The Taliban Wants To Get Their Hands On $10 Billion Sitting In Afghanistan’s Central Bank. So Far They Can’t.

Taliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day on Thursday by declaring they beat the United States, but challenges to their rule ranging from running a country severely short on cash and bureaucrats to potentially facing an armed opposition began to emerge. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

There’s $10 billion in reserves sitting in the central bank of Afghanistan. 

Reportedly the Taliban can’t get their hands on it, because it is held by the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. 

But don’t think the Taliban doesn’t want it, and isn’t already trying to figure out how to steal it. They had members trying to inspect the billions of dollars in foreign reserves, but were told by central bank officials they could not touch it. 

The U.S. has frozen $9.5 billion in assets in Afghanistan.  

A story in Business Insider reports how the Taliban realizes they lack the expertise needed in financial matters, as they usually just violently take whatever it is they want, so according to a quote from a former Afghan Ambassador to Canada and France that the Financial Times posted.  “They are reaching out to technocrats and renowned Afghans. They know they are going to need these non-Taliban figures in their government.”

Roughly $1.3 billon of the reserves in the Afghan central band are reserves held in international accounts, including euros and British pounds. 

So, that means the Taliban is left with very little cash to work with, and facing a huge economic crisis in their country. 

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK said that the United States and other Western countries had “huge leverage” over the Taliban right now because of their lack of cash. They should be using it to extend Joe Biden’s August 31st evacuation deadline. 

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