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Libyan Rebels Form Their Own Central Bank

Libyan rebels progress westward from the town of Bin Jawad towards Muammar Gaddafi's home town of Sirte on March 28, 2011 as NATO finally agreed to take over full command of military operations to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya from a US-led coalition.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images
Libyan rebels progress westward from the town of Bin Jawad towards Muammar Gaddafi's home town of Sirte on March 28, 2011 as NATO finally agreed to take over full command of military operations to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya from a US-led coalition.

Libyan rebels in Benghazi say they have formed their own central bank.

The rebel group known as the Transitional National Council released a statement last week announcing that they have designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya, and that they have appointed a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi, according to Bloomberg.

Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.

Robert Wenzel of Economic Policy Journal thinks the central banking initiative reveals that foreign powers may have a strong influence over the rebels.

This suggests we have a bit more than a ragtag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences. “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising,” Wenzel writes.

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