Maliki and the RV (6/21/12)

Nouri Al-Maliki

This is something that I haven’t addressed before because frankly I felt that it was totally irrelevant, but I read about it nearly every day and hear about it on almost every conference call and decided I should probably address it.  Is Maliki holding up the RV?  My answer is an emphatic NO!  But I need to cover a few things to explain why.

The typical scenario presented by gurus is that Maliki is a wannabe dictator, and Shabibi refuses to revalue the IQD until Maliki agrees to share the power.  The vote of no confidence that we’re all hearing about is supposed to pressure Maliki into agreeing to share the power (I think) and if he doesn’t agree he’ll be removed and the new PM will play ball and then Shabibi can RV and we’ll all be rich and live happily ever after.  At least that’s the way I understand all of this.

Sinan Al-Shabibi

Here’s the problem.  First of all Shabibi has never said he was going to revalue the dinar.  When he was in DC last year he was asked about revaluation and he said that they might adjust the exchange rate if inflation got too high.  Then in January the rate was moved from 1170 to 1166.  Whether that was triggered by inflation or not I don’t know, but any inflation-related revaluations will likely be similar adjustments rather than a 100,000% increase like many gurus are saying.  When Shabibi and the CBI talk about raising the value by deleting the zeros they’re talking about a redenomination and not a revaluation as I discussed in “Deleting the Zeros“.  So the idea that Shabibi said he would RV is nonsense.

Secondly, Maliki has nothing to do with revaluation.  That is in the hands of the CBI, not the GOI.  When the rate moved from 1170 to 1166 back in January that was a decision made by the CBI, not the GOI.  There’s nothing keeping them from making a similar adjustment right now except that they apparently don’t see the justification for it.  Maliki is irrelevant in that regard.  What Maliki and the GOI do have influence over is the project to delete the three zeros that Shabibi and the CBI have been talking about for two years.  That’s because this project would require the printing of new currency which has to be voted on and approved by the GOI.  At this point it’s questionable whether or not there’s enough support for it to pass.  But the only thing that Maliki can hold up is a redenomination (lop) rather than a revaluation.

This misconception in the dinar community has been created by clueless gurus who misrepresent what Shabibi is talking about.  They’ve created this belief in a mythical “RV” that will one day come and change everything for everybody.  The global economy will be reset, the nations drowning in debt will be bailed out, and us dinarians will be swimming in millions.  As a result, everybody who listens to these guys is wondering “what’s the holdup?  When do I get my new Lexus?”

The simple answer is that there is no holdup because there is no big RV coming and there never was.  It was all a fantasy created through bogus intel and flawed analysis coming from couch professors and con artists.  I’m amazed that people spend hours a day reading news articles from Iraq about the day to day political process as though that will have any bearing on anything.  Folks, all you have to do is understand a few basic things.

  1. Currencies aren’t like stocks.  They don’t increase in value more than a few % at a time.  If they did it would be destructive to the nation’s economy as they would have a greater debt liability.  (Somebody prove me wrong here.  Show me an example of a country where the central bank raised the value of their currency by 100% or more.  And don’t tell me that’s what Kuwait did, because it’s not.  Their central bank never changed the offical exchange rate.)  Companies love it when their stocks increase 15% or more, but countries don’t want that to happen with their currency.  The idea that Iraq needs the RV because their people are poor is nonsense.  There’s no quick fix here.  If Iraq wants to help their people the best thing for them is to promote education and develop the non-petroleum sectors of their economy to create jobs.  That means manufacturing and service based jobs.  Raising the value of the currency would hurt them from the standpoint of exports.  If they don’t lop they’ll probably keep it as low as possible just like South Korea has done over the past half century following the war there.
  2. You can’t reduce a money supply substantially without a redenomination.  This talk about Iraq reducing their money supply by pulling in the larger notes is nonsense.  We’ve been hearing it now for a couple of years and yet the figures on the CBI website indicate that the money supply is growing rather than shrinking.  You either believe the gurus who are never right, or the CBI and the IMF.  Boy, that’s a toughie, huh?  And besides, why would a country want to risk deflation by reducing their money supply without a redenomination?  It could throw them into a depression.  That’s why countries who have a currency with a low valuation resulting from hyperinflation either leave the value where it is or lop zeros off of their currency.  They NEVER pull in the larger notes, revalue, and issue new lower denoms like these douchebags are telling us will happn.
  3. The current value of the IQD isn’t artificial.  It’s quite real and truly reflective of the wealth of Iraq.  Contrary to what the gurus are telling us Iraq isn’t a wealthy country.  Their GDP (over 80% of which is oil revenues) is ranked around 60th in the world, depending on whose figures you go by.  They have a lot of oil, true.  So what?  So does the US, and we have well-developed non-petroleum sectors too.  We also have a well developed infrastructure, a superior military, a stable form of government, an educated populace, and much safer living and working environments.  Iraq is sadly deficient in all of these areas, and these are things that are reflected in the value of a nation’s currency.

Getting back to Maliki.  Will he stay or will he go?  My guess is that he stays.  But whether he stays or goes nobody is going to get rich by owning IQD.  I do think your chances of making a profit are better if Maliki stays and the GOI votes down the currency reform measure, but we’re not talking substantial profits.  In all likelihood most dinarians won’t even reach the break-even point for years, and if there’s a lop they’ll be doing good just to recoup 80% of their investment.