In the ready-aim-issue-currency department, Pabitra Saha forwarded this article from The Guardian. Thanks. -Editor
The risk of economic chaos caused by billions of dollars worth of rival banknotes starting to circulate in Libya may fatally undermine the
new unity government in Tripoli, senior European diplomats fear.
A political battle between the UN-recognised Tripoli government led by Fayez Sarraj and the Tobruk-based parliament loyal to General
Khalifa Haftar in the east has led to parallel splits in the country's financial institutions, with two central banks threatening to
circulate rival Libyan dinar banknotes in the country.
De La Rue, the Basingstoke-based currency printer and a long-term supplier of notes to the Libyan government in Tripoli, sent 70m
dinars, worth about $50m, to the country last month and is in the process of delivering a further 1bn dinars before and during Ramadan.
A rival bank governor in the east, Ali Salim al-Hibri, once recognised as the bank governor by the IMF, claims to have printed 4bn
dinars worth of banknotes with the help of the Russian state.
The two currencies would have different serial numbers, security details and watermarks, diplomats say. The danger is two central banks
flooding the country with conflicting currencies that are not interchangeable in banks. They are also likely to worsen inflation. Food
inflation has reached 14% a year.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the central bank in the east holds nearly $185m in gold and silver coins in its British-made
vault, but is unable to access it because the code is retained by the Tripoli central bank.
The conflict over the banknotes is liable to worsen the country's longstanding banking liquidity crisis, caused by a reluctance of
Libyans to deposit their cash in banks. The shortage of cash in banks has led to long queues and strict limits on the amount than can be
I have the Guardian app on my phone, but it's been useless for finding interesting articles like this about the world, which
is why I downloaded it in the first place. It apparently detected that I'm in U.S. and showed me articles about U.S. robberies,
shootings and the Presidential election, as if I'm not already sick of that from our local media. I poked around and was able to
switch it to the U.K. edition. So now I see headlines like "Boris Johnson is blond, plays stupid, and wants to run the country.
Remind you of anyone?" -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Battle of the banknotes as rival
currencies are set to be issued in Libya (www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/20/battle-of-the-banknotes-rival-currencies-libya)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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