2014/15

By , February 22, 2014 10:45 pm

Arab Partnership Participation Fund 2014/15

The British Embassy has the pleasure to invite you to bid for funds from the Arab Partnership Participation Fund (APPF) for the financial year 2014/2015.

The Arab Partnership Participation Fund (APPF), led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) focuses on three priority areas:

· political participation · freedom of expression and public voice · good governance (better access to justice and support for civil society initiatives to strengthen the rule of law transparency, integrity and tackling corruption)

Please note that APPF cannot currently commit funds beyond March 2015, and is therefore only accepting single-year bids for 2014-15. Deadline for submitting bids (Full project proposal) will be on 26th February 2014 to the following email addresses: najwa.AlHabeeb@fco.gov.uk and cc Zahra.Al-Zubaidi@fco.gov.uk

For further information, please have a look at the following link:

The Arab Partnership Participation Fund

(Source: UK FCO)

Iraq Business News

Fund Repatriation and Rate Comments Help Euro

By , December 30, 2013 9:14 am

20-euro bill and the map of EuropeAs the year draws to a close, the euro continues to gain ground against its major counterparts. Much of the help for the euro comes from comments that another rate cut isn’t likely to be needed to help keep the economy in recovery mode. However, there is also help for the euro from the fact that banks are repatriating funds.

Euro zone banks are repatriating their funds as the year draws to a close. Another ECB Asset Quality Review is on the horizon, so many banks are shoring up their capital. This is positive for the euro, since the banking system is an integral part of the euro zone’s success.

Forex traders are also paying attention to the latest data releases. Even though it is clear that there are still some difficulties ahead for certain euro zone players, the region as a whole continues with its economic recover. ECB President Mario Draghi recently said that new rate cuts wouldn’t be needed — at least for now — and that is helping the situation to some degree.

At 14:01 GMT EUR/USD is higher, gaining to 1.3787 from the open at 1.3753. EUR/GBP is also up, rising to 0.8359 from the open at 0.8349. EUR/JPY is higher as well, up to 144.9705 from the open at 144.6575.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Euro, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

World Bank Approves $335m Road Fund

By , December 21, 2013 12:41 pm

World Bank Approves $  335m Road Fund

From The World Bank.

A new project will reduce traffic fatalities by nearly 25 percent on two transport corridors connecting Iraq to its northern, southern and western neighbors and beyond.

The US$ 355 million Iraq Transport Corridors Project, approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on Thursday, will improve road quality and safety and promote citizens engagement, national unity and regional trade integration. It will be implemented in partnership with the government of Iraq, who will contribute US$ 384 million, and the Islamic Development Bank who will contribute US$ 217 million as a first phase.

“The project which covers the main national route will facilitate trade movement between Iraqi governorates and with neighboring countries. This will boost economic growth and lead to better service quality along the international corridors which carry most of the tradable goods,” said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Country Director for the Mashreq Department.

“Iraq has one of the highest levels of road accident fatalities in the world and the rehabilitation of the expressway will improve road safety and travel time. Commuters and residents will also be able to report on the condition of the roads using mobile phones and GPS technologies.”

Decades of war in Iraq have left the road agencies with limited human resources capacity to effectively manage the 48,000 kilometers road network. Poor maintenance has resulted in an increase in the number of traffic accidents with almost 6,000 fatalities reported in 2010.

Iraq Business News

Cihan Bank Plans $100m Fund

By , December 14, 2013 9:40 am

Cihan Bank Plans $  100m Fund

By John Lee.

Erbil-based Cihan Bank, a privately-owned Islamic bank, is about to launch a $ 100 million investment fund focused on opportunities in Iraq, and is planning to expand its operations in the UAE.

Vice-Chairman Nawzad Yahya Bajger told Gulf News:

Currently, we have an office in Dubai. We are seeking to establish a representative office in the UAE in 2014.

Fayeq M. Al Obaidi, banking development consultant at the bank, added:

After prolonged period of war and unrest, Iraq is now open for business with huge opportunities in infrastructure, healthcare, oil & gas, power and education sectors to name a few. We have the local knowledge and expertise and are looking for banks and investors to join us in investing in new opportunities.

The bank has paid-up capital of 250 billion Iraqi dinar and is owned by 100 private investors.

(Source: GulfNews)

Iraq Business News

Joint UN, KRG Trust Fund Signed

By , November 9, 2013 12:17 am

Joint UN, KRG Trust Fund Signed

The Kurdistan Region Government and the Integrated Coordination Office for Development and Humanitarian Affairs (ICODHA) of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) have announced today signing of an agreement to launch a joint Trust Fund aimed at supporting the Kurdistan Region Government’s development vision outlined in the Kurdistan Vision 2020 Development Strategy.

The official title of the fund is “Kurdistan Vision 2020 Joint Programming Facility”.

The Facility provides a mechanism for the Kurdistan Region Government to draw upon expertise of the United Nations System to support the realization of development objectives for and implementation of development programs targeting priority sectors including health and social services, education, employment, physical infrastructure and economic development. The Kurdistan Region Government is the main funder of the Facility, with the United Nations as a principal co-funder.

The initial projects and joint programmes to be financed through the Facility, amounting to over $ 18 million, of which over $ 13.6 million is financed by the Kurdistan Region Government, will support the implementation of activities in the priority sectors beginning in early 2014.

Iraq Business News

Spain’s Slush Fund Scandal

By , July 11, 2013 11:53 am

Spain’s Slush Fund Scandal
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/10/2013 20:57 -0400

Bear Market Bond Corruption ETC fixed France Greece Newspaper None Personal Income Real Unemployment Rate Reality Sovereign Debt Unemployment

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting Man blog,

According to a recent report in the FT, the former treasurer of Spain’s ruling Popular Party, Luis Bárcenas, has claimed in an interview that the party has been in breach of Spain’s campaign finance laws for a minimum of 20 years. Presumably he was moved to talk because he was the one who got caught and is expected to fall on his sword. Now that he is facing a lengthy prison sentence, he no longer has a reason to clam up. Incidentally, no-one in Spain was surprised to learn what he had to say.

According to the FT:

“The former treasurer of Spain’s ruling Popular party (PP) has broken his silence over a slush fund scandal that has rocked the country for the past six months, claiming in an interview that the party had broken campaign finance laws for at least 20 years.

Luis Bárcenas, the man at the heart of the scandal, was arrested and detained late last month in connection with an inquiry into the €48m fortune he is said to have amassed in Swiss bank accounts. The investigating judge ruled that the former party treasurer will have to remain in prison until his trial, and fixed his bail at €28m.

His decision to give an interview after months of blanket denials, and to threaten further revelations, marks a potentially dramatic turn in the high-profile scandal. It suggests that Mr Bárcenas is disappointed with the lack of support he has received from PP leaders since the affair broke, and that he may be ready to implicate other senior party leaders.

According to the front page report in the Sunday edition of El Mundo newspaper, Mr Bárcenas claims to have documents and hard discs that chronicle the systematic violation of party finance laws. Their publication, he adds, would “bring down the government”. The interview – which appeared carefully worded and contained only a handful of direct quotes from the former treasurer – was conducted by the editor of El Mundo several days before Mr Bárcenas went to jail.

Though he confirmed many of the allegations that have been swirling in the Spanish media in recent months, Mr Bárcenas made clear that he was not yet willing to release all the damaging information he possessed. “In the current circumstances, the last thing that Spain needs is this government to fall,” he was quoted as saying.

However, the interview is likely to deal a heavy blow to the center-right PP all the same, and not just because it contains the threat of further revelations. Mr Bárcenas described in detail how donors used to arrive at party headquarters with bags and suitcases full of cash, some of which would be channeled into the official party bank account, while some would be used to cover election expenses outside the official campaign fund. Another portion of the money would go into a safe, and contribute to a party slush fund.”
(emphasis added)

The reason why Barcenas is not making everything public just yet is probably that he hopes that the material could yet provide him with a ticket to freedom. Essentially, he is telling the Rajoy government: ‘Think of something to help me, or else’. At this stage we believe the ‘or else’ option has become nigh unavoidable, short of Mr. Barcenas suffering an unfortunate accident. Too much has already been revealed, and he is by now in too deeply already.

What we are seeing here is actually a strong parallel to Greece. The EU has been complaining about the Greek government’s inability to collect taxes, without considering that Greek tax payers may have very good reason to pay as little as possible to the corrupt apparatus installed by the ruling class. As a Greek shipowner told a journalist when asked why he thought it was fine that rich shipowners are tax-exempt in Greece: “Would you want to pay money to Al Capone?” Pause. “Me neither.”

The same attitude is pervasive in Spain. In fact, we would argue that both Greeks and Spaniards are among the few people in the industrialized world who have correctly identified the ruling class for what it really is: a form of organized crime. It obtains its income not by serving its fellow men, i.e., not by the economic means of production and exchange, but by political means, i.e., the expropriation of producers by coercion and the threat of violence. It is a monopolist of security and justice in the territory it rules, and hence nigh unassailable. The occasional cases where members of the ruling class are made to a pay a price (such as Mr. Barcena’s case, or the recent scandal in France, where none other that the country’s ‘tax czar’ was caught evading taxes) are really exceptions to the rule. Either there is a scandal so big that it is feared that the population may reject exploitation by the ruling class altogether unless a few heads roll, or it is a case where someone was so stupid in getting caught that it is decided to make an example of him in order to limit the damage and warn others to be more careful, or it is a rare case of internal strife among the members of the ruling elite that breaks into the open. Other than that, they have usually nothing to fear (just observe what happens to politicians who say that they are ‘accepting full responsibility’ for something that has happened on their watch. How often do they actually end up paying a tangible price?).

In most European countries the corruption is more subtle and not as pervasive as in Spain and in Greece, and as a consequence the class of wealth producers, while grumbling, is for the most part quietly accepting the exploitative arrangement. One must not forget, citizens are subject to incessant statist propaganda, beginning already in school (it is no coincidence that governments have obtained near monopolist control over education). This mainly consists of hammering home that the ‘State is needed’, because without it, there would be utter chaos. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe writes in “The Economics and Ethics of Private Property” in the context of comparing Austrian and Marxist class analysis about the Orwellian features of this propaganda exercise:

the state is indeed the great center of ideological propaganda and mystification: Exploitation is really freedom; taxes are really voluntary contributions; non-contractual relations are really “conceptually” contractual ones; no one is ruled by anyone but we all rule ourselves; without the state neither law nor security would exist; and the poor would perish, etc. All of this is part of the ideological superstructure designed to legitimize an underlying basis of economic exploitation.”
(emphasis added)

Usually the cost of resistance is extremely high for an individual acting on his own, and as a result it is mainly low key. Spain and Greece are slightly different in that the corruption of the ruling bureaucratic-political apparatus is so glaringly obvious that resistance is almost regarded as a duty.

Former PP treasurer Luis Barcenas, greeting his former colleagues: I have tales to tell

(Photo credit: Dani Duch)

Widespread Fraud

In a recent missive in the wake of Moody’s most recent rather sobering credit rating report on Spanish banks, Exane’s bank analyst Santiago López Díaz (a.k.a. ‘Santi’), summarizes the situation as follows:

“Another of the paramount problems facing Spain is widespread fraud (not to mention widespread political corruption). Some of the Spanish cheerleaders argue that, in reality, the unemployment is not 27% because of the huge size of the black economy. We don’t disagree with that statement. Is the unemployment rate in Andalucía really 37%, as officially reported? However, none of the cheerleaders mentions that if we assume the real unemployment rate is much lower, we should also assume a much higher cost of capital for a country in which fraud is common and only a very few pay taxes.

When we analyze the personal income tax statistics recently released by the Spanish IRS, it is clear that Spain has a problem with a very difficult solution. Fewer than 6,000 people in Spain make more than EUR600k per year (???…nope, we are not kidding); just 73,000 (0.4% of all taxpayers) make more than EUR150k. And 40% of all tax payers declare a monthly income below EUR1,000 per month. 62% of all personal income taxes are paid by 6m people (in a country with 47m people).”
(emphasis added)

Although Santi doesn’t mention it, the reason why tax evasion is such a widespread popular sport in places like Spain and Greece is precisely what we have pointed out above: people regard the class that obtains its income by political means as a criminal gang. They are evidently entirely correct with this assessment.

Of course one cannot issue a blanket condemnation of the character of people employed by Spain’s government – undoubtedly there are a great many honest people active in the administrative apparatus – but as the campaign finance scandal shows, there is enormous corruption at the very top. It is a good bet that it extends downward from there.

In Greece it has e.g. been noted that any people working at a ministry who turn out not to be corrupt are standing out like sore thumbs. As a rule they are mobbed by their colleagues if they refuse to adapt. It seems likely that things are not quite as bad in Spain.

On the other hand, the data Santi relates above are highlighting a major problem with regard to dealing with the governments cumulative public debt as well as its unfunded liabilities (including the cost of future bailouts of the still floundering banks): a tiny minority of tax payers is ultimately expected to pay for all or most of it. They are unlikely to be very happy with their sacrificial lamb status. There is therefore a good chance that they will eventually ‘go Galt’.

The sheer size of the so-called ‘informal’ or ‘shadow’ economy in Spain – without which there would probably be a famine by now considering the official unemployment rate – actually provides proof that people are perfectly capable of living peaceful and productive lives without the State. After all, the only interaction between people employed in the shadow economy and the State consists of stratagems by the former to avoid and evade the attention of the latter.

Conclusion:

As the sovereign debt and banking crisis in Europe continues to evolve, we may yet get to see a number of very interesting developments in terms of the social and political arrangements in Europe. One is that a few regions are liable to attempt to secede from the territories they currently belong to. Catalonia in Spain is actually a prime candidate for eventual secession and judging from the strong support secession has in the population, one should not underestimate the probability that it will actually happen one day.

As we have argued in ‘Secession, An Alternative View’, a decentralization of political power, this is to say, the very opposite of what the EU is trying to achieve, would actually be a very favorable development for productive citizens and individuals. By contrast, the EU’s goal of ever more political centralization and ‘harmonization’ only helps the ruling classes to exploit the producers of wealth more effectively by taking away their ability to ‘vote with their feet’.

Finally, as the bankruptcy of the Western welfare/warfare states becomes more glaringly evident, even stronger growth of the informal economy seems likely to ensue. Eventually the State may not only become unable to live up to its financial promises, but may become unable to enforce its various monopolies and edicts as well, i.e., it may cease to be a viable entity. Just as the Marxists once predicted, it could then simply ‘wither away’ – but in its wake it would not leave a socialist Utopia, but actually a free society. In that sense, this latest scandal is actually a boon in disguise, in that it undermines the legitimacy of the State further.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-10/spains-slush-fund-scandal

iraqwar.mirror-world.ru (en) RSS feed for articles and news

Spain’s Slush Fund Scandal

By , July 11, 2013 3:43 am

Spain’s Slush Fund Scandal
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/10/2013 20:57 -0400

Bear Market Bond Corruption ETC fixed France Greece Newspaper None Personal Income Real Unemployment Rate Reality Sovereign Debt Unemployment

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting Man blog,

According to a recent report in the FT, the former treasurer of Spain’s ruling Popular Party, Luis Bárcenas, has claimed in an interview that the party has been in breach of Spain’s campaign finance laws for a minimum of 20 years. Presumably he was moved to talk because he was the one who got caught and is expected to fall on his sword. Now that he is facing a lengthy prison sentence, he no longer has a reason to clam up. Incidentally, no-one in Spain was surprised to learn what he had to say.

According to the FT:

“The former treasurer of Spain’s ruling Popular party (PP) has broken his silence over a slush fund scandal that has rocked the country for the past six months, claiming in an interview that the party had broken campaign finance laws for at least 20 years.

Luis Bárcenas, the man at the heart of the scandal, was arrested and detained late last month in connection with an inquiry into the €48m fortune he is said to have amassed in Swiss bank accounts. The investigating judge ruled that the former party treasurer will have to remain in prison until his trial, and fixed his bail at €28m.

His decision to give an interview after months of blanket denials, and to threaten further revelations, marks a potentially dramatic turn in the high-profile scandal. It suggests that Mr Bárcenas is disappointed with the lack of support he has received from PP leaders since the affair broke, and that he may be ready to implicate other senior party leaders.

According to the front page report in the Sunday edition of El Mundo newspaper, Mr Bárcenas claims to have documents and hard discs that chronicle the systematic violation of party finance laws. Their publication, he adds, would “bring down the government”. The interview – which appeared carefully worded and contained only a handful of direct quotes from the former treasurer – was conducted by the editor of El Mundo several days before Mr Bárcenas went to jail.

Though he confirmed many of the allegations that have been swirling in the Spanish media in recent months, Mr Bárcenas made clear that he was not yet willing to release all the damaging information he possessed. “In the current circumstances, the last thing that Spain needs is this government to fall,” he was quoted as saying.

However, the interview is likely to deal a heavy blow to the center-right PP all the same, and not just because it contains the threat of further revelations. Mr Bárcenas described in detail how donors used to arrive at party headquarters with bags and suitcases full of cash, some of which would be channeled into the official party bank account, while some would be used to cover election expenses outside the official campaign fund. Another portion of the money would go into a safe, and contribute to a party slush fund.”
(emphasis added)

The reason why Barcenas is not making everything public just yet is probably that he hopes that the material could yet provide him with a ticket to freedom. Essentially, he is telling the Rajoy government: ‘Think of something to help me, or else’. At this stage we believe the ‘or else’ option has become nigh unavoidable, short of Mr. Barcenas suffering an unfortunate accident. Too much has already been revealed, and he is by now in too deeply already.

What we are seeing here is actually a strong parallel to Greece. The EU has been complaining about the Greek government’s inability to collect taxes, without considering that Greek tax payers may have very good reason to pay as little as possible to the corrupt apparatus installed by the ruling class. As a Greek shipowner told a journalist when asked why he thought it was fine that rich shipowners are tax-exempt in Greece: “Would you want to pay money to Al Capone?” Pause. “Me neither.”

The same attitude is pervasive in Spain. In fact, we would argue that both Greeks and Spaniards are among the few people in the industrialized world who have correctly identified the ruling class for what it really is: a form of organized crime. It obtains its income not by serving its fellow men, i.e., not by the economic means of production and exchange, but by political means, i.e., the expropriation of producers by coercion and the threat of violence. It is a monopolist of security and justice in the territory it rules, and hence nigh unassailable. The occasional cases where members of the ruling class are made to a pay a price (such as Mr. Barcena’s case, or the recent scandal in France, where none other that the country’s ‘tax czar’ was caught evading taxes) are really exceptions to the rule. Either there is a scandal so big that it is feared that the population may reject exploitation by the ruling class altogether unless a few heads roll, or it is a case where someone was so stupid in getting caught that it is decided to make an example of him in order to limit the damage and warn others to be more careful, or it is a rare case of internal strife among the members of the ruling elite that breaks into the open. Other than that, they have usually nothing to fear (just observe what happens to politicians who say that they are ‘accepting full responsibility’ for something that has happened on their watch. How often do they actually end up paying a tangible price?).

In most European countries the corruption is more subtle and not as pervasive as in Spain and in Greece, and as a consequence the class of wealth producers, while grumbling, is for the most part quietly accepting the exploitative arrangement. One must not forget, citizens are subject to incessant statist propaganda, beginning already in school (it is no coincidence that governments have obtained near monopolist control over education). This mainly consists of hammering home that the ‘State is needed’, because without it, there would be utter chaos. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe writes in “The Economics and Ethics of Private Property” in the context of comparing Austrian and Marxist class analysis about the Orwellian features of this propaganda exercise:

the state is indeed the great center of ideological propaganda and mystification: Exploitation is really freedom; taxes are really voluntary contributions; non-contractual relations are really “conceptually” contractual ones; no one is ruled by anyone but we all rule ourselves; without the state neither law nor security would exist; and the poor would perish, etc. All of this is part of the ideological superstructure designed to legitimize an underlying basis of economic exploitation.”
(emphasis added)

Usually the cost of resistance is extremely high for an individual acting on his own, and as a result it is mainly low key. Spain and Greece are slightly different in that the corruption of the ruling bureaucratic-political apparatus is so glaringly obvious that resistance is almost regarded as a duty.

Former PP treasurer Luis Barcenas, greeting his former colleagues: I have tales to tell

(Photo credit: Dani Duch)

Widespread Fraud

In a recent missive in the wake of Moody’s most recent rather sobering credit rating report on Spanish banks, Exane’s bank analyst Santiago López Díaz (a.k.a. ‘Santi’), summarizes the situation as follows:

“Another of the paramount problems facing Spain is widespread fraud (not to mention widespread political corruption). Some of the Spanish cheerleaders argue that, in reality, the unemployment is not 27% because of the huge size of the black economy. We don’t disagree with that statement. Is the unemployment rate in Andalucía really 37%, as officially reported? However, none of the cheerleaders mentions that if we assume the real unemployment rate is much lower, we should also assume a much higher cost of capital for a country in which fraud is common and only a very few pay taxes.

When we analyze the personal income tax statistics recently released by the Spanish IRS, it is clear that Spain has a problem with a very difficult solution. Fewer than 6,000 people in Spain make more than EUR600k per year (???…nope, we are not kidding); just 73,000 (0.4% of all taxpayers) make more than EUR150k. And 40% of all tax payers declare a monthly income below EUR1,000 per month. 62% of all personal income taxes are paid by 6m people (in a country with 47m people).”
(emphasis added)

Although Santi doesn’t mention it, the reason why tax evasion is such a widespread popular sport in places like Spain and Greece is precisely what we have pointed out above: people regard the class that obtains its income by political means as a criminal gang. They are evidently entirely correct with this assessment.

Of course one cannot issue a blanket condemnation of the character of people employed by Spain’s government – undoubtedly there are a great many honest people active in the administrative apparatus – but as the campaign finance scandal shows, there is enormous corruption at the very top. It is a good bet that it extends downward from there.

In Greece it has e.g. been noted that any people working at a ministry who turn out not to be corrupt are standing out like sore thumbs. As a rule they are mobbed by their colleagues if they refuse to adapt. It seems likely that things are not quite as bad in Spain.

On the other hand, the data Santi relates above are highlighting a major problem with regard to dealing with the governments cumulative public debt as well as its unfunded liabilities (including the cost of future bailouts of the still floundering banks): a tiny minority of tax payers is ultimately expected to pay for all or most of it. They are unlikely to be very happy with their sacrificial lamb status. There is therefore a good chance that they will eventually ‘go Galt’.

The sheer size of the so-called ‘informal’ or ‘shadow’ economy in Spain – without which there would probably be a famine by now considering the official unemployment rate – actually provides proof that people are perfectly capable of living peaceful and productive lives without the State. After all, the only interaction between people employed in the shadow economy and the State consists of stratagems by the former to avoid and evade the attention of the latter.

Conclusion:

As the sovereign debt and banking crisis in Europe continues to evolve, we may yet get to see a number of very interesting developments in terms of the social and political arrangements in Europe. One is that a few regions are liable to attempt to secede from the territories they currently belong to. Catalonia in Spain is actually a prime candidate for eventual secession and judging from the strong support secession has in the population, one should not underestimate the probability that it will actually happen one day.

As we have argued in ‘Secession, An Alternative View’, a decentralization of political power, this is to say, the very opposite of what the EU is trying to achieve, would actually be a very favorable development for productive citizens and individuals. By contrast, the EU’s goal of ever more political centralization and ‘harmonization’ only helps the ruling classes to exploit the producers of wealth more effectively by taking away their ability to ‘vote with their feet’.

Finally, as the bankruptcy of the Western welfare/warfare states becomes more glaringly evident, even stronger growth of the informal economy seems likely to ensue. Eventually the State may not only become unable to live up to its financial promises, but may become unable to enforce its various monopolies and edicts as well, i.e., it may cease to be a viable entity. Just as the Marxists once predicted, it could then simply ‘wither away’ – but in its wake it would not leave a socialist Utopia, but actually a free society. In that sense, this latest scandal is actually a boon in disguise, in that it undermines the legitimacy of the State further.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-10/spains-slush-fund-scandal

www.iraq-war.ru (en) RSS feed for articles and news

Citigroup May Fund Iraq-Jordan Pipeline

By , July 5, 2013 9:18 pm

Citigroup May Fund Iraq-Jordan Pipeline

By John Lee.

Forty companies are reported to be bidding for contracts to build and finance the new pipeline from Haditha to Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba (pictured).

Nateq Balasem Khalaf, deputy director general of the state State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), told Bloomberg that Citibank is among the bidders, adding that other interested banks and companies are from Russia, South Korea, Japan, Italy, China, Egypt, Jordan, and Germany.

The new crude pipeline would carry 1 million barrels a day, including 150,000 barrels a day for Jordan’s domestic consumption, and the rest for export, while the gas pipeline would transport 252 million cubic feet a day, of which 100 million cubic feet would be exported to Jordan.

SNC-Lavalin Group (SNC) is advising the government on ways to build new routes to export oil currently shipped via pipeline to Turkey and by sea through the Persian Gulf.

Khalaf said that the government plans to build and finance a separate section of the network itself to Haditha from Basra, for which it will ask for bids from pipeline suppliers by the end of the year.

Citigroup, a U.S. lender scaling back in some emerging markets, plans to open offices and branches in Iraq to benefit from an estimated $ 1 trillion of infrastructure spending there, Mayank Malik, the bank’s chief executive officer for Jordan, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian territories, said in a June 27 interview.

Iraq will start operating its third offshore export facility for crude by the end of the year and plans to upgrade its two onshore terminals at Basra and Khor al-Amaya, Khalaf said. The government is building 16 crude-storage tanks in the southern port of al-Faw, each with a capacity of 58,000 cubic feet. Four are operational, another four are to be completed by the end of July and the rest by year-end, he said.

Iraq is on track to increase crude exports to 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of 2013, Khalaf said. The country produced 3.15 million barrels a day to 3.2 million barrels a day on average in June, according to an e-mailed Oil Ministry statement on June 29.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Iraq Business News