Trump Administration Threatens to Close Iraq’s Federal Reserve Bank Account Worth Billions

(Business Insider) The United States government is flexing its muscles to Iraq, warning there could be stiff financial consequences if the country follows through on efforts to expel US military forces in response to the US missile strike on Iraqi soil last week that killed a top Iranian general.

In light of overtures by Iraqi politicians to remove some 5,300 US troops, the US State Department reportedly threatened that it could cut off access to a key Iraqi account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that holds billions in oil revenues, Iraqi officials told The Wall Street Journal

The New York Fed provides banking services to roughly 250 central banks and other government institutions, according to WSJ. Shutting off the spigot to Iraq could squeeze the country’s access to cash, gumming up its financial system and wreaking havoc on its economy. 

The warning is the latest political dustup resulting from the January 3 assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport, which has inflamed political tensions in the region.

Following the attack, the Iraqi parliament passed a nonbinding resolution to oust the US military presence from the country, which earned backing from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

President Trump responded by threatening sanctions on Iraq if it follows through on the reprisals.

Amid Abdul-Mahdi’s support for the troop expulsion, US officials also reportedly warned the prime minister in a call on Wednesday of the potential fallout with the New York Fed and ensuing economic damage.

[Read more…]


US Economy Grew at Blistering 33% Rate in Q3

(Headline USA) The U.S. economy grew at a sizzling 33.1% annual rate in the July-September quarter — by far the largest quarterly gain on record...

Wisconsin Republican Party Says Hackers Stole $2.3 Million

(Associated Press) Hackers have stolen $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party's account that was being used to help reelect President Donald...

Are People Hoarding Toilet Paper Again?

(KFMB-TV) It feels like déjà vu . Some shoppers are reporting seeing a shortage of toilet paper again.

Trump Rule Requires Health Plans to Disclose Costs Up Front

(Associated Press) Trying to pull back the veil on health care costs to encourage competition, the Trump administration on Thursday finalized a...

S&P 500 Sinks 3.5% as Virus Cases Surge, Election Tightens

(Associated Press) The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 943 points Wednesday as surging coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe threaten more...