I hear starry-eyed dinar dreamers constantly repeating that the dinar can’t be a scam because it’s a real currency, and that they’re just engaging in speculation like any other investment. Okay, let’s explore that for a minute.
People have speculated in real estate for hundreds of years. It’s never been considered a scam to sell real estate either as an investment or for business or personal use . But let’s suppose that you were sold a piece of property that was sitting on top of a landfill and the owner didn’t inform you of that. Would you feel that you had been duped? Here’s a law firm who handles fraud cases like this, and here’s a story of a case where this actually occurred. Or suppose that you bought at a certain price, only to find out that market prices in the area were lower than you were told. Would you feel that you had been scammed? Here’s a story of a converted condo scam in Florida where condo prices were fraudulently inflated. Or what if you were told that real estate prices would skyrocket because of a big company that was moving into the area? Here’s a story about that happening in the St. Louis area. Sure, real estate acquisition is a legitimate thing. But if you are misinformed about the facts concerning the investment you’d probably consider it a scam.
The problem with the dinar investment isn’t the fact that the dinar isn’t a legitimate currency. It is, and you can use it in Iraq to buy things if vacationing in a dangerous hellhole is your idea of a good time. You can’t use it outside of Iraq though, and obviously the reason people are buying it is because of the belief that it could skyrocket in value and make them wealthy. The problem is all of the lies that are told in order to convince people to buy it. Here’s my list of the top ten lies that are told about “The RV”. As you can see many of these lies overlap, but they’re all geared toward making people believe that the dinar will increase in value 100,000% or more and that is impossible.
- The dinar was devalued as a war strategy before the 2003 invasion, with the intent of bringing the value (presumably $3+) back after a new government is in place and things have stabilized. Actually the dinar depreciated for nearly 20 years prior to 2003 due to Saddam Hussein’s reckless leadership in the ’80s and 90’s. This is supported by the CBI website and Shabibi’s comments in Washington, D.C. in 2011 (5 minutes in). All of the references to bringing the value of the dinar back were in the context of redenomination, which won’t produce any profit for dinar speculators.
- Bush said that the war would pay for itself. I’ve heard this claim for years but nobody has yet been able to provide one video, audio, or speech transcript where Bush said anything of the sort. The reason is obvious – he never said it! Some in the Bush administration talked about the fact that Iraq’s oil revenues could help to pay for the cost of reconstruction, but that’s a far cry from the idea that there was a pre-war plan to scoop up trillions of dinar and then raise its value to $1 or more to cover the cost of the war (nearly $1 trillion) and/or pay down the national debt.. In fact, Iraq is already contributing about $5 billion a year to the cost of reconstruction without “The RV”. (Watch this video of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 92 minutes in.)
- The U.S. Treasury has trillions of dinar, in anticipation of the RV. No they don’t. They only have enough to handle daily operations according to the UST and the DOJ. In fact the DOJ was so sure of this fact that they charged Rudy Coenen (who pleaded guilty) and Brad Huebner with fraud for making that claim in their conference calls. Read page 5 of the indictment. Another claim that is often made that this is how Bush or Obama will pay down the debt or balance the budget.
- The CBI is reducing the money supply so that they can raise the value. No they aren’t. All you have to do is look at the financials on the CBI website to see that the money supply is increasing, not decreasing. When you point that out to these guys they insist that those numbers aren’t accurate, and that the CBI is putting out bogus numbers to discourage speculators. Really? It’s a bit late for that, don’t you think? According to Roger Dorman, owner of Dinar Daddy, there’s an estimated 3 million Americans who own an average of 1.2 million dinar each (6-3-2011). That’s 3.6 trillion dinar in the US alone, and that was nearly three years ago, folks! According to Marcus Curtis’ research there’s over 25 trillion dinar held by speculators outside of Iraq. Trying to discourage speculation now would be like closing the barn door after the horses got out. Besides, Iraq is on an IMF program rate which requires transparency, and they are audited by Ernst & Young to verify their numbers.
- The CBI is manipulating the rate, holding it down artificially in a dirty float. Not true. (See my post Dirty Float.) They manage the exchange rate just like every other oil based economy in that region does, by raising or lowering the money supply according to the size of the foreign currency reserves backing their currency. Like their neighbors Iraq’s monetary policy is exchange rate stability. The fact that dinar dealers don’t inform their customers of this policy is akin to selling real estate that is built on a landfill without informing the buyer. It’s misrepresentation by omission.
- Executive Order 13303 gives speculators the right to invest in the dinar. Supposedly Bush signed the order because his administration set up this big RV to reap a windfall for Americans and the nation’s economy. But EO13303 says nothing about the dinar or any other currency. It was issued to protect the Development Fund for Iraq. This also was one of the fraud charges against Rudy and Brad. Again, read page 5 of the indictment.
- The same thing happened with the German deutsche mark after WWII and the Kuwaiti dinar after Desert Storm, and people made millions from those revaluations. This one is going to take some time, but it’s important to establish some facts here because these lies led many people (myself included) to believe that this incredible increase in value was possible since it supposedly has happened before. First of all let’s define what a revaluation is. It’s an increase in the value of a pegged currency enacted by the central bank of a country. (If they decrease the value it’s referred to as a devaluation). Revaluations are usually small adjustments of 1 or 2%, unless they are part of a crawling peg exchange rate regime like Iraq followed from November of 2006 to January of 2009 when they raised the value a total of 26% to bring the inflation rate down to a manageable level. The largest revaluation in history is the ongoing (over 8 years now) revaluation of the Chinese renminbi (yuan) which was raised a total of 35% as a result of political pressure. Somehow the dealers and gurus overlooked that inconvenient little fact. When you understand that you can see that it’s insane to believe that the CBI would raise the value of the IQD 100,000% or more. The deutsche mark didn’t even exist during WWII. The currency of Germany that depreciated during the war was the reisch mark, and it was replaced by the deutsche mark in a redenomination. The Kuwaiti dinar was replaced by the Saddam Iraqi dinar while they were occupied by Iraq. Once the Iraqis were run out of Kuwait the Central Bank of Kuwait reinstated the Kuwaiti dinar as the country’s currency at essentially the same value it had prior to the occupation. There was no revaluation of either the deutsche mark or the Kuwaiti dinar, and nobody made millions in either situation. Lies!
- The most you can lose is 20%. Try 100%. Banks have already quit handling the dinar, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to exchange through dinar dealers. You can sell dinar on ebay but these days it’s a buyer’s market and there are hundreds of dinar listings to compete with. Once Iraq redenominates there won’t be any dinar buyers on ebay. In a redenomination it’s not unheard of for a country to do an in-country only exchange. That’s what Iraq did in 1993 and 2003. If they do it again trillions of dinars will probably become worthless outside of Iraq in the hands of disillusioned speculators.
- The dinar is like a stock in Iraq, and as their economy grows your stock will go up in value. Not even close. (See my post Currency is Not Stock.) Currency is a means of exchange for goods and services. It’s typically counterproductive for a currency’s value to go up by more than a few %, and more often than not a country with a growing economy will prefer a depreciating currency valuation on the foreign exchange. A stock is a share in the equity value of a company. The purpose of issuing and owning stock is to benefit both the company and the shareholder as the stock’s value increases, reflecting the profitability and growth of the company. If a currency were to increase in value like stocks do it would result in deflation, because as the currency’s value goes up prices for goods and services would go down. When prices go down people curtail their spending habits, and that leads to a slowdown if not a collapse of the economy. That’s why economists will tell you that deflation is worse than inflation, because at least with inflation people usually keep spending and the economy keeps growing.
- Deleting the three zeros means removing the notes with three zeros from circulation in anticipation of the RV which will then require new lower denoms to be issued. Deleting the zeros means redenomination and always has. (See my post Deleting the Zeros.) Sometimes they call it removing, lopping, chopping, slicing, cutting. or dropping zeros but all of these are another way of saying that a currency with added zeros because of a history of hyperinflation is going to be replaced by a more valuable currency with fewer zeros and a proportionately smaller money supply. As much as the RV crowd is rooting for the enactment of currency reform in Iraq, the currency reform plan of the CBI is the last thing that any speculator should hope for. A much better scenario would be for the CBI to scrap its plan and go to a crawling peg like they did from 2006 to 2009. Nobody would get rich from an increase of 1% per month but at least the value would be going up.
I could have added several more. The dinar isn’t backed by oil. Iraq isn’t a producer of gold, nor are they a wealthy country. Countries don’t only redenominate when they have high inflation. Shabibi never said give me a seated government and I’ll revalue the dinar. Those are all pumper lies.
Just like the real estate speculators bought because they thought that a big deal had been struck with Wal-Mart, dinar speculators are buying because of lies. The dinar isn’t a scam. It’s a currency. Revaluation isn’t a scam. It’s a legitimate monetary mechanism that is used from time to time as needed. But nobody gets rich from revaluations, and the suggested possibility of getting rich is what drives dinar sales. And THAT my friends, is the scam.