KTFA (Samson)

Samson: Trump Fed pick wants to revive the gold standard. Here’s what that means:

3rd July 2019   VIDEO ON THE LINK

As President Donald Trump named his picks to fill two influential seats on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, the price of gold surged. That may be because one of them, Judy Shelton, is a believer in the return to the gold standard, a money policy abandoned by the U.S. in 1971.

Shelton is raising eyebrows among mainstream economists for her views, which include slashing the Fed’s benchmark rate to zero and pegging the value of the dollar to gold prices.

She’s not the first Trump pick for the Fed to advocate a return to the gold standard, with his two previous failed Fed choices — Stephen Moore and Herman Cain — also advocating for a revival of the policy.

In picking Shelton, Mr. Trump is aiming to place a supporter on the Federal Reserve, which he’s argued is slowing economic growth and depressing the stock market by keeping interest rates too high.

The Fed currently is maintaining its benchmark rate in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, but Shelton has said she wants to lower rates “as fast, as efficiently, as expeditiously as possible.”

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump  I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Judy Shelton, Ph. D., U.S. Executive Dir, European Bank of Reconstruction & Development to be on the board of the Federal Reserve….

To be sure, Mr. Trump’s second pick, economist Christopher Waller, holds more mainstream economic views. The research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Waller has expressed support for the independence of the Federal Reserve and allowing inflation to run a bit higher, in order to help the economy recover from slowdowns.

Like Mr. Trump, Shelton has a history of attacking the Fed’s policies and supporting the gold standard, a monetary policy rejected by most mainstream economists as antiquated.

The planned nominations were announced by Mr. Trump in a tweet late Tuesday. Each must be confirmed by the Senate.

What exactly is the gold standard? 

It’s a policy that links the value of a country’s currency to gold. The U.S. adopted it in 1879, and it allowed consumers, banks and businesses to exchange a dollar for actual gold. That may sound like a solid deal, given that actual gold would back up your bucks. But there’s a downside: A country can only issue as much money as it has backed by gold.

The upshot is that countries on the gold standard have less flexibility to respond to financial crises or economic downturns. Currently, the U.S. dollar isn’t tied to any specific asset.

When did the U.S. abandon the gold standard? 

The long goodbye to the gold standard began with the Great Depression, when panicked consumers sought to trade dollars for gold. To keep the country’s gold reserves from becoming depleted, the U.S. had to offer high interest rates as an alternative, which, in turn, made it more expensive to lend money and hampered the country’s ability to rebound from the Depression.

In response, President Franklin Roosevelt suspended the gold standard in 1933, a move which is widely credited with helping the country climb out of the Depression. That’s because the decision allowed the government to lower interest rates and pump money into the economy.

But the U.S. still allowed foreign governments to trade dollars for gold, until President Nixon abolished the policy in 1971 as a way to keep gold reserves from depletion.

Why do Shelton and others want to return to the gold standard? 

Shelton argues it would mark a return to stability and hamper other governments from currency manipulation. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, she wrote “the classical gold standard established an international benchmark for currency values, consistent with free-trade principles.”

She added, “Today’s arrangements permit governments to manipulate their currencies to gain an export advantage.”

Others argue that the gold standard would keep U.S. spending under control, because the country would be limited in its ability to issue new money.

Why do mainstream economists believe it’s a fringe view? 

The U.S. economy has grown in complexity since 1971 and certainly since 1933, making the policy less feasible than in earlier eras. And a return to the gold standard could in effect tie the Fed’s hands because the central bank would be focused on gold prices, which are partially based on how much of the commodity is being mined.

“A gold standard regime would be a disaster for any large advanced economy,” said University of Chicago economist Anil Kashyap. Supporting the gold standard “implies macroeconomic illiteracy.”

The price of gold, by the way, is up more than 11% this year, passing $1,400 an ounce this week. Bearish investors have been rushing to buy gold the past few months amid concerns that global growth is slowing, especially if U.S.-China trade tensions worsen. Gold jumped further Wednesday as investors saw Mr. Trump’s Fed picks as yet another sign the U.S. central bank won’t be raising interest rates anytime soon.    LINK

Samson:  Mashat: Iraqi banking sector has to respond very quickly to digital transformations

10th July, 2019

A member of the Board of Directors of the Iraqi Economic Council Baqir Mashat, on Wednesday, that “the digital transformation strengthens the banking sector inside Iraq.”

“Iraqi banks (private – government) in order to prosper, must respond quickly to the increasing changes taking place in the world today and speed up the digital transformation,” said Mashat in a statement received by Al – Ghad Press.

“The Iraqi banking sector has undergone tremendous changes over the past decade, from meeting financial requirements to the proliferation of business models based on ecosystems and the emergence of devices, channels and new technologies.”

“Taking advantage of digital technology to set regulatory processes and increase efficiency may increase the profit margin in the short term for banks,” he said.

“The right digital transformation gives a lasting advantage by revolutionizing the customer experience at all points of digital banking.”   LINK

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Samson:  Iraq maintains its 38th position in the world and the fifth largest Arab reserves of gold in Tetouz

10th July, 2019

The International Gold Council announced on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, that Iraq has maintained its position 38 and the world’s fifth largest Arab reserves of gold for July, indicating that the United States is still on the largest reserves of the world gold.

“Iraq maintained its 38th position in the world’s largest gold reserves for July of 100 countries listed in international financial statistics of the world’s gold reserves, which amounted to 96.3 tons, which represents 6.2% of the rest of its other currencies” He said.

The Council added that “Iraq also maintained the fifth rank in the Arab world, which came after Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria and Libya,” noting that “the last purchase of Iraq from gold was in September of 2018 and the amount of 6.5 tons.”

“The United States is still the world’s largest reserve of gold with 8.133 tons, followed by Germany with 3.367 tons, followed by the International Monetary Fund with reserves of 2.814 tons, followed by Italy with 2.451 tons,” he said.   LINK

Samson:  Trump Announces Big Deal with Qatar to Sell Boeing Aircraft

10th July, 2019

US President Donald Trump said during a meeting with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Washington that the United States would sign a huge contract with Doha to sell Boeing planes.

Trump described Tuesday the Emir of Qatar as “a real leader in a very important part of the world.” “We are working a lot, they are investing heavily in our country, providing jobs and buying huge volumes of military equipment, including aircraft,” Trump said. “We are buying a large number of commercial aircraft from Boeing and we are very appreciative of this, and we will sign a document today, and this will be a very big deal … They will buy a large number of Boeing aircraft.”

Trump said, recalling that Qatar hosts On its territory “one of the largest military bases (America) in the world,” noting that the runways have been expanded and landing in the recent period.  Trump described the US base in Qatar as “a wonderful base in the heart of the Middle East, and this is a very important place.” “We are working a lot on infrastructure and we plan to invest more,” said the emir of Qatar.

The Emir of Qatar called on President Trump to visit Qatar and the US military base at any time.   LINK

MarkPam:  Folks I think we are in a good place. IMO, the deal DT made with the Emir of Qatar has far more implications than the huge amount of trade. I believe it was another message sent to the ME to play ball with the US and you will make money! Additionally and IMO I believe it sent a message to Iraq that they are missing out on these trade deals due to their speed of action.

Qatar is only a couple hours flight time from Iraq so, if anybody saw the YouTube yesterday with DT and the Emir, the first thing they spoke about was the new military base….and then the trade deals! Anybody else notice that?? Amazing chess game!!

This agreement with Qatar has deeper impact than many consider as just another deal.  Consider: Location of Qatar in the ME. The new military base established. The 186B in trade with the hopes in the near future to “double it” per a statement from the Emir.

And Boeing, why all the new aircraft?  Trade, tourism, ME impact will be huge for Qatar because they are moving first with these types of transactions!

What is the old adage: The early bird gets the worm?   Better get moving Iraq before all the Big Dollar trade deals (think Kuwait meetings almost 2 years ago and no contract executions) and monies will be committed to other ME countries as we saw yesterday and Iraq will get etched out of deals because somebody else got there first!!  IMO.

Samson:  A parliamentary source reveals a new political agreement on the US presence

10th July, 2019

A senior parliamentary source denied on Wednesday the existence of any draft circulated law to remove US troops in parliament or the government, noting that the three presidencies and political blocs agreed on the wording of a decision to keep US troops under the pretext of training and logistical support.

The source said in a statement to the “information” that “the law to remove US forces does not exist in the inclusion of the House of Representatives or the government as the media.”
He added that what is being discussed in the corridors of political blocs is to amend a paragraph of the Strategic Framework Agreement with the United States for the purpose of keeping US forces and determine their objectives in the field of training and logistical support only.”

The source explained that “the three presidencies and presidencies of the political blocs are those who delayed the issuance of any official position on the American presence until the moment.”   LINK

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Samson:  The United Nations: Iraq will not be a party to the conflict between Iran and America

10th July, 2019

Iraq will not be a party to the conflict between Iran and the United States, the foreign affairs committee said on Wednesday, noting that it is seeking to counter the remaining terrorist ideology in the country.

“The head of the Foreign Relations Committee, Mirkoj, met with a delegation from the United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) headed by Manoj Mathieu,” the office of the committee’s chairman, Shirko Merwais, said in a statement.

“The Committee on Foreign Relations is working through committees of friendship with the world parliaments to support the work of international organizations through their oversight and legislative role and follow the level of diplomatic missions abroad.”

“The situation in Iraq is stable, which represents an opportunity for all representatives working in Iraq to support the reconstruction of areas affected by terrorist gangs,”
he said. Witnessed struggles and efforts to combat corruption and the service sector.” “Iraq will not be a party to any conflict taking place in the region between Iran and the United States because they are two allies,” he said.   LINK

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