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Spengler

Egypt Starves (and Egyptians Steal)

April 15th, 2013 - 6:37 am

Egypt’s pound has fallen by 40% since last December, from 6 to the dollar to 8.25 to the dollar on the black market. The price of basic food items like beans and milk have risen by more than that, pricing all forms of protein out of the range of the half of Egyptians who live on less than $2 a day. And the worst is yet to come: according to the US embassy, the Muslim Brotherhood government has vastly inflated its estimates of this year’s wheat harvest in order to keep export orders down — because it doesn’t have the money to pay for them. Egypt reportedly got $5 billion in emergency loans from Libya and Qatar (although it is not clear how much of that can be spent), but that barely covers the government’s arrears to oil companies operating in the country. I published an update on Egypt’s economic free fall in Asia Times Online this morning.

Mohammed Morsi’s Islamist government is living hand to mouth, stiffing suppliers and exporters, and cadging emergency loans, but it hasn’t ordered a shipload of oil or wheat since January. When things get this bad, everyone who can get dollars out will. The ship is sinking, and the cry is, “Women and children last!”

Here’s an example.

Just after I filed the story, Al Ahram reported that the country’s cotton exports had dropped 40.6% between September-November of 2012 and the same period of 2011 (hat tip: Daniel Pipes). According to the Egyptian daily, the drop is due to much larger domestic purchases of cotton by local textile companies:

Egyptian textile companies bought 415.8 thousand metric quintals of the local cotton in the period September-November 2012, a whopping increase of 326 percent compared with the corresponding quarter a year before.

That makes no sense, because Egyptian textile exports also fell by a big margin.

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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Why do I look at reports like this and see an Islamic North Korea?
The motto's of the regime seem to be 'Reality isn't real' and 'Image is Everything'.
What's going to happen when the Cairines start practicing cannibalism like their allies in the DPRK?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I REALLY miss the old "Inner Workings" column from David. Especially with these turbulent markets. May you could offer a cheapo version for loyal fans? :D)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not that it matters much, but the correct name of the port in Suez that you mention in the last paragraph is Adabiya, and not Abadeya. It's spelled incorrectly already in the original article of the Egypt Independent that you quote. Must have been translated from Arabic by a dyslexic. Perhaps the proverbial dyslexic Agnostic insomniac who spends all night awake in bed wondering if there is a Dog.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was going to make a joke about Soylent Green, but it might give the MB ideas.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How much do u suppose the Russians or Chinese would pay for an F16 or Abrams tank? Enough to balance the budget and line the MB pockets for a year perhaps? I really hope they have self destruct buttons on them!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
An M1A1 Abrams MBT goes, wholesale, for about $1.5 million. An F16, now into a longer production run, is about $20 million. In both cases that is the US version.
$21.5 million for vehicles without the electronic raz-ma-taz won't make a dent, in either Egypt's budget woes or Sino/Russian intelligence needs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is simple, really. In the next 4 to 9 months we will start seeing hours and hours of video showing starving Egyptians. The Low Information Emotives (LIEers) will hold live aid concerts, complete with candles, raise a lot of money and 'consciousness' to provide food and fuel for the hungry. They will be purchased at world commodity prices and REMOVED FROM THE EGYPTIAN budget, forever. NGO's will have more staff, growing the Poverty Industry and all will be happy, More self satisfied, cooing hand wringers, more dependency and more freedom of action for the MB.
Morsi is dumb? Not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's interesting that the government of Libya is joining Qatar in making emergency loans to Egypt. Does the current Libyan government feel an ideological affinity for Morsi's MB or is this an extortion payment so the Egyptians don't invade?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The government has just three months’ worth of wheat in stockpile and is likely to run short of the country’s main foodstuff by earlier summer."

No Olympics this summer. Instead we'll get to watch Egyptians riot and starve.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What should the U.S. do?

Pass emigration reform so that the USA will so destabilized and incoherent that it will be unable to resist the large waves of Egyptians emigrating to the USA.

Hello Chuck Shumer. Its all about you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What should the U.S. do?

Borrow money from China to loan to Egypt.
Tax rich Americans to subsidize poor Egyptians.
Send more foodstuffs to Egypt to feed those who despise us.
Send more armaments to Egypt so Morsi can control the hungering rabble.
Wait and see what happens.
Add to the list as you wish.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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