Structural economic imbalances
The Iraqi Institute for economic reform
The article seeks to examine the value of the Iraqi currency fluctuations and interpretation of structural imbalances and poor application of vocabulary governance and behavioral factors. And concludes that the following factors have led to increased demand for foreign currencies and shortage of supply: external political and economic weakness of the business environment, fiscal policy, and political and economic instability, weak domestic productive capacities and the improvement in the Iraqi per capita income was a factor also, poor governance and the rule of law and, erosion of family remittances from overseas, and the growing presence of financial transfer companies and brokerage firms (parallel market), and the emergence of trade zones in border ports.
With thanks to Dr. Ahmed Hamdi Husseini, for his participation in the preparation of this paper
The value of the Iraqi currency and structural economic imbalances
The article seeks to examine the value of the Iraqi currency fluctuations and interpretation of structural imbalances and poor application of vocabulary governance and behavioral factors.
1. structural imbalances
Iraqi currency derived from the content of the economy, it cannot examine the stability of the currency value away from dealing with economic reality. Currently the economy suffers from weakness in its core, is the reality of the Iraqi economy through closer look at components of GDP for 2011, where the different sectors to GDP as follows: oil 54.74%, agriculture 4, 15% and industry about 1.83%. So this shows the Iraqi economy on the oil sector. I’ve increased the value of GDP in current prices of 52,010 to 211.310 billion Iraqi dinars for the period 2004-2011, for the same period the value of GDP in current prices excluding petroleum from the 22,688 95822 billion dinar.
The problem is when oil revenues are much greater than the revenues derived from taxes, the Government is usually a significant financial asset disposal easy profits (not achieved at the expense of the financial resources of the citizens). This phenomenon will, in the absence of democracy (full meaning) to give the Government space to dispose of public funds is efficient, for example, Governments to adopt:
1) sterile in its economic policies: with increased salaries and wages away from accounts labour productivity and expanding employment to non-productive purposes which result in price inflation and economic support policy updated deformation in the structure of the economy and market indicators, and orientation towards spending unproductive political aims in essence to link citizen power.
2 non-spending economic policies: activities that have no economic justification as grants and assistance and open foreign diplomatic and cultural circles adds real value to the economy and citizens, and not be at the expense of pressing economic areas relating to the dignity of the citizen.
As a result of all that the private sector in these States has a weak and marginal, because it does not have the support (as is the case in the public sector) and is concentrated in the areas of trade and economic service.
The absence of the real role of the private sector means the absence of creativity and speed adjustment to market needs and to provide employment outside the public sector. The uniqueness of the sector of production and the absence of private-sector competition lead to the continued deterioration of the production efficiency of the public sector, which requires government intervention and protection of the public sector through financial support and custom protection policy (currently rate the annual support $ 3 billion).
So the Government is working to protect the dormant account productivity institutions ‘ which finds the case compelled to buy goods or services at a higher price and poor quality. The sacrifice usually as the world experiences the ascendant in the short term and to improve the performance and efficiency of the public sector. Politically, the absence of the role of the private sector makes citizens hired to staff his Government from the direction of the Government, there is no doubt it affects individual autonomy from the Government and from then on the broad arena of independent civil society organizations. The Government in these contexts lead to split into two factions of citizens, users and others.
Because of limited job opportunities that could be created by the public sector, the government is seeking to create jobs through the promotion of the role of the security by increasing the number of employees of the police and army and take advantage of the surplus cash in the purchase of arms and military equipment.
The growth of military capabilities encouraged to address the internal and external differences militarily, and then pre-empt any signs of growth and development in absolute terms. On the other hand that the adoption of oil revenues on the price of oil world market displays the economies of those countries to the waves of the tide, which is reflected by the sharp fluctuations in oil revenues (as Invert in planning the federal budget from 2008 to 2009.
Finally, the oil revenues of the States usually benefit including the cities over the countryside, and this is what causes a migration from the countryside to the city, but no doubt that this migration is usually in short period of time resulting in bottlenecks sharp due to insufficient supply of services in relation to demand and to social and economic problems manifold.
Impact of this situation on the the level of services available in the city to exceed the weakness of the contribution of rural areas in the agricultural and livestock production and for changes in the fertility of the earth, and that lead to heavy losses. fact that what progress we can find him credibility in the Iraqi economy, especially during the period of time 1968 – 2003, no doubt that the effects of these policies and nature has not changed radically, because of the political pressure that list reflected the weakness of political will to change.
2. the market value of the Iraqi currency
In 1930 the first special law on issuance of dinar as currency, and in 1932 the Iraqi dinar was issued and the dinar = 3.3 pound sterling, and in 1958 was the dinar’s disengagement with pound and had been linked to the US dollar based dinar = 3.4 u.s. dollars. From 1932 to 1990 was issued 12 the dinar, and after 1990 were printed locally in printing currency and the exchange rate of the rivers, and after 2003 were printed version of the new dinar, currency and exchange rate floating past.
Source: Central Bank of Iraq
The local currency is part of the sovereignty of the State and also reflects the amount of economic well-being, and the exchange rate plays an important role in the economic activities of States, whether commercial or investment activity, which occupies a central place in the exchange rate, monetary policy, so that it can be used as a target or a tool, is also an indicator of competitive State through its impact on economic growth, such as investment and the degree of openness to international trade and capital flows, and the evolution of the financial sector.
Exchange rate: defines which is gets its foreign exchange swap national currency. The exchange rate is determined by the law of demand and supply, the more the currency rate has increased demand and lower demand, lower priced. There are two types of systems used by States to determine the value of its currency:
Fixed: Exchange systems are installed either currency into the currency of one feature certain specifications such as strength and stability. Or to a basket of currencies of major trading partners ‘ currencies, currency of special drawing rights, the unit or precious metals such as gold and silver.
Flexible exchange systems: characterized by flexibility and adaptability adjustment based on certain criteria such as economic indicators.
And the State may follow floating system where the authorities amend the frequency of exchange rates based on the level of foreign currency reserves and gold. Or use the free float that allows currencies to fluctuate up and down depending on the market, this system allows for economic policies to be free from the constraints of the exchange rate.
Exchange first, the Central Bank, which represents the State’s major management to identify and manage monetary policy to achieve economic targets that aspire to it by the State, and secondly by commercial banks and money transfer companies to intervene in the market to carry out the orders of their clients or on their own, these centres collect customers ‘ orders and bank clearing, brokerage firms are active brokers who collect purchase or sale of foreign currency for several banks or other traders away from transparency.
Factors affecting the currency in Iraq
Recently, over the past few months the value of the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies to sometimes parallel 1,300 dinars to the dollar after having been stable on average for every dollar 1,185 despite steady sales to the Central Bank, of 1166 IQD Commission 13 dinars for any remittance 1179 dinars and 1171 dinars for sale cash and this indicates the high demand for the dollar in the domestic market to the following factors:
• 1-external factors: formed a political and economic crises in neighboring countries (Syria and Iran) and embodied in those States needed to work the dollar and foreign currencies. The local currency is reduced in those States and reflected down the price of exports to Iraq, create Windows to attract dollars from Iraq to those States through trading so attractive to Iraqis at the same time a source of foreign currency for the Iranians and the Syrians. On the other hand there are social cohesion with them may also be a port for the dollar but it is difficult to predict.
2. business environment: represented by the factors that lead to the flight of domestic capital and foreign investors, including political instability and the absence of the rule of law in economic transactions. There is no doubt that the period of time following the 2008 saw improvement in the security situation and in the rate of inflation and the exchange rate. However, the economic environment still anthelmintics, does not promote planning for medium-or long-term projects.
That led to some business activities and on profit yielding business, the proportion of it turning into another countries suffer from a lack of liquidity resulting from the impact of the financial crisis that began in late 2008 (ranked Iraq amounted to 165 from 183 countries in 2012)
3. fiscal policy in previous years has seen high rates of government spending at a rate higher than any other country in the world (public expenditure rose from 34.6 trillion dinars in 2004 to 117.1 trillion dinars in 2012) and that most of the pictures are spending to rise in consumer spending the rest of the world (travel, wellness and seminar, and import goods and investments in real estate and other projects), and also led to a rise in net Iraqi currency in circulation amounted to 36 trillion dinars in 2013, raising demand for currencies Foreign imports increased from 37302.7 million dollars in 2010 to 40632.5 million dollars in 2011 or changed at 8.9%.
• 4-poor tax policies also include: application of the law on customs tariff of course that flooding the market with goods and services payable in dollars. Weak efficiency of tax receivables collection ensures additional profits have been finding their way because of the weakness of the Iraqi bank credit abroad in dollars.
5. the political and economic stability: because Iraq States described as the transition and political and economic instability, the proportion of individuals with accounts in foreign banks abroad and usually of high officials and rich people, these remittances is directly proportional with higher oil revenues.
• 6-low local production capacities: improvement in per capita income from $ 1670 TO $ 5,400 makes looking for launching more in terms of quantity . This factor is reflected in the market through external spending on imported machinery and new materials or through increased spending on foreign consumer goods.
• 7. poor governance and the rule of law: it embodies the wastage of public money and corruption as an example select speculative projects more than their true value, naturally and pace convert Iraqi dinars to the dollar.
• 8-family of adapters: in previous years there has been a significant proportion of family from abroad are adapters inside the Iraqi capita improvement but these remittances were eased .
• 9-money transfer companies and brokerage firms (parallel market): the presence of these companies to encourage the practice of cash remittances that constitute pressure on dollar holdings, was the first adoption of the documentary transfers.
• 10-low non-oil foreign exchange earnings because of declining donations and international assistance for reconstruction and the decline in the US presence in Iraq .
• 11-trade areas at border crossing points: the existence of these areas has encouraged dollar cash directly at the point of contact, and thus lead to higher demand on the dollar.
That gets distorted in the structure of the Iraqi economy is forgone rent, economic policy and is not expected to dominate this deformity in the near term. The work requires the application of institutional governance of vocabulary by adopting strategic vision, competence, responsibility, transparency, rule of law, participation and acceptance unanimous equality objectives cannot be achieved in the near term. Overall solutions in monetary policy requires a long time to achieve the desired results, and based on the factors affecting the local currency in Iraq, it is necessary to divide the solutions and procedures into two parts:
Quick fixes (short):
• 1-reduced hard currency infusion (sale) auction, the Central Bank and increased adoption of foreign remittances.
• 2-cash sale price increase in the Central Bank auction of equivalent sale price in the auction of foreign remittances in order to eliminate the profit achieved by the difference between the two prices.
3. buying and selling foreign currency remittance companies and mediate through banks approved in Iraq aimed at reducing substandard conditions of transactions and procedures.
• 4-requiring dealers in the areas of trade between Iraq and neighboring countries to deal with the financial transfer and guarantees rather than cash purchase.
• 5-commitment to the transparency of the auction information and remittances and development of an information system.
Radical solutions (long term):
• 1-revision of State fiscal policy and reduce inflation in operational expenditure.
• 2-the need to accelerate the banking reform plans in order to facilitate the exchange of cash.
• Improving the tax code and work to expand it horizontally with a minimizing tax evasion.
4. Customs Tariff Act because of its important role in providing incentives to producers of economic advantage, leading to the reduction of imports and improve revenue.
• 5-improving the business environment to upgrade the productivity of local production companies and institutions that would reduce imports and increase the intake of foreign exchange through export and attracting foreign investment.
6. use of modern electronic mechanisms in the distribution of salaries and use of banking instruments and encourage savings.
• 7-can issue new currency or delete zeros from the current currency would have a positive psychological impact on the local currency dealers.
Dr. Kamal Al-Basri