Omega Man March 18, 2015 at 5:05pm rumors are this week, or rumors have been, this week, however, rumors have been rumors for months if not years...ok years...
Rumors are also that the last possible public roll-out should be NEXT weekend...not to say that it will go that far...i am still believing for this week, perhaps sat. nite...
so again we wait and see...that all sources have been incorrect based upon intel from the PWB, which some of us were foolish enough, or wishful too much, to believe ...
Many have lost hope and given up on this long ride, ...but anyway...i am still very expectant for this week...we'll see...
BaNDiTo.RoX March 18, 2015 at 5:04pm
Dollar Flash Crashes: Currency Market Pulverized As Dollar Implodes After Close
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2015 16:11 -0400
IMF Staff Concludes the 2015 Article IV Mission for Iraq
Posted by BaNDiTo.RoX on March 18, 2015 at 6:31pm
Press Release No. 15/121 March 18, 2015
The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Carlo Sdralevich visited Amman from March 6–15 to conduct the 2015 Article IV Consultation discussions with the Iraqi authorities.
At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Sdralevich issued the following statement:
“The Iraqi authorities are taking proactive steps to address the double shock of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgency and the collapse in oil prices, which have hit the economy hard. These efforts have led to the swift approval of a streamlined 2015 budget, based on encouraging progress towards a permanent agreement between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on oil exports from the north.
“The ISIS insurgency has not halted the expansion of the oil sector from all oil-producing regions. Exports are expected to rise from 2.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2014 to 3.1 mbpd this year, benefiting from the agreement with the KRG. Nevertheless, due to the decline in economic activity in the areas occupied by ISIS and stagnating government spending, GDP growth is estimated to have contracted by over 2 percent in 2014 and is projected to recover to just over 1 percent this year. Inflation outside ISIS-occupied areas is low, at less than 2 percent at end-2014, but may rise following the ongoing enforcement of higher custom duties.
“International reserves of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) have declined from $78 billion at end-2013 to $66 billion at end-2014 because of the decline in oil revenues and the high level of imports. The level of international reserves at end-2014 reflects the $0.7 billion balance of the Development Fund for Iraq, which was moved to the CBI in Baghdad in May. Therefore, total foreign assets fell from $84.3 billion to $66 billion in the course of last year.
“The external shock, combined with security and humanitarian spending pressures, is weighing on fiscal performance. In 2014, the fiscal rule triggered by the lack of an approved budget helped contain spending below 2013 levels. As a result, the budget deficit is estimated at about 3 percent of GDP (from 6 percent of GDP in 2013). However, this outcome was partly due to the postponement of investment spending, and the suspension of the budget transfer to the KRG. Arrears to the international oil companies were also accumulated. The deficit has been mostly financed by domestic borrowing from state-owned banks.
“The 2015 budget, assuming exports of 3.3 mbpd and a price of $56 per barrel, includes increases in non-oil taxation and strives to contain spending, for example through compulsory savings on wages of civil servants. Nevertheless, due to the large fall in oil revenues, it still envisages a deficit of about12 percent of GDP. Under more conservative oil revenue assumptions, and taking into account unbudgeted payments to international oil companies, the deficit may well reach much higher levels. To address this downside risk, the government is committed to under-execute budget spending as needed through rigorous cash management, the rationalization of capital investment, and the postponement of some investment projects.
“However, further fiscal consolidation through revenue and spending measures will be needed to contain the 2015 deficit to a level consistent with financing constraints, alleviate pressure on the domestic banking system and tighten domestic demand to contain the decline in international reserves. Consolidation measures should be permanent to underpin medium-term fiscal and external sustainability, which would be particularly important because of the weak oil price outlook.
“The foreign exchange market has remained stable in 2014 following steps taken by the CBI to liberalize it, and the parallel market spread had declined to 3.5 percent at the end of the year. However, the authorities should reconsider the caps on CBI foreign exchange sales and the collection of custom duties through commercial banks. These measures are effectively restricting the supply of foreign exchange to the Iraqi economy and have boosted the parallel market rates to record levels in the past weeks.
“Aware of the importance of the financial system for development of the private sector and growth, the authorities are pressing ahead with the restructuring of state-owned banks Rasheed and Rafidain. They are also taking steps to open government business to private banks, and introduce key elements of the financial system infrastructure, such as a deposit guarantee scheme and a credit bureau.
“Achieving inclusive and diversified economic growth over the medium term will also depend on a wide set of reforms, encompassing state-owned enterprises, the energy sector, and the labor markets, and improvements in the business environment and governance.
“The mission indicated that the IMF stands ready to support the Iraqi authorities through stepped up policy engagement, technical assistance, and, if needed, financial support.
“The mission met with Minister of Finance Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of Oil Adil Abdul Mehdi, Acting Governor of the Central Bank (CBI) of Iraq Ali Allaq and officers from the ministries of finance, oil, trade, electricity, and the CBI.
“The mission would like to thank the Iraqi authorities for their cooperation and the open and productive discussions.”
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Ridinir1800: A key part of Gold Market will see Major shift Friday
MarketWatch By Myra P. Saefong 6 hours ago
New gold price medium may lift China’s ‘secretive veil’
SAN FRANCISCO (Marke****ch) — On Friday, for the first time in close to a century, the gold market price fix is about to change. It is a move that could potentially provide a better view of China’s insatiable demand for the precious metal.
The London Bullion Market Association said the LBMA Gold Price will launch on Friday, with the ICE Benchmark Administration operating the auction process. That will replace the so-called London Gold Fix, a widely-used pricing medium that has been around since 1919 and is administered by London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. twice daily.
“The changes taking place with the new gold fix could be a game changer for gold trading as we know it,” said Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International.
AFP/Getty Images A sales woman talks to a protective customer outside a jewelry store in Hong Kong. A C D MA MB MC MD ME MP
The London Gold Fix, which will be dis continued after Thursday, is determined by just four participants. The nearly 100-year-old, medium has also been the target of decades of manipulation allegations.
But the LBMA has said the electronic auction process for setting the gold price is designed to be transparent and to allow as many participants as possible.
“The new method for fixing the gold price daily will be more reflective of that day’s collective price of gold on the world market,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, adding that he believes the previous London fix “was not greatly askew on that determination.”
China is expected to participate directly in setting the new price fix, which, in theory, would make inflows and outflows out of the world’s second largest economy, and one of the largest gold buyers, more apparent.
“This opens up the playing field for gold trading, and adds an entirely new spectrum of possibilities and participants, mainly the Chinese, on the world stage,” Kerr said. “It may lift the very secretive veil” of China’s gold consumption Kerr noted.
For it is part, LBMA said it won’t reveal the participants for the new pricing medium until the day of the launch.
But if the Chinese banks are directly involved in the fixing of the gold price, “they can arbitrage price differences between Shanghai and London [and smooth] out the market … making it an international, 24-hour market,” said Julian Phillips, founder of and contributor to GoldForecaster.com.
The new fix isn’t expected to affect gold prices (XCEC:GCJ5) in the near term.
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walkongstick : Iraq’s Zebari says Baghdad to make budget payment to Kurdistan within days
Posted on March 18, 2015 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, Oil & Gas, Politics
BAGHDAD,— Iraq’s government will make a budget payment to Kurdish authorities “within days”, the finance minister said, playing down concerns that an oil export deal that helped thaw bilateral relations could collapse.
Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday the delay in what is meant to be a monthly transfer of over $1 billion from Baghdad in exchange for oil from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region was due to a fiscal crisis rather than political factors.
He said both sides were still committed to the deal though he declined to reveal the size of the forthcoming payment.
The minister, a Kurd, cited poor fiscal management, the costly battle against Islamic State militants, and the sharp fall in oil prices as reasons for the federal government’s cash shortfall.
Iraq’s Kurdish region has been battling a financial crisis since Baghdad authorities cut budget payments in January 2014 as punishment for its attempts to export oil independently.
The payments resumed in December along with Kurdish oil deliveries. But so far this year, Baghdad has paid only a fraction of the money, arguing that the oil handed over to Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization does not match the volumes the Kurds committed to.
The oil deal was hailed as a breakthrough that would help Iraq increase exports at a time when revenues are strained by low global crude prices and the cost of financing a war against extremist insurgents holding parts of the country’s north and west.
Zebari said it also remained a cornerstone of bilateral relations. “It’s a comprehensive deal that means a great deal for everybody. Both sides are committed to it and that is encouraging.”
The minister said he understood the impatience of the Kurdish Regional Government “because they haven’t received their payment for some time.”
While mutual mistrust and unrealistic expectations remained a problem, Baghdad would “transfer another payment to the KRG very soon, within days,” he added.
The dispute exemplifies differences between the two sides over who should control the country’s oil resources and revenues.
Kurdish authorities in Erbil have threatened to sue buyers and ramp up independent oil exports, and say they have already been forced to sell some oil independently because Baghdad has not paid them and the region needs to meet a bloated public sector payroll as well as repaying creditors.
Zebari acknowledged that if there is “no serious progress the deal will not hold,” but said both sides are committed to avoiding that.
Zebari: Baghdad will pay part of the budget for Kurdistan within days
Khandan - Minister of Finance announced in the federal government, Hoshyar Zebari, said that the federal government will pay the installment of the budget for the Kurdistan region within days. Zebari said in an interview with the agency (Reuters) said on Wednesday that the delay is due to the financial crisis and not to political factors, he said, adding that the two sides do not remain committed to the agreement. But he refused to disclose the next batch size.
He Zebari to that of the reasons for the lack of liquidity of the federal government's mismanagement of public finances and the costs of managing the war with al "Daash" terrorist along with the sharp drop in oil prices. He said Zebari said the agreement between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region is still a pillar basic relations between the two parties, saying, "It is a comprehensive agreement is of great importance for all. Both parties are committed to it and this is encouraging." Finance Minister said he understands the impatience of Government of the Territory, "because they did not receive their payments for some time."
He said that while the absence of trust and expectations Realism is still a problem, the Baghdad will be a "turning a new part of the payments to the Government of the Kurdistan region very soon .. within days."