5-23-2012 Scooter-EG: I think Iraq is much farther along based on the 12/31 document from the World Bank outlining task to be completed.
What you have to remember is that these documents are distributed and released to the public with timing in mind. When the IMF or World Bank release their annual CR's Country Reports they might have a "stinging" review in the document and the document may have been released just two weeks ago but the date of the published internal doc may have been released four months ago.
With that said lets take a look at the World Bank document released on Iraq's Financial Sector that could have easily been the case, whereby those task with a 12/31 deadline could have easily been accomplished.
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Here's the good news, the World Bank delegation is visiting Iraq, they don't send a delegation just to visit. They will only send a delegation to show something is completed, so perhaps some of those bigger items have been completed.
I do know that Iraq's banking is going to be one of the most sophisticated in the world and they are well underway with this project. They will be leveraging some unique mobile applications in combination with the smart cards. There's a company out of South Africa supplying these cards.
Imagine having a brand new CPI get rolled out to the 30 million people. Bread, milk, basic necessities are now priced completely different and now we have this one smart card, which contains more information than what your wallet or purse can hold.
It has all your insurance, banking, and personal demographic on it and I can now use it to purchase products.
Combine this with new pricing, cost, financial transactions for the consumer and it's very compelling. The last I heard is that over 2.0 million have been distributed according to this firm.
Now as to WTO, there were four laws that were required to be passed to and one them was the tarrifs. If I look at the law library, they passed that law just recently.
The July 1st date is always an interesting date in Iraq because that's the date they have been trying to Revalue/DeValue their assets at those government banks. So, when I see dates surrounding WTO and July 1st, that just elevates that date as one to watch.
I think that one of Shabibi's main objectives was to build a foundation under severe circumstances for the currency to become resilient and strong.
When I say strong I don't mean the value, I mean it's durability, sustainability and longevity. In that regard, he's done a fairly decent job.