The Iraqi Dinar Scam Revisited
I think this subject gets brought up to me about once every six months or so. Not too long ago I heard about an acquaintance in a financial rut who put more money than she should’ve into the Iraqi Dinar, hoping to ride the meteoric rise of the currency that should be coming any day now. Sounds like she did it several years after the initial rumblings of this “opportunity” started making the rounds after the fall of Saddam’s government too. Apparently she felt really stupid for putting money she didn’t really have to blow into dinars and it wasn’t panning out as they hoped. I’m sure there’s a ton of people with similar stories out there. I remember hearing quite a few people talk about investing in the dinar, either stating intent or that they already had purchased them. Now I don’t hear many people talk about holding on to them, getting out of them, etc.
Looks like today it’s at 1200 or so dinars to the dollar right now. When I was there in 2004-5, it was somewhere around 1400 and the last time I wrote about it exactly three years ago it was at 1300. (The Iraqi Dinar Scam) Everything is still the same with the currency though – you can’t really exchange it in any serious venue, only find some other sucker to buy them. I think you’d be hard pressed to say that any fundamentals of the Iraqi economy have improved since then. The Shiites ran it into the dirt again, the Kurds are about as close as they’ve ever been to jumping ship and ISIS is running around doing the things they do throughout much of the country side. One guy I knew told me that Iraq’s ace-in-the-hole was a budding mercury industry, and to my knowledge that hasn’t panned out. I don’t mean to talk down on the poor Iraqis, I’m just saying they haven’t become the economic miracle that was sold to potential dinar investors in the beginning.
The Iraqi Central Bank is worried about “dollarization” of the economy, a situation where the US dollar becomes the de facto or official currency of a country. In this case, people don’t trust the dinar and would prefer the dollar or other currencies over Iraqi money. I suppose this is probably part of the reason why you can’t exchange Iraqi dinars – because damn near everyone locally would try to GTFO and into pretty much anything else. A bit of currency protectionism.
While looking up news on the dinar, I found this article from April Fool’s Day last year that I thought was kind of funny. Some of the writing is a little cliche, but it’s still good:
APRIL FOOL: Worldwide Celebrations as Iraqi Dinar Revalues
I like the snippet of the Iraqi Dinar dealer crying that he should’ve held on to his dinars instead of trading them for dollars. Ha ha.