An Interview with Marcus Curtis (2/21/12)

Marcus Curtis has earned a reputation as a great researcher from his two years of blogging on the dinar.  He has never made any money off of his research because he didn’t want his motives brought into question.  A few weeks ago I asked him a few questions to get his take on the dinar.

Sam I Am:  Tell us a little about your background.

Marcus Curtis:  I was born in Gloversville New York. That is in the middle of the state. When I was 14 we moved to northern California. That same year I started to learn how to play guitar. I studied music when I got older and I moved out on my own. I moved to southern California and got a license to sell insurance. I sold health insurance to small businesses. I switched careers and went into the aviation industry when I was in southern Cal. I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and hired on with a major air carrier. Right away I got into the 401 K Then I relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I have been living in this area for the remainder of my life.

Sam I Am:  What is your experience with currency?

Marcus Curtis:  Up until 2009 I had no experience with currencies with the exception of owning a few silver coins. That was not really an investment. The coins I had were just a small collection for novelty sake.  I began researching all currencies in 2009 and made my first dinar purchase in January of 2010. I began buying silver coins in December of 2010.

Sam I Am:  How did you learn about the dinar?

Marcus Curtis:  I lost a great deal of money in the 2008 meltdown in the stock market. That is where my 401k was invested. My fund was now cut in half! I began to attend some financial seminars to learn more about investments. I met a guy who became a really good friend. His name was Jerry Robinson. He wrote a book and was a financial adviser. He appeared on the Fox News channel once and had some sort of business in this area.  I went to one of his seminars in 2009. He advised breaking up an emergency savings account in three ways, third part precious metals, a third part American Currency, and a third part foreign currency. After this seminar I began to research currencies. I got 4 currencies I liked. One of those was the dinar. I made my first purchase shortly after that.

Sam I Am:  How did you get started on dinar forums?

Marcus Curtis:  I never really looked in forums under my initial research. But everything I found I forwarded it to my Friend Jerry. He told me I should start a blog. I never operated a blog or knew much about them. In addition to this I shared things about the dinar with some friends.  These friends shared what I said with other people. Soon people were calling me I did not even know asking me questions about the dinar. I decided to start a blog and address the common questions that were being asked at that time. That way I can just give the blog address and people could go read the answers.

I started Iraq Currency Watch in February of 2010. By October I was getting an average of 4500 hits a day. My highest day was 5280. (yep one mile of people) In May of that same year people were copying parts of my blog and inserting them into forums. I joined DV shortly after that so I could respond to questions that people were asking about my post. I joined other forums after that as my blog spread.

Sam I Am:  What is your opinion of the information available on the forums?

Marcus Curtis:  About 80 percent of the stuff is pure bunk and BS. Of course I would say that 80 percent comes from gurus that make money in some way selling the dinar or services related to the dinar.  About 20 percent is accurate.

Sam I Am:  What do you consider the most popular misconceptions or lies concerning the dinar?

Marcus Curtis: I would list them as:

   1. Iraq will trade their oil for Dinar.  –  In 1971 Nixon removed us from the gold standard. Shortly within that same time frame Henry Kissinger set up the Petro-Dollar system. Basically it works like this. Oil is sold only using US dollars. This move made it possible to dollarize the globe. In addition to this the Petro-Dollar is what gives our dollar stability. If we were to set up governments to sell oil using other currencies that would mean the end to our dollar and our economy. It makes no sense to buy oil with dinar when we can just print all the money we want to get all the oil we need. I documented this on my blog. Yet it is all over the forums that we will buy oil with dinar.

2. Smaller denominations have been printed.  –  I believe it was the summer of 2011 around June when I read articles that said Parliament was voting on currency overhaul. In this article it said that Parliament was voting on printing the smaller denominations as a step to this overhaul. Yet all through the Forums I read posts dating back to 2010 that said the smaller denominations were printed. I thought they were due to something I read in the provisional authority documents. (CPA)  Shortly after this I took down Iraq Currency watch and Started Biblical Views and World Economics. I started this site as a way to archive other older posts that have little to do with the dinar. Instead I focus on world economics in general.Here is one of the articles that talks about Iraqi parliament voting to print the lower denominations.

   3. Smaller denominations are Insurance against a lop.  –  This is complete baloney!! Out of the 60 or so redenominations I looked at, there has never been a case where the old series was not phased out. If they redenominate and they keep part of the old series then that invalidates the new series. You can’t have a old 5,000 note and a new 100 note that is worth more then the 5,000 note at the same time in the same series. Lop is a slang term for redenomination. In a redenomination they change the whole series. Otherwise the whole monetary structure would collapse.

   4. A revalue of the Iraqi dinar is part of biblical prophecy.  –  I believe in biblical prophecy, I believe that Iraq will be rebuilt and Babylon will once again be a major city. I have spent hours studying bible prophecy. There is nothing in bible prophecy that says the dinar is going to be the means used to rebuild and reestablish Iraq and Babylon. Babylon is being rebuilt from monies coming in from outside the country. A lot of infrastructure will be built from oil revenues, and oil is sold in dollars not dinars!!  Yet throughout the forums I have seen people say the revalue of the dinar is part of biblical prophecy. I would like scripture and verse. If anyone knows what scripture is being taken out of context I would like to read it.

   5. The CBI is pulling dinar out of circulation. –  This is just a bold faced lie. This was a lie from day one that was in the forums. There was an article that said 70 percent of excess liquidity is taken out of circulation. People (including myself) took that to mean that Iraq was drawing down the currency supply.  About a week ago I was at the CBI’s web site I found a document that said Iraq has 26,866,000,000,000 outside of banks in circulation. That’s 26 trillion 866 billion. This is since December of 2011.  The document was posted Jan 4th 2012. This is not counting the electronic currency Iraq has. So much for drawing down the money supply.

   6. Kuwait revalued its dinar after the war in 1991 and this same process is what’s going to happen in Iraq.  –  Kuwait never adjusted their rate Their rate fell to 10 cents at one point because people lost faith in the currency when they fled the country. The Central bank never adjusted the rate below $3.00 As people fled they took their money with them. When they went into other countries they exchanged their currency with private investors and banks outside of Kuwait. The exchange rate went as low as 10 cents. At this time the central bank never adjusted the rate. It was still in the 3 to 4 dollar range. The central bank could not open due to the fact that it was occupied by Iraqis. It took about 7 months to get their infrastructure back on line and the currency started trading at the normal rate. They never revalued. People made money because the currency was being sold on the black market. Kuwait did redenominate, but that was just to remove the old notes because Saddam took a bunch of it. He made off with some plates too. When they redenominated the value did not change.  I got this information reading old news articles dating back to 1991.  Here are some links that contain some information. there are other old articles that can verify this as well.

On 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and annexed Kuwait. A long-time ally of Saddam Hussein, Yemen’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh was quick to back Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein then President of Iraq, deposed the Emir of Kuwait, Jaber Al-Sabah, and initially propped up a puppet régime before annexing Kuwait and installing Ali Hassan al-Majid as the new governor of Kuwait. During the Iraqi occupation, about 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians were killed and more than 300,000 residents fled the country.

   7. The Iraqi dinar is going to reinstate.  –  There has never been a case where a currency reinstates. Currencies rise and fall like stocks rise and fall. If it goes to a rate it once held it is because of a floating rate or a pegged rate. Yesterdays rate has no impact on future rates. Google currencies and reinstate and see if you can find one case were this has happened outside of the forums. Insurance policies and laws can be reinstated. Currency has not nor will it in the future reinstate based on rates alone. An older currency can reinstate. For example, a nation can leave the euro and reinstate it’s old currency. That is changing out one type of currency for another. Rates are never reinstated.

   8. The currency will revalue over $3.00.  –  This cannot happen with the amount of currency in circulation. If Iraq revalues their currency with over 26 trillion in circulation to $3.00, that would mean their currency has a dollar value of over 75 trillion. That is 5 times our national debt for a country that has 1 tenth of our population. I say this because if you raise the value of a currency there is a liability issue here. The nation that raises the currency value takes on that value in debt. Can you see Iraq going to 5 times our national debt with only 10 % of the population? I don’t think so.  All these fairy tales are told by so-called gurus in an effort to give false hope so people buy more dinar and over leverage themselves. This is very harmful and destructive. Some people don’t care who they hurt!

Sam I Am:  What is your take on how this investment will go?  RV, RD, hybrid, or just remain at the current rate for another five years?

Marcus Curtis:  I think any one of those scenarios is possible. However if it revalues it probably won’t be as high as people think. I address the Revalue in a post I wrote called The Revalue Mechanism. You will find the details there. They could do a hybrid or a total redenomination.  But those scenarios are not without problems.  They could do a gradual revalue over a period of time as well and draw down the currency supply in the process. No one knows for sure what they are going to do.

Sam I Am:  What do you think the current money supply is in Iraq?

Marcus Curtis:  I really don’t know and it is hard to say, but if I had to guess I would say between 15 and 20 trillion. No one knows how much currency has been destroyed due to the violence in Iraq.  Or how fast the currency wears out and what was traded in for new currency. How much is in country and how much is overseas or outside of the country?  Currently the dollar is filling the void and the gap for the dinar. So if two thirds of the economy is driven by the dollar and a third is driven by the dinar that may give some indication. Of course all of this is just speculation because I don’t know the real numbers.

Sam I Am:  Do you believe that Iraq is currently reducing their money supply?

Marcus Curtis:  I don’t believe Iraq has enough currency as it is with its current value. Like I said earlier the dollar is filling the gap where there is no dinar. And for this reason this makes a revalue or a hybrid-RD plausible.

Sam I Am:  Do you believe that the new lower denoms were printed in 2003 as many have suggested?

Marcus Curtis:  I used to believe this because of a provisional order. I forget the number maybe its 39 or maybe it’s 43. Some document I read through a long time ago.  I no longer believe this due to legislation going through Iraq. I read an article in July of 2011 that was titled Iraq Prepares to Redenominate its Currency. In this article it said that the lower denominations would be printed after the parliament voted on it. So why would the government need to vote on printing the lower denominations if they were already printed? Upon further digging I saw some things about voting to print lower denominations from other sources.  This was just now going through the parliament.

Sam I Am:  What is your advice for anybody looking at investing in the dinar?

Marcus Curtis:  The first thing I would say is this is not a guaranteed return. In-Fact, This is a highly risky investment. So for these reasons don’t invest more then you are willing to lose! It does not appear in the thought process of people who first purchase that they may not get their money back. Currency investments remain one of the most risky things you can invest in no matter what the currency is.  That being said it would not hurt to purchase 250,000 or less just for entertainment. That’s where I started. I put more in over a period of time as I had extra cash. Casinos, stock markets, and currencies are all the same. The house always wins!