Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shabibi Videos

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 first video (above) Shabibi states that prior to 2003 Iraq had hyperinflation which led to a depreciated currency.  They also had sanctions, low oil output, high unemployment, and an underdeveloped infrastructure.  So when Saddam was removed and the coalition government and military forces began the transition to a democracy and a free market economy, there was a need for economic stability.  Without stability it's hard to define or accomplish your objectives.  That stability would be characterized by a stable exchange rate, low inflation, and an orderly payment system.  By accomplishing their objectives, the CBI had paved the way for the Iraqi government to rebuild the country by attracting foreign investment.

In the second video he states that Iraq is rich in oil, but not in development, so they need to bring investors into the country to develop it.  He then states that the growing foreign currency reserves are being used to provide stability which is good for the government and for investors.  Pressure from within Iraq to use the reserves for certain projects and pressure from outside of Iraq (exogenous factors) to devalue their currency have been resisted in order to maintain economic stability.  He feels that this stability will continue which will provide the right environment for foreign investment for the foreseeable future.  At the end of the video he was asked about a potential revaluation of the dinar.


He answered that question in the third video by saying essentially that they might raise the value if inflation becomes an issue again.  Half a year later that happened when coalition forces left Iraq and turned in their dinar for their respective nations' currencies, causing a spike in inflation due to the forces of supply and demand.  The CBI's response in January of 2012 was to adjust the exchange rate from 1170:1 to 1166:1, raising the value 1/3 of 1%.  Contrary to the mythical RVs of the dinar gurus, this is how revaluations usually work.  Shabibi also mentioned that factors like imports/exports and balance of payments could determine the need for revaluation. Apparently they haven't been a problem since he said that.

What many gurus have never told dinar investors is that the value of the dinar increased from Nov. 1, 2006 to Jan. 1, 2009 a total of 20% because of a policy change at the CBI.  They went to a crawling peg for 26 months in order to bring the inflation rate down to a tolerable level.  That 20% increase had nothing to do with increased oil production, GDP, growing currency reserves, or how popular the dinar was.  It was a monetary policy change to bring down inflation and nothing more, and it worked.  Once inflation settled below 10% they went to a policy of exchange rate stability which they have been on for nearly five years now.

Two years ago I did a post called Dinar Fact Sheet where I showed a document purportedly from the U.S. Treasury stating: "From 2006 to 2008, the CBI allowed the currency to appreciate by about 20 percent, primarily as a way to combat inflation".  This was confirmed in an IMF document I've referenced several times which stated:  "The central bank followed a policy of exchange rate stability which has translated in a de facto peg of the exchange rate since early 2004. However, from November 2006 until end 2008, the CBI allowed the exchange rate to gradually appreciate. As a result, the exchange rate arrangement of Iraq was reclassified to the category of crawling peg effective November 1, 2006. Since the start of 2009, the CBI returned to its earlier policy of maintaining a stable dinar."

Since the main factor in raising the value 20% during that time was high inflation there's really no reason to conclude that the IQD will increase in value any time soon unless inflation becomes a concern again by climbing back up to 10% or more.  Currently inflation in Iraq is quite low as the chart above indicates.  

Later 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.  Some of the gurus have siezed upon the word "propaganda" as if Shabibi inadvertently let it slip that they're trying to hide the fact that they're going to enact the largest revaluation in history.  The fact is, the word "propaganda" originally had a neutral connotation.  From Wikipedia:

"While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others."

Or an upcoming currency change, perhaps?

So you can see here that Shabibi's use of the word "propaganda" wasn't necessarily indicative of anything covert or sinister.  Even if he hadn't changed it to "advertisement" it would have been an appropriate description of the campaign to educate the public about an approaching redenomination.  Some people will read RV into anything.

Shabibi then states that a redenomination would require help from security forces.  Some have argued against the lop, insisting that there's no reason to delay it year after year if that's what they really intended to do.  Well, actually there is.  Since the redenomination was announced a couple of years ago violence has increased in Iraq.  So have smuggling and money laundering.  Those things require the attention of security forces which would be needed during a redenomination.  To redenominate while things are so unstable in Iraq would weaken overall security to an intolerable degree.  This isn't Sam saying this.  It's Shabs.  He hopes that "security forces become less busy with the violence issue so they can devote time for us".      

In the fourth and final video, Shabibi repeats his concerns about inflation, and price/exchange rate stability.  He concludes by answering a question about the "policy rate", which I believe to be essentially the same thing as the prime rate in the US.  He says that the CBI is concerned about the banks charging high interest rates, so they have a problem with both the banks and the government. 

Everything Shabibi talked about in these videos is contrary to what the gurus have been feeding us.  Shabibi said nothing about raising the value 100,000%.  He said that revaluation depends on inflation, and the history of the IQD tells us that raising the value to combat inflation only requires small adjustments that will probably not provide any profits for dinar investors.  He said that cutting the zeros is a redenomination.  He said Iraq needs a stable exchange rate in order to plan, to budget, and to attract investment into the country. 

It seems clear to me what Shabibi was saying in these videos, and it also seems clear to me that the only justification for believing in a big RV is if everything Shabibi said here was "smoke".  Given the fact that the IQD's value is still below a tenth of a penny two and a half years later I'd say that's not bloody likely. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Currency is not Stock

I hear repeatedly from gurus how we know the dinar will go up in value because of all the great things happening economy-wise within Iraq.  It's a bit maddening to hear this repeated ad infinitum and ad nauseum from these posers presenting themselves as authorities on this subject, even after debunking this flawed reasoning time and time again.  It occurred to me that maybe a visual presentation would help, along with a few links.  So here it is, folks.

According to Wikipedia, the countries with the highest GDP growth in 2012 were:

1  Libya 104.5%
2  Sierra Leone 19.8%
3  Mongolia 12.3%
4  Niger 11.2%
5  Turks and Caicos Islands 11.2%
6  Turkmenistan 11.0%
7  Panama 10.7%
8  Afghanistan 10.2%
9  Macau 10.0%
10  Timor-Leste 10.0%

Now, following the logic of dinar gurus, the growth in GDP should be reflected in the value of their currencies.  Let's start with Libya.  After the revolution of 2011 that ended with the death of Gaddafi their economy was understandably in recession.  But it bounced back impressively in 2012 with an increase of over 100%.  What happened with the Libyan Dinar in 2012?  Did it double in value?  No.  Did it increase dramatically?  No.  In fact, it remained rather stable around 1.25 to the USD or $.80.  (Charts below were taken from

Next is Sierra Leone.  With an impressive GDP growth rate of 19.8% the gurus would have us believe that their currency the Sierra Leonean Leone saw a dramatic increase.  Not at all.  It remained fairly stable at around 4.35 to the USD or $.23.

Next is Mongolia.  12.3% is pretty good, right?  Let's look at their currency the Mongolian Tughrik.

As you can see it fluctuated between 1.3 and 1.4 to the USD (72 to 77 cents) and has actually depreciated so far this year.  Next is Niger.  Although it fluctuated a bit, it started and ended the year around 506 Francs to the USD or $.002.

The Turks and Caicos Islands use the US dollar so obviously there's no increase vs. the USD there.  Turkmenistan's 11% GDP growth rate produced absolutely no increase in their currency the Manat.

The same was true for Panama's Balboa which is pegged to the USD.

Afghanistan's 10% growth rate apparently didn't impress the currency gods as the Afghani actually depreciated.

Macau's Pataca managed to squeak out a negligible increase from 8:1 ($.125) to 7.98:1 ($.12525).

And finally, Timor-Leste (East Timor) also uses the US dollar so there's no increase there either.

So as these charts clearly demonstrate there's absolutely no basis for concluding that a growing economy translates into a more valuable currency.  Just for giggles I should throw Vietnam into the mix as well, since their economy has grown impressively in recent years while their currency the VND consistently loses value. 

All these dipsticks who have been pumping the dong for the last four years have been 100% wrong, and anybody who bought dong on their intel has lost money.  Currency isn't stock.  It doesn't go up in value simply because the economy is growing.  That's just ignorant armchair economics coming from hacks, quacks, and douchebags.  Iraq's GDP could double next year as Libya's did and it wouldn't mean diddly as far as the value of the IQD.  Case closed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dinar Recaps & Dinar Guru

I've received several emails about Dinar Recaps over the past year, asking if I know who is behind it and what I think about them.  Well I think my opinion should be obvious.  I don't think much of any site that appears to be promoting a pipe dream like "The RV".  That would include Dinar Recaps.  As I posted in August, their daily revenues are estimated at $225 by Website Outlook, and that's 365 days a year.  Other web analysis sites put the figures even higher.  Not bad for a strictly rumour/intel site, huh?  It would also include Dinar Guru which was actually created two months before Dinar Recaps, although the tone there is much more guarded IMO.

Before I share my research I think it's important to note that before either one of these sites came along there was a site called Dinar Rumor, which was created and run by SFMedic from the sites Dinar Veterans and Dinar Speculator.  It was pretty popular for awhile, but after a year or so it lost its sizzle as the other forums absorbed a lot of the rumours into their sites.  Apparently Medic's strengths were on the intel/analysis side and not on the marketing side.  Thus the opportunity for new sites like Dinar Recaps and Dinar Guru that know how to employ modern internet marketing techniques.

Let's start with the more popular of the two which is Dinar Recaps.  One of the biggest complaints that I hear about them is that these idiot gurus who never get anything right and obviously are lying through their missing teeth are never challenged about the feces that they fling.  That's because it's against the rules at DR.

    -Comments must pertain to the post
    -No profanity – even if abbreviated
    -No rude comments
    -No Negativity
    (translation - No facts that disprove the RV)
    -No Fear Mongering
    (translation - No facts that prove risk)
    -No bashing of Intel providers or forums
    (translation - No facts that disprove guru BS)
    -No outside links
    (translation - No directing people to sites that do the above three)
    -No personal information
    -No Promotion of outside companies

As we have observed over the years, dinar sites that don't encourage or even allow open discussion of the dinar "investment" seem to always have an agenda.  

I've made it a policy since I started the blog to build my case about the dinar and the douchebags pumping it with links.  That way I'm only dealing with information that is already public.  I don't pay for information and I rarely repeat information given to me if I can't link to it.  Unfortunately I don't have any links identifying the owners of Dinar Recaps.  But I can provide a few very informative links.  First of all, SweetQueen tells us that the owner goes by the name of Dinarstars.  Next we find a reference to a partner named Big Bird on their About Us page.

Then there is the contact page at the Dinar Recaps site, which states the mailing address as:

Dinar Recaps
PO Box 1090
Edison, NJ  08818

Right below the address it says DRT Distribution.

If you'll go to I would assume you'll be able to find the information you're looking for.

As for Dinar Guru, the details are a tad less accessible.  The owner's name is supposedly Blanche Bonet, and she states her home town as New Orleans.  It's not surprising that I was unable to locate a person by that name living in Louisiana or anywhere else in the US.  I would assume that it's an alias, of course.  So I looked around and found this.  Here the address is listed as 4640 S. Carrollton Ave 200-199, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA.  When I did a search on that address it brought up  They provide virtual offices to "mpress your clients with a virtual address".  That's a shocker, huh?  So now where do we go?  Well, let's check the domain name in WHOIS.  Nope, the registrant is private and it's handled by a company in Jacksonville, Florida.  Hmmm .... now what?  Well, when you order a membership at Dinar Guru the name NOLA Group comes up on the Paypal page.  So I looked up "NOLA Group" in Google and found an internet marketing company in Toronto and a software developer in Garland, Texas.  (I looked around and found a "nola girl" and a "nolaspice" mentioned at Dinar Recaps.  Interesting, huh?)  So we have a name that is probably fake, with a private domain name provided by a company in Jacksonville, a virtual address in New Orleans, and a marketing company in Toronto or a software guy in the Dallas area.  My conclusion?  This person (or persons) is a pro.  They have covered their tracks well.  I could be way off here, but I think "Blanche" is a persona created by a professional internet marketer(s).  It's interesting to see that Dinar Recaps is located in the source code for Dinar Guru under "keywords", and vice versa.

(Keywords are used by search engines to determine the relevance of websites and their content in search results.  If you don't know how to find the source code for a page you just right-click on the body of the page and click "view source" or "view page source" depending on which browser you're using.)
Maybe they just did this to draw traffic when people type the other site's name into Google, but there's something else to consider.  The disclaimers on these two sites are almost identical.

And it turns out that both sites use Domain Discreet Privacy Service in Jacksonville, Fla. according to my WhoIs search.


Out of curiosity I went to the Domain Discreet website and found nothing but a parked domain page.  Interesting, huh?  Why would a company in the domain name privacy business not have a professional looking website?  Unless perhaps they aren't soliciting business.  Why wouldn't they want to solicit new business?  Well maybe they only exist for a specific purpose, like providing domain name privacy for their own websites.  Just a theory. 

If you type the Domain Discreet address of 12808 Gran Bay Pkwy W, Jacksonville, FL into Google you will find a match with a company called  Ahhh ... the plot thickens.  According to Wikipedia provides websites, website design, website hosting, internet marketing, lead generation, and eCommerce. 

It's entirely possible that and have nothing to do with the dinar, and that Dinar Recaps started up a couple of months after Dinar Guru and just copycatted the disclaimer, keyword technique, and privacy service.  But it does seem very coincidental to me. 

Blanche tells her readers about how she came up with a way to keep track of the latest guru postings.  I think what "Blanche" is doing is utilizing a tool called RSS which stand for "rich site summary".  It's a way of automating content from blogs and news sites with a script that feeds it into your site.  Your average housewife dinarian wouldn't know jack about this.  If you look through the source code at Dinar Recaps you'll see that they use RSS.  I don't see RSS at Dinar Guru, although you will see it used on their sister site DongGuru.  There are plenty of alternatives to RSS that "Blanche" might be using but again, this isn't something your average dinar guru follower is going to know about.  It looks like she edits the content to suit her site, which opens up many possibilities.

Looking through the Dinar Guru site you will see that it is well monetized.  There are ads for luxury cars, luxury SUVs, forex charts, currency conversion, web hosting .... all resolving to a location on a site ( hosted by with locations in Austin and Dubai.  Pretty sophisticated for an "Iraqi Dinar Guru expert who loves her grandchildren and family" as she states on her Twitter page

Dinar Recaps has a Twitter page as well, and it's very similar to Dinar Guru's.  They each have a Facebook page also, although Dinar Guru's seems to receive more attention. 

Also quite interesting is this thread at Dinar Vets.  It seems that both sites went down and came back up at the same time earlier this year. 

Despite the similarities there are distinct differences in the two sites.  Dinar Recaps allows comments, albeit censored comments only.  Dinar Guru has no comment feature.  Dinar Guru has a link to a dinar dealer called GID Associates.  I found no such link to a dinar dealer at Dinar Recaps.  And Dinar Recaps seems to cater to the religious crowd where "Blanche" tends to avoid that emphasis. 

My sense is that both of these sites started up shortly after Med lost interest in his Dinar Rumor site because they saw the potential for web traffic if the concept was used properly with modern search engine optimization, marketing, and automation techniques.  I can't say conclusively that the two are connected in any way, but I am very curious about the similarities.    

As we have seen time and time again, this dinar "investment" is driven more by internet marketing than it is by sound investing principles.  I'll keep looking into this.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Update

Hello again, everybody.  This month's update is pretty much the same as every other month this year.  More douchebaggery from gurus and pumpers and no increase in the IQD.  At the start of the year I made the following predictions. 

"I will stake my reputation on the fact that the value of the dinar will not increase by more than 10% in any given month or by 50% this year unless there's a lop. The same goes for the Vietnamese dong. I also predict that we will see another indictment of one or more of the douchebags I've written about in the past. I predict that Iraq's M2 will end the year at more than the current figure of 72 trillion unless they redenominate. And finally, I predict that Obama and Maliki will both end the year without being removed from office."

Well the third quarter of the year has passed and the dinar's value hasn't changed.  The dong (VND) has depreciated from 20,820:$1 to 21,125:$1.  To my knowledge none of the douchebags that I have written about in the past have been indicted this year, although I've heard rumours to that effect.  I'm starting to sweat that one a bit.  The M2 has grown from about 75 trillion at the start of the year to a tentative figure of about 84 trillion in July.  And both Obama and Maliki are still in office, like it or not.  We'll take another look at all of this in three months to see how my predictions held up. 

The first week of September saw an on-air meltdown by Phoenix as he agonized over the Obama administration's apparent determination to conduct a military strike against Syria.  He stated that if he were to tell us the truth he would be arrested.  I strongly doubt that the men in black are concerned about Phoenix Rising radio.  I actually think there's some merit to what he had to say on this issue.  Maybe if he hadn't spent the last two years interviewing psychics and talking about comets, electro-magnetic pulse, earthquakes, the Mayan calendar, and the impending revaluation of the Iraqi dinar more people would take him serious. 

Also in the first week Forbes Magazine did yet another feature on the dinar scam called "Inside the Dubious Dinar Revaluation Ruse".

Breitling referred to the article's author John Wasik as a "knucklehead with no credibility and no accountability".  Well here's this knucklehead's bio.

John Wasik
As the award-winning author of 13 books, Wasik has spoken to crowds from coast to coast on investing, retirement and protecting your money. As a personal finance columnist/blogger for Reuters, the world's largest news service, he covers investing/investor protection, financial planning, taxes, insurance, retirement, college and life planning. His columns have been seen in newspapers on five continents and he regularly comments on top economic news in all media.
He's also appeared on NBC, NPR, PBS, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNNfn, Bloomberg TV and radio and on hundreds of TV and radio stations across the country. He earned his B.A. (psychology) and M.A. (communications) from the University of Illinois-Chicago and resides north of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.
As former special projects editor for Consumers Digest magazine, he has won 18 awards for his columns and investigative reporting, including the National Press Club award for Consumer Journalism. He has spoken at the New York Money Show, the National Home Center Show and the University of Chicago Business School. He is also a popular lecturer on investing at the University of Chicago's Graham School.
Wasik also has contributed to Reader's Digest, The New York Times, Bloomberg News,,, AARP Magazine/Bulletin, eFinancial Careers, Minyanville, Modern Maturity, Parade, Smart Money, Popular Science, Health, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Barron's, The Chicago Tribune and newspapers across North America.
His books include:
  • The Audacity of Help
  • The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome
  • iMoney
  • The Merchant of Power (2006)
  • The Bear-Proof Investor (Owl, 2002)
  • The Kitchen-Table Investor (Holt, 2001)
  • Retire Early and Live the Life You Want Now (Holt, 2000)
  • The Late-Start Investor (Holt, 1999)
  • The Green Company Resource Guide (NCI, 1997)
  • The Investment Club Book (Warner, 1996)
  • Green Marketing & Management: A Global Perspective (Blackwell, 1996)
  • The Green Supermarket Shopping Guide (Warner, 1995)
  • The Electronic Business Information Sourcebook (Wiley, 1987)

As for Breitling, you probably won't find his bio on the internet but here's what he has claimed in his YouTube videos.

"Breitling has claimed to be a private pilot, a banker, and a professional investor who knows people at J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, guys who make $7 million a year on Forex, and people in the military who made a fortune on the Kuwaiti dinar. He claims that he has worked as a corporate recruiter, a video game developer, an investigator for the Justice Department, a political consultant, a real estate consultant, and a network consultant who worked with people at Southern California Edison.   Additionally he says that he has been involved in manufacturing in China, in writing PPMs (Private Placement Memorandums for raising venture capital), and in developing dental equipment for Latin America. B also says that he and his business associates have their own Delarue machine, that he has had cars like a Lamborghini., and that he just bought a race boat that he never even takes out. He also claims that he has contacts in the IMF, the UN, and the US Senate."

I documented all of this in The Breitling Catalog.  Now who's the knucklehead with no credibility?

The fact is John Wasik is a very respected journalist for a very reputable news organization, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers.  As an employee of Reuters he has both credibility and accountability, and John has been writing about financial matters for many years to establish himself as an authority on the topic.  He has seen scams come and go and he knows what he's talking about.  Gurus like Breitling, on the other hand, are almost always wrong about almost everything and yet with the exception of Rudy Coenen never seem to be held accountable.  Well in the words of Susan Boyle, "here's hoping that will change".

Also in September some douche named Dave Schmidt did a post called "So Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" at a site called Golden Age of Gaia that made its way over to Dinar Recaps.  This post has Dave telling us that 198 currencies are about to be reset, even though there aren't that many currencies in the world.  He claims to be a former state senator although he didn't mention in which state he served.  He went on to claim that Vietnam would back the dong with rice.  I kid you not. 

I did a little digging (yeah I know .... what are the odds?) and found a state senator by that name in the state of Washington who apparently got himself into some trouble a while back.  Could this be our new dinar guru Dave?  I'm thinking it just might be.   

Until next time.