Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
How Stagflation Effects Stocks - 5th Dec 21
Bitcoin FLASH CRASH! Cryptos Blood Bath as Exchanges Run Stops, An Early Christmas Present for Some? - 5th Dec 21
TESCO Pre Omicron Panic Christmas Decorations Festive Shop 2021 - 5th Dec 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Into Mid 2022 - 4th Dec 21
INVESTING LESSON - Give your Portfolio Some Breathing Space - 4th Dec 21
Don’t Get Yourself Into a Bull Trap With Gold - 4th Dec 21
GOLD HAS LOTS OF POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE - 4th Dec 21
4 Tips To Help You Take Better Care Of Your Personal Finances- 4th Dec 21
What Is A Golden Cross Pattern In Trading? - 4th Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - Part 2 - 3rd Dec 21
Stock Market Major Turning Point Taking Place - 3rd Dec 21
The Masters of the Universe and Gold - 3rd Dec 21
This simple Stock Market mindset shift could help you make millions - 3rd Dec 21
Will the Glasgow Summit (COP26) Affect Energy Prices? - 3rd Dec 21
Peloton 35% CRASH a Lesson of What Happens When One Over Pays for a Loss Making Growth Stock - 1st Dec 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: I Fear For Retirees For The Next 20 Years - 1st Dec 21 t
Will the Anointed Finanical Experts Get It Wrong Again? - 1st Dec 21
Main Differences Between the UK and Canadian Gaming Markets - 1st Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - 30th Nov 21
Omicron Covid Wave 4 Impact on Financial Markets - 30th Nov 21
Can You Hear It? That’s the Crowd Booing Gold’s Downturn - 30th Nov 21
Economic and Market Impacts of Omicron Strain Covid 4th Wave - 30th Nov 21
Stock Market Historical Trends Suggest A Strengthening Bullish Trend In December - 30th Nov 21
Crypto Market Analysis: What Trading Will Look Like in 2022 for Novice and Veteran Traders? - 30th Nov 21
Best Stocks for Investing to Profit form the Metaverse and Get Rich - 29th Nov 21
Should You Invest In Real Estate In 2021? - 29th Nov 21
Silver Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 21
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 28th Nov 21
Crude Oil Didn’t Like Thanksgiving Turkey This Year - 28th Nov 21
Sheffield First Snow Winter 2021 - Snowballs and Snowmen Fun - 28th Nov 21
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Egypt Crisis Financial Bonanza for Wall Street Investors and Speculators

Politics / Middle East Feb 06, 2011 - 07:37 AM GMT

By: Michel_Chossudovsky

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMubarak's  decision not to resign was taken in close consultation with Washington.  The US administration including US intelligence had carefully identified the possible scenarios. If Washington had instructed Mubarak to step down, he would have obeyed forthright.

His decision not to resign indelibly serves US interests. It creates a situation of social chaos and political inertia, which in turn generates a vacuum in decision making at the government level.


The continued social crisis has also resulted in a massive outflow of  money capital. More concretely, what this signifies is that Egypt's official foreign exchange reserves are being confiscated by major financial institutions. 

The ransacking of the country's money wealth is an integral part of  the macroeconomic agenda. The newly formed government on instructions from Washington has not taken concrete steps to curtail the massive outward flow of money capital. A prolonged social crisis means that large amounts of money will be appropriated.  

According to official sources, Egypt's Central Bank had (prior to the protest movement) 36 billion dollars in foreign exchange reserves as well as an additional $21 billion of  deposits  with international banking institutions which are said to to constitute its so-called "unofficial reserves." (Reuters, 30 January, 2011).

Egypt's external debt, which has increased by more than fifty percent in the last five years is of the order 34.1 billion (2009). What this means is that these Central Bank reserves are de facto based on borrowed money.

In early 2010, there was a large influx of hot money deposits into Egyptian government debt instruments.

Foreign exchange flows into the country and is exchanged for Egyptian pounds (EgP),  which are then used by institutional investors and speculators to purchase high yielding government bonds and treasury bills (denominated in Egyptian pounds) with short term interest rates of the order 10 percent.

The interest rate on long term government bonds shot up to 7.2 percent at the outset of the protest movement. (Egypt Banks to Open Amid Concern Deposit-Run May Weaken Pound, Lift Yields - Bloomberg, January 2, 2011)

At the onset of the crisis, international investors owned about $25bn of Egyptian T-bills and bonds, almost a fifth of the total T-bill market and about 40 per cent of the domestic bond market. Foreign investors also accounted for about 17 per cent of the stock market’s turnover, and held about $5bn-$6bn of Egyptian shares. (Ibid)

Under its agreement with the IMF, Egypt is not allowed to implement foreign exchange controls. These hot money deposits are now leaving the country in anticipation of a devaluation of the Egyptian pound. In the days preceding Mubarak's speech, capital flight was running at several hundred million dollars a day.

In a bitter irony, Egypt deposits 21 billion with the commercial banks as "unofficial reserves" on the one hand, while the commercial banks acquire $25bn worth of EgP debt, with a yield of the order of 10 percent. What this suggests is that Egypt is financing its own indebtedness.

The protest movement started on a bank holiday. While the closure of the Cairo stock market and domestic banking system had put a temporary lid on the outflow of money capital,  large amounts of capital flight instrumented by major financial institutions had already occurred in the days leading up to the protest movement. 

Egypt's banking system reopened on February 5, leading to a renewed process of capital flight resulting in the depletion of central bank reserves and a corresponding increase in Egypt's foreign debt.

A devaluation of at least 20 percent is contemplated. According to  UBS'  emerging markets currency division, "the pound could “easily” drop by a further 50 per cent or so to E£9 per US dollar". FT.com / Currencies - Banks weigh risk of capital flight, February 1, 2010)

A devaluation of more than ten percent would wreck social havock: Domestic prices of food are dollarized. If there is a devaluation of the Egyptian pound, this would inevitably trigger a renewed increase in the prices of essential food staples, leading to a further process of impoverishment.

A scenario of currency devaluation, rising external debt coupled with a renewed  package of IMF sponsored austerity measures would inevitably lead to an accentuation of the social crisis and a new wave of protests.

The newly appointed Finance Minister Samir Radwan is firmly committed to the Washington consensus, which has served to impoverish the Egyptian people.  In a contraditory statement on February 3, Radwan confirmed that "the government won’t reduce subsidies even if global prices of food and commodities rise. Public spending will be used as a tool to “achieve social justice,” he told a news conference in Cairo."  (Bloomberg, February 5, 2011)

Radwan is abiding by IMF-World Bank guidelines: no restrictions will be placed on capital flight. The Central Bank will ensure the conversion of hot money deposits into hard currency by major financial institutions. The coffers of the central will be ransacked. 

With capital flight, domestic debt is transformed into foreign debt, putting the country into the stranglehold of foreign creditors: 

Radwan said Egypt will honor its debt obligations and urged foreign investors to have confidence in the country. “All the bond obligations, everything will be honored on time,” Radwan said in a Feb. 4 telephone interview from Cairo. “We are not defaulting on any obligations.” (Bloomberg, February 5, 2011)

In a bitter irony, Mubarak's decision to remain as head of State with Washington's approval has served the interests of institutional investors, currency traders and speculators.

Financial dislocation, rising debt and spiralling food prices:  Before "democratic" elections are called, Egypt will have been pushed into the straightjacket of a new set of IMF condionalities.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).  He is co-editor, with Michel Chossudovsky, of the recent book, "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century," available to order at Globalresearch.ca.

Andrew G. Marshall is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Andrew G. Marshall

© Copyright Andrew G. Marshall , Global Research, 2011

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in