INC Moves to Take over Iraqi Finances, Economic Policy
More on the ambitious “shock treatment” of the Iraqi economy announced Monday. Apparently Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress pushed for the plan on the Iraq side, even as proponents of the Washington Consensus did so on the American. The INC managed to get Kamil Mubdir al-Kaylani appointed a Minister of Finance and Banking. A Sunni Arab born in Baghdad in 1959, he headed a contracting firm in the capital and holds a degree in economics.
An informed reader wrote me that she was told that “Kaylani was brought in as minister specifically with the plan to announce this [economic liberalization plan]. He was the Iraqi National Congress’s nominee as minister.” The sentiment among some high Coalition officials is that the plan is “ridiculous” insofar as it lacks any restrictions on the export of profits abroad. Kaylani is also said to have fired several very able persons in the Finance Department.
Ominously, INC chairman and temporary president of the Interim Governing Council, Ahmad Chalabi, gave an interview Tuesday with Agence France Presse in which he said that the United States civil administration of Iraq must share more power with the IGC, especially “the ministry of finance” and the area of security. (Chalabi is wanted in Jordan for embezzling millions from a bank, and was also dropped by the CIA and the State Department for not being able to account for half of the millions they gave him to oppose Saddam. What Iraq really needs is to have Chalabi in control of the country’s finances!)