The Iraqi Dinar - ReValuation or Ruse?
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Yes - You Have Been Scammed!
"Wealth is neither created nor destroyed; it simply flows from the uneducated to the educated."
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." - Hosea 4:6
"A faithful man shall abound with blessings:
but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent."
also written as
"Be faithful & deliberate; don't fall for get-rich-quick schemes!" - Proverbs 28:20-22
James Steele IV - on February 1, 2015
Somewhere along the way, investors have collectively forgotten the name BERNIE MADOFF. He ran a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme and duped many of America's richest celebrities for over 20 years, and then made off with the money. Yet somehow, ordinary investors are constantly taken in by the lure of get-rich-quick schemes. Do you honestly believe that the elite bankers of the world, now centralized in Europe and the IMF, are really going to allow regular folks to make a 100,000% increase on their investment by a simple currency revaluation of a bankrupt, war-torn country like Iraq, where even their own citizens reject the dinar in favor of US dollars? International currency markets simply do not work that way. Please, read on...
If you are one of the millions of people world-wide who have fallen for some sort of get-rich-scheme in the past, then you have likely fallen for this one too. We have had numerous clients talk to us about Asset Protection in order to shield their "investments" in Iraqi Dinars from potential government seizures that may occur once and IF the currency ever revalues. They are afraid that the currency will be frozen in their bank accounts until the capital gains tax is paid. I fear, however, that the only tax treatment these investors will likely need to account for will be one of a capital loss of 100% of their "investment".
The story investors have been told is that the currency, which has been massively devalued since the Gulf War and post-9/11, will SOON be reset by the US-controlled and backed puppet government of Iraq, and bring it back to close to its "supposed" true value of $3.50 to the $US from its fraction of one cent that it is worth today. Currently, it takes about $1260 IQD to buy $1 US greenback. Somehow, we are to believe that the country's oil riches will support a revaluation on the order of 2.75 Million percent, as the article below suggests. That would mean that a $1300 CDN investment into 1 million Iraqi Dinar would be reset to over $3 million. HOW LUDICROUS!!
To add insult to injury, third party websites such as DinarGuru.com are offering to filter the predictions and constant hype of prognosticators for you, and charge you a fee of only $48 bucks a month for the privilege. There are currently an estimated 1.8 million dinar holders (suckers) world-wide! The old adage "There is a sucker is born every minute" must certainly be true.
With all my degrees in Finance and Economics, I have yet to wrap my head around the logic of this one. Yet the arguments and explanations I hear from my non-finance educated clients seems seductively appealing. Perhaps they have learned something from someone in currency trading that I missed about supply / demand economics, currencies, or investment opportunities outside my field of expertise. Admittedly, I was intrigued, so much so, I was about to take a risk-on trade for $1300 and hope that they have been informed by some insider who has facts on currency economics that I somehow missed. That was until I began my research last night and came across these and other credible articles, red-flagging this most probable SCAM! (Feb 22, 2016 Update: I was right! See the article below on Sterling Currency Group).
I hope for my clients' sakes, that I am wrong and they will SOON have millions of dollars in their bank accounts that I can then assist them with protecting and investing in REAL HARD ASSETS, like precious metals, Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds, and Income-Producing Real Estate. Sadly, I lament that many of them, who have their life savings invested in the Dinar, and were banking on this revaluation to occur years ago, will likely find that the only parties that have made money on the IQD will have been the con artists who sold them the currency in the first place at margins of 20% or more. The simple exchange fees in and out requires an increase of 40% of the currency's value in order to just break even on the purchase.
The lessons of history are everywhere on currency revaluations. Look at Germany of the 1920's, Zimbabwe in 2000, and Argentina in 1975. Currencies were reset, meaning Re-Denominated, but not Re-Valued. There is a BIG difference between removing zeros from a currency paper bill verses what the currency buys in actual purchasing power, before or after a reset. Whether it takes 1 Million units to buy a loaf of bread or 10 units to buy the same loaf of bread, you still get the same loaf of bread, but only after you have traded in your old units of currency for the new one! In this example, you will need to trade in 100,000 of the old currency units to get 10 units of the new one. Your purchasing power has remained the same! Even in the fraudulent world of fiat money creation, this perceived increase in purchasing power does not materialize in reality.
In the case of the Dinar, consider this one fact: Iraq's main source of revenue is oil exports. Oil is traded in US dollars so Dinar need to be converted into dollars. If the currency was to revalue at even 100 times the current exchange rate, it would then take $4500 USD to buy a barrel of oil from Iraq, let alone if it appreciates 2407 times as predicated. If that happened, Iraqi oil would be offered for sale from Iraq at over $100,000 USD per barrel. How much oil do you think will be sold from Iraq to foreigners? ZERO, ZIP, NONE. THERE WOULD BE NO EXTERNAL DEMAND AT ALL for Iraq's oil and thus the Dinar would devalue instantly to where it was before the RV!
If this scam could really work, why are all the major central banks around the world printing money to Devalue their currencies? ANSWER: to stimulate their exports by making them appear cheaper (not more expensive) to outside buyers who must convert to and from US dollars in order to pay for goods and services in the local currency. If the Dinar was more valuable, it would take more USD to buy the goods (oil) and this would lead to LESS demand for Iraqi oil. For Iraq to even allow (as if it even has such control) the currency to appreciate by 10 times, would mean economic suicide.
In addition, Iraq, like most countries in the world, has foreign debt issues to contend with. That is, they have massive amounts of debt (payable in US dollars ultimately) that must be first converted to US dollars and repaid to foreigners. If money managers in Iraq were able to arbitrarily make the Dinar APPRECIATE relative to the USD, then it would cost them less Dinars to repay those debts in USD and they could retain more wealth at home. Actually, ALL nations wish to repay foreign debts with their own inflated currencies. If any nation could just APPRECIATE its own currency at the stroke of a pen, theoretically, they could pay back foreign investors for pennies on the dollar. If it were that simple, the US would retaliate and INFLATE its currency to offset the imbalance. Currencies ONLY trade on a currency exchange market and based on supply / demand economic principles, not some arbitrary revaluation from the government of the day. This is simple Economics 101.
FINANCIAL WISDOM: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
$24 million Iraqi currency scam
Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 1:33 PM ET
A group of men were recently sentenced in a $24 million fraud involving Iraqi currency, reports CNBC's Andrea Day.
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Sterling Currency Group execs indicted in $600M Iraqi dinar sale scheme
Feb 22, 2016, 4:31pm EST Updated Feb 24, 2016, 2:42pm EST
Executives and promoters of Atlanta-based Sterling Currency Group LLC were indicted Monday for their roles in an alleged $600 million scheme to fraudulently induce investors into buying the Iraqi dinar.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the indictment, and other information presented in court: During the scope of the conspiracy, the Iraqi dinar was touted by some as a potential investment opportunity. Information publicly available on certain internet websites, blogs, chat rooms, and conference calls fueled this speculation by predicting that a “revaluation” of the Iraqi dinar would occur imminently. A “revaluation” or “RV,” in this context, meant a sudden, exponential rise in the value of the Iraqi dinar as compared to the U.S. dollar and other relatively stable global currencies. Individuals who owned Iraqi dinar would realize potentially enormous gains if an “RV” ever occurred in this manner.
Sterling Currency Group, which also did business as Sterling Online Processing Services LLC and Dinar Banker, was a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business in Atlanta. Sterling sold and exchanged so-called “exotic currencies,” including most predominantly the Iraqi dinar.
Frank Bell began working for Sterling in 2010 and became Sterling’s chief operating officer in 2011.
According to the indictment, Terrence Keller, who was also known as “TerryK,” led an Internet-based group known as “The GET Team,” which consisted of a website, an internet chat forum and weekly conference calls in which, among other things, information was disseminated to participants concerning the potential investment value of the Iraqi dinar.
Keller, through The GET Team, was one of the leading internet-based proponents of the “RV” theory. On The GET Team’s website, internet chat forum, and on weekly conference calls, Keller is alleged to have falsely claimed to have information from, and verified by, high-level confidential sources in the U.S. government, the Iraqi government, international organizations, and major financial institutions, regarding an imminent “RV.”
However, Keller did not have information from, or contact with, these supposed high-level confidential sources. The indictment alleges Keller, Rhame, Shaw, and Bell knew and believed that representations concerning an imminent “RV” of the Iraqi dinar, particularly claims that the information came from one or more supposed high-level confidential sources, would boost sales for Sterling.
Keller allegedly claimed, directly and indirectly, to The GET Team followers he had no financial or other ulterior motive to promote the Iraqi dinar as an investment, but he was simply disseminating his knowledge and information so that others could benefit from it as well. To that end, Keller told his followers he did not make substantial profits from his dealings with Sterling and other dinar dealers that advertised with the GET Team.
Keller allegedly had a secret arrangement with Rhame, Shaw and Bell to promote and “pump” the Iraqi dinar in exchange for payments made by Sterling to benefit Keller. Since at least as early as August 2011, Sterling paid Keller more than $160,000. Keller consistently downplayed these financial benefits to his followers and listeners.
The correlation between Sterling’s increased sales and Keller’s promotion of the Iraqi dinar was allegedly further cemented by the presence of a Sterling representative, including at times Rhame and Bell, on The GET Team’s conference calls and internet forums. At various times, Rhame, Bell and other Sterling representatives participated in conference calls and internet forums in which Keller made representations to followers concerning the imminent Iraqi dinar “RV,” his access to high-level confidential sources, and claims that he was just trying to be helpful and received no financial benefit for providing this information to others. The presence and participation of Rhame, Bell, and other Sterling representatives on The GET Team’s conference calls and internet forums provided further validation to followers that Keller’s claims about an imminent “RV” of the Iraqi dinar should be believed.
The indictment alleges the promotional activities of Keller and other dinar promoters were essential to Sterling’s financial success and generated Sterling millions of dollars in dinar and other currency sales.
In December 2010, Rhame is alleged to have told colleagues that Keller and the GET Team pushed 80 percent of Sterling’s business. In December 2011, Bell is alleged to have referred to the GET Team as Sterling’s “largest referrer.”
Between 2010 and June 2015, Sterling grossed more than $600 million in revenue from the sale of the Iraqi dinar and other currencies. During this same time period, Rhame and Shaw received more than $180 million in distributions from Sterling.
Tyson Rhame, 51, and James Shaw, 53, both of Atlanta, Frank Bell, 54, of Decatur, Ga., and Terrence Keller, 55, of Grayson, Ky., are each charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.
Rhame and Shaw are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and 12 counts of money laundering.
The indictment also includes criminal forfeiture listing numerous assets to which the defendants may have an interest. Specifically, the government is seeking the forfeiture of millions of dollars held in financial accounts, foreign currencies, three private airplanes, three automobiles, numerous corporate and trust entities, as well as real property in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Iowa.
The company said the federal government’s allegations are “inaccurate, and in some instances flatly false.”
Iraqi Dinar Scam By BH Group and Dinar Trade FAQ
Let’s be clear really quickly. The Iraqi Dinar is not a scam in, and of itself. The scam involves when people make ridiculous claims of Iraqi Dinars being able to make impossible gains. Even if the value increased 100,000%, what would happen to the value of the United States Dollar? What would the purchasing power of the USD be when it takes $3 to buy each IQD? I wrote previously about the new Iraqi Dinar coming out, which was contrary to what nearly every single dinar guru stated would happen. This article goes into one Iraqi Dinar scam, the hedgefund and revaluation scam pushed by the BH Group, and supported by Ali from Dinar Trade.
Can the Iraqi Dinar appreciate in value? Of course it can, but think about this statement for a moment, how can a 25,000 dinar note, a note which can be purchased for around $30, someday be worth $750,000? Does that make sense? Now, an appreciate is possible, but not $3 per dinar. Remember, the $3 rate was not the International Rate, it didn’t exist outside of Iraq, so if you didn’t live in Iraq, you couldn’t exchange. North Korea has a black market rate as well as an official International Rate, don’t forget that. I posted throughout this article the members of the BH Group, one of whom recently died in prison:
Link to Iraqi Dinar Movie – Iraqi Dinar Movie
Iraqi Dinar Revaluation Enthusiasts are Unaware of Bernie Madoff’s Fame
A similar situation has been building for years, some say as many as eight years, surrounding the potential “revaluation” of the Iraqi Dinar. As the rumor would have it, the Iraqi economy has stabilized, and the potential for enormous foreign currency reserves from increased oil exports will drive the value of the Dinar to unconscious levels versus the U.S Dollar. The government authorities will be forced to revalue the currency from 1,175 to 3 per Dollar, resulting in an outrageous windfall for anyone owning stockpiles of the currency. Does something here sound a little too good to be true?
Contrary to common sense, the rumors persist. Investment experts have denounced the purported gains as just another Ponzi scheme, yet Internet blogs are abundant with comments by hopeful investors that their day is coming. Many refer to an ambiguous claim that Kuwaitis became wealthy in 2003 under very similar conditions.
However, the Kuwaiti exchange rate remained generally level during the Gulf War. The local populace lost faith in the currency, driving “black market” exchange rates that did change radically. Bernie Madoff may be in prison, but his emulators have gone global.
Don’t Be Fooled By the Iraqi Dinar Scam
Currencies are not stocks: Scammers suggest that because Iraq sits on one of the world’s largest (and easiest-to-access) oil reserves, the dinar will appreciate as they export this commodity. If Iraq were a company and the dinar was a stock this would be true, however, oil exporters work very hard to prevent their currencies from appreciating. There is even an economic problem called “Dutch disease” that describes what happens when a commodity exporter’s currency appreciates in value. The bottom line is that Iraq doesn’t want an appreciating currency because it wouldn’t do the country any good. Iraq wants economic growth, not currency growth. If oil exports increased the value of a currency, why don’t other exporters experience appreciation? Much more often they experience the opposite: devaluation.
Dinar Fact Sheet
The U.S. Treasury does not hold Iraqi dinars. Official U.S. foreign exchange reserve assets are comprised of euro, yen, gold, and Special Drawing Rights (or SDRs), an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.
A redenomination of the Iraqi currency would not lead to a revaluation by the same amount, and may have no effect on the currency’s value. Under a redenomination, a new currency replaces an old currency, but the value of the currency remains the same. On June 21, 2011, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) announced that it would be implementing a redenomination of the Iraqi dinar. Under the proposed redenomination, the Iraqi government would issue a new dinar note that will be equivalent to 1000 current dinars. The exchange rate would be 1.17 new dinars to the dollar, equivalent to 1,170 current dinars to the dollar.
Dinar Deception Driven By False Hopes
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Iraqi dinar features the ancient Tower of Babel. The monument symbolizes how people can hear different languages, when the message is essentially the same.
The Iraqi dinar is still being sold to thousands of unwitting buyers. The country is still in trouble politically and economically. The currency keeps losing value to the dollar. It is not traded on any legitimate foreign exchange.
Yet it’s still being hawked as the latest get-rich-quick scheme. Hopeful buyers keep accumulating the paper, believing the oft-told tale that the Iraqi government will somehow revalue the currency in their favor, so they keep buying more of the questionable notes. There’s a better chance of finding Aladdin’s flying carpet in your local Home Depot or some day seeing Facebook priced as high as Google.
From time to time I hear people cite the videos of Shabibi when he was in Washington D.C. in April of 2011 as reasons for believing in the RV. I've watched these videos several times and I have to wonder if these people are watching the same videos, because everything in them tells me that the big RV that the dinar crowd is waiting for just ain't gonna happen.
In the video, Shabibi was asked to comment on the news articles about "cutting the zeros". He referred to it as "redenomination". He responded that there was a lot of criticism of the proposal .... "all kind of talk". He said that some critics of cutting the zeros feel that it will lead to depreciation of the currency. That's odd, huh? Why would critics think that raising the value 100,000% would cause depreciation of the currency? Well the fact is the critics know that the proposal isn't a revaluation but a redenomination as Shabibi clearly stated, and history shows us that sometimes currencies depreciate soon after a redenomination. (The Turkish Lira, for example, depreciated for three years following the 2005 redenomination.) Thus the crtics' concern. He went on to say that it was just being done to "facilitate payment", meaning that it makes cash transactions easier. (The same fact sheet I mentioned above stated that "Under the proposed redenomination, the Iraqi government would issue a new dinar note that will be equivalent to 1000 current dinars. The exchange rate would be 1.17 new dinars to the dollar, equivalent to 1,170 current dinars to the dollar", which would certainly qualify as "facilitated" or "easier" since one dinar would then be able to purchase what 1,000 dinar purchased prior to redenomination.) He also mentioned "ease of counting" but said nothing about an increase in purchasing power being caused by the proposal.
Shabibi then gives us a brief history lesson, saying that the zeros were added because of inflation back in the 80s. That's when the money supply went from billions to trillions in Iraq. He says that conditions are different now and they have decided to go ahead with this plan to "bring back the Iraqi dinar" by removing the three zeros that were added because of past hyperinflation. So according to Shabibi, "bringing back the Iraqi dinar", "cutting the three zeros", and "redenomination" all mean the same thing. He then adds that before that can happen they need to educate the people and they need the violence in the country to subside so that the security forces can assist in the implementation of the redenomination.
Dinar - 2014 in Review
Dinar Douche Bags - on January 8, 2015
Happy New Year! Yes, another year has come and gone and still no RV. Another 365 days of conference calls, RV predictions, GCR intel, and wealth management/tax avoidance advice from your favourite dinar douchebags. All for nada. The IQD is still at 1166:1, the VND keeps declining in value, and the Zimbabwe dollar is still worthless. We're still waiting for the mythical TRN (Treasury Reserve Notes) to appear. We're still waiting for any announcement about a return to asset backed currencies. We're still waiting for Maliki's replacement Al-Abadi (who took over in August) to tell the CBI to pull the trigger on the millionaire-creating revaluation of the dinar. What's taking them so long, anyway? I need the money for my new Lamborghini to start that new orphanage.
Iraqi Dinar Investment: Fact or Fiction?
WHNT 19 News - on May 9, 2014
Across the country and in the Tennessee Valley, people are buying Iraqi dinar. They’ve been told it will one day rise sharply in value against the U.S. dollar, leading to a financial windfall for them. Albertville resident Tim Jones is one of those who bought in, along with his pastor and several church members.
Years later, the payoff still hasn’t come. A WHNT News 19 investigation also uncovered warnings from state regulators, the Better Business Bureau and financial experts calling dinar investment a scam. Despite the warnings, many people remain invested. They continue to hold the physical currency – often purchased through private dealers at a markup – and point to specific claims as justification for buying in.
The Ugly Truth About the Iraqi Dinar
SKEPTOID - on February 10, 2014
Does it make sense to you than an investment opportunity could pay a 2,750,000% return on what you put in? That for the price of getting your tires rotated, you could buy a new house, and for the price of a new house, you could become a billionaire? Would you believe these claims, or would you run screaming from them? Sadly, these ludicrous, utterly unbelievable returns are exactly what a group of currency brokers are selling to their customers. These customers are, in turn, taking to social media to demand this money from the US government. What’s the story with all of it? And how is it actually legal?
You Can't Fix Stupid: The Iraqi Dinar Scam Lives
FORBES - on July 30, 2012
In the words of popular comedian Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid.” That phrase, as elegant in its simplicity as it is frankly true, applies with special fervor to those who continue to believe that they are about to make millions, billions, or even trillions by investing in Iraqi dinars.
Yes, I know this has been written about before. Fellow Forbes’ contributor John Wasik wrote about this scam last January at http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2012/01/19/the-curse-of-saddam-iraqi-dinar-deals/. And even various law enforcement agencies are publicly warning about this scam, such as that of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/alerts/iraqi-dinar-scams.htm
Yet this scam continues to persist, and hardly a week goes by that some sucker or another doesn’t call my office to inquire about asset protection planning for the untold riches that he or she is about to receive when the Dinar finally re-valuates by 100 times or more.
Inside The Dubious Dinar Revaluation Ruse
FORBES - on September 6, 2013
As followers of the Iraqi dinar know, there are a lot of “updates” out there on the various websites that either sell or track the troubled currency. Most of this “news” is much ado about nothing. Iraq is on the precipice of a civil war with some 5,000 victims this year alone. It doesn’t appear that the country’s woes — partially unleashed by the disastrous American-led war — will be resolved anytime soon.
In the interim, untold millions have been spent on speculating in the country’s currency, which is not traded on any legitimate foreign exchange and is worth a fraction of a dollar. The currency is so unpopular that many Iraqis prefer the buck. But that hasn’t stopped a plethora of internet-based “dealers” from selling the dinar as fodder in a get-rich-quick scheme.
The ruse is simple: Get dinar buyers to believe that the currency will be favorably revalued soon so they can sell their dinars at a huge profit. While that may happen, it’s highly unlikely given the current political and economic situation. No U.S. bank will handle the dinar while dealers reap huge commissions and mark-ups.
Yet rumors continue to feed this market the way a stoker feeds a coal-fired boiler.
MIDEAST MONEY-Iraq dinar is short-term disappointment, long-term bet
RUETERS - on October 3, 2012
Many Iraqis have lost faith in their dinar currency but to some foreign speculators, it promises big profits. The contrast underlines the uncertainties of investing in Iraq as the country recovers from years of war and economic sanctions.
The logic of the dinar bulls is simple. Iraq's oil exports rose to 2.6 million barrels per day in September, their highest level in three decades; the country aims to hit 6 million bpd by 2017, which would put it close to Saudi Arabia's current level.
Even if unstable politics, militant violence and bureaucratic inefficiency prevent that target from being hit, Iraq still seems to be on the threshold of an oil boom that will transform its finances.
WARNING: Iraqi Dinar scam on the rise...again!
AMLTF - on March 1, 2013
We are warning Canadians of all economic backgrounds to stay away from the Iraqi Dinar investment (and revaluation) hype because the risks of being involved in this type of hard-cash investment are not explained to you by the shady dealers who only have one goal...to make money off of consumer gullibility. They know one thing you don't know - they know it's a scam.
Hyperinflation: The Story of 9 Failed Currencies
Mint Life - on June 16, 2009
The world’s major economic powers are all suffering from the economic downturn but even the most cynical doomsayer is sure we’ll get ourselves out of this mess—eventually. Rare are those instances in which entire economies are disrupted to the point – typically as a result of rampant inflation, or hyper-inflation – that an entire form of currency is discarded, reformed or replaced. But it does happen. There are invariably external issues (military, political, etc.) at play, which result in what can generally be referred to the ‘failure of a currency’, and each situation is unique. The following is a list of nine notable examples in which currencies became so devalued that they were eventually replaced:
Germany Weimer Republic 1922-1923
Angola 1991 – 1999
INFLATION OR HYPERINFLATION?
PMG - Jay H. Recher on May 20, 2014
Hungary holds the record as the nation with the most hyperinflation.
Just in time for May 20th (Be a Millionaire Day) I’ve decided to dig deep into the inflation and hyperinflation banknotes of the world. Most would consider hyperinflation notes as those with values of 500,000 or more displayed on the note. However, economics considers hyperinflation as when a country experiences very quick monetary rates on a daily and in some cases hourly basis, or more precisely when the monthly inflation rate is greater than 50 percent. This equates to an item costing 1 unit in January 1 of this year and the following January 1 that same item costing 130 units.