Samson: Iran : Rouhani Sends Banking Reform Bills to Parliament

17th August, 2017

Following an approval by the Cabinet and a presidential endorsement, the twin bills devised by the government to reform the banking system after almost 45 years have now been sent to the parliament.

President Hassan Rouhani officially delivered the Banking Reform Bill and the Central Bank Bill to Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Tuesday, Dolat.ir, the official news outlet of the administration, reported.

The bills have had a rocky journey on their way to the parliament and underwent many reviews and revisions before finally been approved by the Cabinet on July 23. The repeated delays had angered many lawmakers who threatened to ratify their own version of the reform agenda if the government continued its foot-dragging.

“More than four decades have passed since the first monetary and banking law of the country was approved and implemented in 1972. Since that time, the banking system has undergone many significant changes in all aspects and has assumed many key responsibilities,” reads the brief preface sent to the parliament.

Under the circumstances, adds the statement, the current law which is not in keeping with the conditions and requirements of its time, cannot comprehensively address the current needs and that is why the new reform plan has been devised.

The Banking Reform Bill is the new blueprint expected to replace the current Usury-Free Banking Law. The last amendments to the Usury-Free Banking Law were made in 1983 while the law itself specifies that upgrades are needed every five years.

Problems facing the beleaguered banking system and the need for preparing lenders to overcome the post-sanctions challenges have prompted the government to prepare its own reform scheme after the previous parliament nearly passed a controversial bill criticized by the government and bankers.

Wide-Ranging Changes

The Banking Reform Bill outlines the procedures for banks and non-bank credit institutions to follow for obtaining a license from CBI. It explains all banking operations and services, notifies regulations for the establishment of foreign bank branches and sets limits on their investments.

Other articles put in place a professional set of criteria for appointing new top executives and board members, and makes provision for setting up internal risk and auditing committees while detailing lending and capital adequacy rules.

On the other hand, the Central Bank Bill, whose law was first passed in 1972, aims to update banking regulations. Improving the independence of CBI, enhancing monetary policymaking and enforcing CBI’s supervision over the money market are among its key goals.

Owing to the deleterious operations of illegal credit institutions whose imminent departure was announced by the central bank last week, the bill puts added emphasis on supervision and obliges credit institutions to “cooperate with CBI supervisors and investigators and provide them with all the relevant information within the framework of regulations”.

It stresses that “CBI’s oversight over credit institutions is comprehensive” meaning that in addition to evaluating the operational risks of the institution, it has the mandate to evaluate the risk emanating from the parent company that owns the credit institution.

The reform measures also include articles on bankruptcy and merger of banks and credit institutions, as CBI Governor Valiollah Seif had previously signaled that takeovers might begin in the foreseeable future.

The goal of these reforms is to “ensure the stability, health and sustainability of the monetary and banking regime and safeguard the interests of depositors”.

In line with this, the bills also allow the Deposit Guarantee Fund, which guarantees people’s deposits up to a ceiling, to continue with its operations and obligate “all credit institutions” to become a member and make a contribution.

Currency Change

Among all the articles in the twin bills, perhaps the measure that attracted most headlines when it was first passed by the Cabinet was the introduction of toman as the new official currency unit of Iran in place of rial.

“With the aim of enforcing utmost conformity of legal frameworks with the realities of the society, the currency unit of the country has been changed to toman from rial, which now only acts in an accounting and bureaucratic capacity and has no practical use in the society,” the administration said in its briefing while justifying the currency change.

“Iran’s currency unit is toman. Each toman equals 10 rials,” it adds.

The Cabinet first approved the change in early December of last year, but it has to be approved by the parliament and ratified by the Guardians Council to become law.



Samson:  Video: Massive protests in Iran, call for toppling Khamenei’s regime

16th August, 2017   See website for video

Massive protests have ensued Iran’s streets, as protesters demonstrated against Khamanei’s regime oppression, as shown in a video obtained by The Baghdad Post.

The video shows protesters chanting slogans against Mullah regime that stole their wealth to form sectarian militias that dragged the Middle East into severe unrest.

The protesters chanted slogans like: Mullah rule is oppression and war and death to Khamenei.



Don961:   $ 13 trillion of Americans’ debt

Economy News _ Baghdad


US debt hit a new record high in the second quarter of the year, outpacing the pre-crisis peak earlier this year due to modest increases in mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt, while defaults jumped.

A report released by the Bank of New York Federal Reserve said total US household debt was $ 12.84 trillion in the three months to June, up $ 552 billion from a year ago.

The ratio of outstanding debt to total debt was 4.8 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter. But the delay in paying off credit card debt “has increased markedly,” the Reserve Bank of New York said.

The easing of lending standards has allowed low-credit borrowers to extract credit cards, said Andrew Haufaot, the bank’s economist, in the report.

“The current state of credit card defaults could be an early indicator of a general trend in the future and we will closely monitor the degree to which this increase could be a harbinger of further financial insolvency for consumers,” he said.

Mortgages reached $ 8.69 trillion in the second quarter, up $ 329 billion from a year ago, the report said. Student loans totaled 1.34 trillion dollars, an increase of 85 billion dollars and car loans of 1.19 trillion dollars, up 55 billion dollars.


Benblessed1:  Interesting… August 21 Eclipse

Subtle differences may be noticed in areas that only experience a partial solar eclipse, but much bigger changes will take place along the narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina that see a total eclipse of the sun.


360-degree sunrise/sunset
While everyone’s attention will be focused on the sky, looking down can reveal another scene that not many have experienced.

Spectators that look at the horizon during totality will witness the colors of sunrise and sunset around them in every direction.

This 360-degree sunset effect is caused by the light from the sun in areas outside of the path of totality and only lasts as long as the face of the sun is covered by the moon.

2. Stars and planets

As the moon causes day to turn to night, the darkness will reveal the stars in the sky as well as a few planets.

People shouldn’t waste too much time looking for planets and constellations since many of these can be seen at night during different parts of the year. However, the eclipse will make it easy to spot Mercury, a planet that can be tricky to spot due to its close proximity to the sun.

The celestial alignment will also reveal the sun’s corona, the area of hot gas the surrounds the sun.

A few lucky spectators may even be fortunate enough to see a meteor streak across the sky during the brief period of darkness.

3. Light pollution and city lights

Those watching the total solar eclipse from a city, parking lot or street corner may still see some light during the brief period of totality.

This light will not be from the sun, but rather streetlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark outside.

These automatic lights will not ruin the eclipse, but it may make it more difficult to spot planets and stars in the sky during totality.

4. Temperature change

Not only will an eclipse cause the environment to appear different, but also feel different.
“When sunlight fades at twilight, we always notice how things start to cool down. The same is true for the temporary dimming during a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.

Depending on factors such as the time of year, cloud cover and the length of totality, the air temperature can drop more than 20 degrees F.

During a solar eclipse in 1834, the air temperature in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania reportedly dropped by 28 degrees F.

Astronomers aren’t expecting the temperature to drop quite that much, but people may still feel the temperature drop by around 10 degrees F.

5. Shadow snakes

One of the rare phenomenon to look for during the total solar eclipse is something called shadow bands or shadow snakes.

“Shadow bands are thin, wavy lines of alternating light and dark that can be seen moving and undulating in parallel on plain-colored surfaces immediately before and after a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.

Some people also call these shadow snakes since their wavy motion can look like snakes slithering on the ground.

Scientists still do not fully understand what causes shadow bands, but they only occur during the seconds leading up to and the seconds immediately following totality.
This phenomenon does not happen during every eclipse, so it’s not a guarantee to see them.

When shadow bands do occur, they can be difficult to spot since they are often dim, so people trying to view them should set up a large white poster board, piece of plastic or bed sheet at their viewing site.



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