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Guest Post: Hyperinflation Has Arrived In Iran

Tyler Durden's picture





 

As we have been actively warning for a few days now (Iran's Misery Index and here) - and has now become mainstream media-critical - Iran is accelerating toward significant regime volatility... it seems our note on hyperinflationary case studies and the 'blame' and 'denial' extension is particularly timely...

Submitted by Steve H. Hanke via Cato-at-Liberty,

Since the U.S. and E.U. first enacted sanctions against Iran, in 2010, the value of the Iranian rial (IRR) has plummeted, imposing untold misery on the Iranian people. When a currency collapses, you can be certain that other economic metrics are moving in a negative direction, too. Indeed, using new data from Iran’s foreign-exchange black market, I estimate that Iran’s monthly inflation rate has reached 69.6%. With a monthly inflation rate this high (over 50%), Iran is undoubtedly experiencing hyperinflation.

When President Obama signed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, in July 2010, the official Iranian rial-U.S. dollar exchange rate was very close to the black-market rate. But, as the accompanying chart shows, the official and black-market rates have increasingly diverged since July 2010. This decline began to accelerate last month, when Iranians witnessed a dramatic 9.65% drop in the value of the rial, over the course of a single weekend (8-10 September 2012). The free-fall has continued since then. On 2 October 2012, the black-market exchange rate reached 35,000 IRR/USD – a rate which reflects a 65% decline in the rial, relative to the U.S. dollar.

The rial’s death spiral is wiping out the currency’s purchasing power. In consequence, Iran is now experiencing a devastating increase in prices – hyperinflation.  As Nicholas Krus and I document in our recent Cato Working Paper, World Hyperinflations, there have been 57 documented cases of hyperinflation in history, the most recent of which was North Korea’s 2009-11 hyperinflation. That said, North Korea’s hyperinflation did not come close to the magnitudes reached in the recent, second-highest hyperinflation in the world, that of Zimbabwe, in 2008, nor has Iran’s hyperinflation – at least not yet.

 


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Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:11 | Link to Comment idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

You've got  to wonder whether it's all just sanctions, or whether someone is actively counterfeiting the currency and pumping it into circulation.

It's an old war-time tactic -- if the North Koreans can fake the US$100, and the US and Israel can put together Stuxnet, I'm pretty sure that a few (hundred (million)) Iranian Rial is probably no big deal....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:13 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

straits of hormuz closing immanent.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:17 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

I don't think so.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:20 | Link to Comment Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Usually an opinion is followed by an arguement.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:22 | Link to Comment THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

That applies to Vastdom and CH1 both.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:52 | Link to Comment strannick
strannick's picture

Dear Iran;

Selling Oil outside of the dollar always has had consequences.

Dear Iranians;

Get gold, as the rest of the world will soon be following suit.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:18 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Russia and China might not concur...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:37 | Link to Comment TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

"When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it"
- Psycho Celente -

Time to grind up heavy metals into ultra fine powder and load them into missiles.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:47 | Link to Comment TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

As for Iranian "HyperInflation"...Pffft, our fate is far worse. At the centre of our Financial Galaxy we have an Ultra-Massive Black Hole jam packed with Derivative and Shadow Banking Bull Shit to contend with.

Iranian's will go the way of Cuba and be ok.

But no need to be alarmed, it's not real, it's only Math, and a little Math can't hurt you.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:52 | Link to Comment new game
new game's picture

recall the sanctions against japan and how that turned out.  not sayin that iran is going to bomb someone, but cornering

a coon is not a good idea...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:26 | Link to Comment surfsup
surfsup's picture

Engineered Activity Meter:  >9      Funny thing, Nature is not charging more to grow food plants...    Delink from a multitdude of grids = relative immunity from shenanigans . . .    Its part of the Path Neo . . .                

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:00 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

What an allegory. I wonder how much the W. brothers were aware.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:27 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

My dog cornered a coon in a burrow once.  There was a lot of barking, squealing, shows of aggression, but ultimately a 3rd party stepped in (me) and nobody got hurt.

May we be so lucky.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:00 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

dupe.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:43 | Link to Comment monogratis
monogratis's picture

Iran should immediately remove all taxes from gold and silver buying/selling as well as legalize them for transactional purposes.  Iran should immediately backstop all bank deposits with stock in state oil holdings to prevent loss of private wealth.  Iran should legalize as many currencies as possible.   American dollars and Euros as currency, as well as Iraqi dinars, Chinese yuan, Indian rupees...  maybe even bitcoins?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:00 | Link to Comment patb
patb's picture

Iran should peg their currency to Oil Production.  That 5,000 Rial may be redeemed against a Bbl of Oil, that will

backstop things....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:30 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

They need to set a fixed silver/gold exchange rate, that backs the Rial.  Only problem is the currency has probably been COUNTERFEITED in massive quantities by.... umm... MOSSAD and the CIA wouldn't be capable of that, would they?  The Intelligence Agencies and Banksters are completely oblivious to one another, right???  Right?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:20 | Link to Comment Mr.Bigfoot
Mr.Bigfoot's picture

My Iranian buddy said his nephews in Isfahan called him and told him riots were starting in other cities because people can't afford food. The shit's going down.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:37 | Link to Comment Mr.Bigfoot
Mr.Bigfoot's picture

He said the dollar increasing by 400 rial per day. Merchants have closed their stores holding out for higher prices, stores keeping food off the shelves until just before it spoils to get the best prices. Hyperinflation really is taking hold there.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 21:57 | Link to Comment Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

If I may be so bold.....allow me to retort for the above "CH1" and "Vatsdom"........the NANOSECOND that the Strait is closed......Iran is a distant, cloudy memory.  Iran has no shortage of ISLAMIC enemies, not to mention a plethora of Western ones.

And no.....the Chinese and Russians are not going to commit economic suicide for the Iranians.

 

They know. We know it. You know it. And everyone knows everyone else knows it.

 

There you go.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 06:33 | Link to Comment Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

Ahhh yessss......the distinct odor of fermenting hubris. Seems to me we heard similar postulations in the lead-up to the ongoing Iraq-Opiumlanistan War.....'cakewalk'....'over quickly due to shock and awe'....'welcomed as liberators'.....etc, etc, etc. Well, here we are 11 years into it, and how close are we to 'winning'?

There you go.

P.S. Not trying to nitpick, just wanted to put the whole thing in perspective. I really wish our scumbag 'leaders' would quit trying to start a war with the Persians. The fact they are so ardently aching for it should give every sentient being in this country some MAJOR not-warm-and-fuzzies.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:24 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

You clearly have not been following the online trolling career of AnMonotonous.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:48 | Link to Comment Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I have yet to witness this creature but I have heard a lot about it.  This creature to me is like Nessi, or the Yeti; it remains a mythological monster....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:55 | Link to Comment strannick
strannick's picture

He resides in the Keynsian paradise where dollars grow on trees, and the benevolent philospher king rules wisely from his Ivory Tower and the urinals are guilded with gold.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:05 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

My own theory is that he is an experimental (but clearly unsuccessful) Chinese AI trollbot who escaped from his creators and now maintains an independent existence on the interwebs, driving all who encounter him, and who attempt to argue and reason with him, into madness and despair.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:09 | Link to Comment Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Whatever it is I think it has learned how to "junk".

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:49 | Link to Comment ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

I actually read a book with a somewhat similar (but very well threaded) plot: http://www.amazon.com/Daemon-Daniel-Suarez/dp/0451228731/

And here I thought it would stay in the realm of fiction...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:15 | Link to Comment Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

you can get that book for 67 cents!!! used

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:24 | Link to Comment PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

It's real I tell you. Ive seen it!...

It has a gaping maw to spew anti-america(ism) rants.

It has an enormous cranium to hold all the things it alone imagines.

It has eyes all around its head so it can see its circular logic.

It has incredibly long legs so it can side step rational arguements.

It travels to and fro in a magical flying device which AKAK himself has seen.

And according to certain stooges it is prone to squating on roadsides.

Believe it or not....it exists.

*edit* and it has an elongated well muscled index finger for clicking the down arrow. (its preferred method of answering dissenting opinions)

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:18 | Link to Comment Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Oil down, Turkey going nutso, and Iran has entered DefCon 5....

....Move along!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:22 | Link to Comment IndicaTive
IndicaTive's picture

All I can say is way to go ZH! Keep getting the scoop before the MSM idiots. This time by days not hours. Keep it up. not to mention you make me look smart when I mention your revelations before they hits the "news"

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:38 | Link to Comment azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

I usually get "where the fuck did you hear that?"

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:45 | Link to Comment Yamaha
Yamaha's picture

and after the "where the fuck....." you will be dining alone at lunch and considered mentally unstable.......

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:01 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Eventually you are simply forgotten.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:33 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

LOL.  Denial is a hell of a drug.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:09 | Link to Comment Jackfish
Jackfish's picture

Cocaine is a hell of a drug

http://youtu.be/udNHsk57f24

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 08:54 | Link to Comment GlobalCtzn
GlobalCtzn's picture

So that is why I have been dining alone so much lately, my ZH regurgitations? I guess I can stop trying all those different deoderants.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:24 | Link to Comment giggler123
giggler123's picture

... and all before November's re-election of Obummer

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:22 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Barry broke both the reset button and the easy button.  Someone should have told him foreign policy is not a game of whack-a-mole.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:27 | Link to Comment magpie
magpie's picture

Oil down is Finwar Round 2 after the initial assault on the Rial.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | Link to Comment tradebot
tradebot's picture

Cool, we haven't blasted anyone in weeks!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:39 | Link to Comment rfaze
rfaze's picture

Nothing more exciting then backing a rat into a corner..... I'm sure it will end well.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:50 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Especially when the rat pals around with a bear and a dragon.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:34 | Link to Comment viahj
viahj's picture

THEY'VE GOT BLASTERS, BLAST THEM!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | Link to Comment Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

NEXT UP: ARGENTINA

 

In Argentina, when people buy large amounts at supermarkets (say, over 1000usd or something), they have to do some paperwork/explaining to do.  

 

Let's keep our eyes on the first worldwide hyperinflation run.  

 

Thank you for choosing Zimbabwe airlines.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:35 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Maybe, but it has more to do with their form of centrally planned business model than with Iran or the Fed.  They have financial collapses in Argentina on a pretty regular basis. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:38 | Link to Comment Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

"In Argentina, when people buy large amounts at supermarkets (say, over 1000usd or something), they have to do some paperwork/explaining to do."

In Florida, too:

Motorists can be held indefinitely at toll booths if they pay with large denomination bills, according to a federal appeals court ruling handed down Wednesday.

http://thenewspaper.com/news/39/3904.asp

Thank you for choosing American Airlines (the country, not the one with the loose seats).

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:17 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Luckily the US counterfeiters are easy to spot

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:43 | Link to Comment SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

They all look the same to me.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:58 | Link to Comment ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Yeah, they have Turbo Tax Timmy's signature on them.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:26 | Link to Comment ACP
ACP's picture

Probably the same counterfeit outfit as the one in the US? The Fed?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:40 | Link to Comment azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Benny set up the HP to print RIAL's

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:38 | Link to Comment Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

Speaking of war, if Iran's currency is worthless and their economy is collapsed do they have any other options on the table other than war?

Is it much of an imagination stretch to believe this is being done to force Iran into a war?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:08 | Link to Comment Overfed
Overfed's picture

The Iranians are damn close to their Fort Sumpter moment. But I don't think they'll fire first. I mean an 'Iranian' sunburn missile is gonna hit an American ship or some variation on that theme. But you can bet that it will have been fired by Israel. This is a perfect setup, Iran is in an impossible situation. Just as planned. Peace, democracy, bombs, drones, and a Rothschild bank are coming soon to the "liberated" people of Iran.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:40 | Link to Comment azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

spreading democracy again woohoo

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:01 | Link to Comment hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

Be nice to America, or we'll bring democracy to your country too.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:52 | Link to Comment mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"Speaking of war, if Iran's currency is worthless and their economy is collapsed do they have any other options on the table other than war?"

Well, they could probably give up the nuclear program.

 

"Is it much of an imagination stretch to believe this is being done to force Iran into a war?"

Seems like it's being done to make them give up the nuclear program.   War's an option though - in their tool kit and ours.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:56 | Link to Comment Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

thanks for mentioning "tool" first.

Tool.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 00:43 | Link to Comment phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

Limecat approves of this comment.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:03 | Link to Comment Diggintunnels
Diggintunnels's picture

But it has worked so well in the past. Just look at Iraq Somalia Libya n Afghanistan and every other country that we fixed. Americans are like rock stars in all those countries : )

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:19 | Link to Comment Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

The Gulf of Tonkin Boyz can whip up sumpin in no time.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | Link to Comment Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Im sure Ben will be jacking off to this chart as soon as he see's it.

You know he's jealous.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:50 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

This is what happens when money returns home, being pushed out of foreign circulation.

US dollar faces a similar nightmare scenario if foreigners begin refusing it. The main driver behind outsourcing of our currency has been the oil trade. The same agreement that enabled formation of OPEC in the 70's gave the Federal Reserve permission to print unlimited dollars for the foreign dollar denominated transactions. The Fed assumed that the oil trade and bond buying would grow perpetually ensuring money never comes back for redemption.

If Arab Spring continues (and it will) there may come a point where opposition begins severing ties with our hostile regime. That may force Saudi's, who were originally invited into the dollar trade via bribes, arms deals and subsidies, out of the dollar system. If that happens, all US dollars locked in outside circulation will flock into the domestic markets, injecting more active cash than QE's ever could in a short period of time.

That will effectively cause hyperinflation.

We say dollar's unbacked. It is backed - by oil. As long as dollars buy oil... which is to say, as long as Saudi's take dollars for their oil, dollar's not going to be worthless.

Iranian hyperinflationary crisis does present a problem, as it forces a major oil player to seek a new currency. If they happen to pick something their competition also honors (like precious metals), it'll create an incentive for a domino transition away from the Western influence. They'd have to pull an "Iceland" on us, which is - to destroy Rial, switch to something else and then exhibit signs of genuine recovery.

If Iran falls, it'll be picked apart by neighbouring vultures. If it restructures and emerges from this crisis, then it'll be a bigger economic threat to us, not through direct action, but through precedent.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:54 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Lucid.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:09 | Link to Comment Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Agreed.  This is why i enjoy reading the comments as well as the articles.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:43 | Link to Comment azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Pretty interesting thesis

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:20 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

What my theory boils down to is that when Nixon defaulted on gold, we rapidly had to seek a substitute to keep confidence in the dollar as the world reserve currency.  We kicked that can many decades into the future - bought an entire generation worth of time.

I know what appealed to Saudi lords back then. They wanted guns, with which to defend their valuable turf. They wanted destabilization in the rest of the region, without getting their own hands dirty. They wanted a discount on toys (on imports).

When the oil is demanded by every industrial power and dollar buys it, everyone has to accumulate dollars at a disadvantage.

Germany wants oil? It has to get dollars from the US. In order for that it has to export superior quality machinery with minimal markup. The US and the Saudi's get to split the benefits, while burning fuel, driving in style and hardly lifting a finger.

I know the deal works for us, cause we ship dollars off shore and get valuables in return virtually for free. What I'm wondering is whether the deal still works for Saudi's. I don't know them well. I don't know much about their current interests and concerns.

We won't pull the plug on the dollar denominated trade. There's nothing in it for us.

What's in it for "them"? Iraq already turned its back on USD and had to be turned into a pinata. Iran followed suit regardless. Identical threats and WMD accusations were thrown at them in response (never gets old).

Who's next? Do we have to wait till SA runs out of oil naturally or do they change their mind voluntarily? I do not know. I'm more familiar with what was happening 40 years ago than with what's going on today.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 00:35 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Thanks for the recommendation. It's going onto my reading list.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 21:46 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

     We won't pull the plug on the dollar denominated trade. There's nothing in it for us.

I really like the whole thing, but I think the fantasy currently being gamed is that "USA pulling plug on USD trade" actually just means "USA imposes a unilateral USD exchange-rate."

Basically: Green Dollars become Purple Horseshoes at X% exchange rate. 

Any country or CB controlling its own currency can take it or leave it.

All hail King Dollar!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:25 | Link to Comment Treason Season
Treason Season's picture

In '06 it was reported Iran had withdrawn 250 tonnes of gold from their bank in Switzerland. Then the Iranians jumped up and denied the story. Curiouser and curiouser.

http://www.payvand.com/news/06/apr/1004.html

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:29 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Don't know about any news relating to massive PM transactions. The best thing about gold is that it not only preserves, but conceals wealth. No one has to know who has it and how much of it there is. There's Fort Knox and it could be filled to the top or be completely empty. You'll never find out. Those who have gold are typically good at hiding it.

What I do know is that when Iraq switched its "food for oil" dollar denominated account (with the IMF) from USD to Euros, the EU currency went way up against the dollar (used to trade below par and went to almost double). It remained there up until Iraq was defeated militarily and was shoved back into the old paradigm economically.

Meanwhile, Iran, Russia and China began to recycle dollars out of their oil trade, switching to domestic accounts and to a lesser degree to Euros (all being European trade partners). That kept the EUR/USD ratio above par and preserved pressure on the dollar, preventing Fed from increasing dollar outflows to projected and desired levels.

Then everything went to shit. Old trade dynamics no longer apply with economies going up in flames left and right.

 EUR and USD aren't the same life boats they used to be.

Each time a currency dies, rats run for high ground. Options are limited and PM's represent one alternative not yet exercised. Who'll be the first to try it?

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 03:00 | Link to Comment Just Ice
Just Ice's picture

JuliaS said: "What I do know is that when Iraq switched its 'food for oil' dollar denominated account (with the IMF) from USD to Euros, the EU currency went way up against the dollar (used to trade below par and went to almost double)."

That's bunk.  The euro initially traded ~119 to the dollar but within a year or so traders had promptly sold it down to 80.  Traders recognized at the time that the idiotic cobbled together structure of a currency union with a singular monetary policy that in effect would be a "one size fits all" construct would not work over a large number of very disparate sovereign nations that were free trading partners but which had their own agendas, budgets, tax policies, work ethic, etc. and whose trade (im)balances ebbed and flowed between them with effect on exchange rates, (although many had previously been pegged to the deutschmark).

Due to fears the euro would flat out fail, the ECB asked the Fed for help and the Fed intervened in foreign exchange by buying euros which supported and established a floor under it.  In the meantime, the ECB instituted monetary policy for the benefit of Germany which had entered recession.  Monetary policy designed to kickstart Germany out of recession of course sent the periphery into overdrive and the unlimited punchbowl was welcomed as eurozone partied hearty.  The euro began its climb from under par by virtue of a Fed put, Germany's strengthening out of recession and emerging periphery overheated booms, nothing to do with Iraq or its oil for food program.  The Fed's action (purchasing) gave the euro credence it did not have in the marketplace...while it also allowed the troubled construct of the euro to continue without its structural problems being dealt with and which have only in recent years come back home to roost.

Had the euro's credibility not been established in the marketplace via Fed interference, Iraq would never have decided to use euros rather than dollars.  Sure, that announcement was temporary good news for the euro but certainly not of any profound gravity as intimated by your statement.  Furthermore, the Iraq oil for food program ended in late 2003 whereas the euro did not top out at ~160 (double from 80 low) until 2008.     

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:37 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Fair observations. I do not think Iraq's decision was the only factor affecting exchange rates. I think it was "a" factor in a series of many - perhaps one that helped change sentiment. Remember that dollar has oil essentially backing it. That makes it appealing. If Euro gets some of that action, it also becomes a valued investment asset.

Saddam was told ahead of the account transition that he was a fool, that he was guaranteed to loose money, but he ignore the warning. His bet ended up paying off when the course went up. Didn't work out for him and his country though.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 07:35 | Link to Comment Just Ice
Just Ice's picture

No, I do not remember the dollar being essentially backed by oil.  In fact I would posit that the dollar is most certainly NOT backed by oil.

The dollar is backed by the "full faith and credit of the US government" or, in other words, for those who erroneously think that means backed by nothing, it translates into the full faith and credit one has in the current US government's ability to tax and collect from the productivity and wealth of its citizenry and others doing business or owning assets within the country and its territories.  (Despite how badly the economy has been mucked up by government policies, the wealth of the US as a nation is still tremendous and the government at this time unquestionably maintains control.)  That ability to tax, as well as faith in the ability of the US to influence or enforce change elsewhere, outside its borders, is backed by the capabilities of the US military and its arsenal of weaponry, including nuclear.

The dollar is not backed by oil any more than it is backed by wheat or cattle, and it doesn't need to be.

Additionally, use of the US dollar as a reserve currency for global trade was the natural choice as a uniform currency standard following WWII...and has been a two way street as far as benefits.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 21:32 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The House of Saud serves at the pleasure of London and Washington.  They saw what happened to Iraq and may yet witness Iran.  Do they want some of that?  The only thing worse for the Saudis would be for the West to withdraw their protection and leave the Saudis to the tender mercies of their fellow Arabs.

Attempting to leave the petrodollar regime = no more Saudis.

 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:25 | Link to Comment CPL
CPL's picture

There is no win or gain from an Asymetric combat situation.  The outcome is historically a complete loss.  Russia attempted the same thing with Afgantistan and only managed to break it's bank attempting to hold down the fort with too little resources.  Contrition can be purchased with time. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 23:15 | Link to Comment Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

Really good up to a point.

You lost me at Iceland.  Iceland "recovered" because all of Iceland---banks and the consumers who borrowed from them---stiffed the small European despositors, widows and orphans, etc. who had placed funds equal to twenty times Iceland's GDP into its banks, which the Icelanders then borrowed to fund their wild property ad spending bubble.  An Icelandic banker is no worse morally than an Icelandic citizen borrower who believed in a free lunch.  No heroes there, just parasites top to bottom.  Bernie Madoff nation.  That these thieves are viewed as some doughty fighters who stood up to the bankstas is simply bizarre.

Iran did not get any massive investment or capital inflow, so they cannot stiff anybody and keep the money to "exhibit signs of genuine recovery".  While they recently tried to introduce market reforms that have been hampered by sanctions, the leadership did not exactly distinguish itself in the first thirty years of Islamic rule.  They took the worst of the Shah (SAVAK-style repression) and added economic incompetence to it.  Only in the last few weeks has inflation become worse than it was on a yearly basis since the Revolution.  Failure to privatize, because of hardliners who believe everything should be governed according to rules drawn up ten centuries before the Industrial Revolution, hampered growth long before the sanctions.  Subsidies lead to waste and inefficiency, and the demands of the Islamic Sector of the economy swallowed up to 30% of government revenues. Corruption in the Revolutionary Guard adds to the problem. Sanctions have done the Iranian people no favor, but its own leadership equally has done the people no favor.

Changing subject to get to the petrodollar, sadly I assume that if Saudi Arabia looked to be considering a divesification away from dollar priced oil, we would see the re-introduction of pre-20th Century style colonialism and the US would get a new 51st State.  The current Saudi leadership probably knows and fears that.  A non-Saud leadership might know it but believe their skydaddy would save them.  He won't.  It ain't a pretty scenario.  Humanity might be three steps forward, two steps back, but when we aren't going forward it is not a nice time to be the one trampled.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 23:43 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

I agree with you on Iceland. Nothing to commemorate there. They're an equivalent of housing market speculators that borrowed at zero down sold before the top and got out. They played the market and it, sort of, worked out. All I want to say is that a different approach to the status quo is needed for Iran. They need to do something the rest won't do - use the monetary collapse as an opportunity to switch to backed money instead of adding exta zeroes to the Rial (USSR, Zimbabwe and Weimar style).

Will they do it? Do they have the political wisdom necessary? I don't think so, but anything can happen. What makes them special against the backdrop of all the other horses in the glue factory is that they export oil and therefore affect global monetary trends. Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal defaults would not have the same effect as they are net consumers of resources and net importers.

What I suspect is likely to happen is social disintegration and the West using the moment of weakness as an oportunity to seize power. They've done it once in Iran, they may do it again.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 06:44 | Link to Comment overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

cosimo, you read well and seem competent: so based on your iceland comments: in a corrupt system how are the honest going to win? meak as lambs wise as serpents. you owe nothing to this system nothing.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:23 | Link to Comment JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

 The only way to beat a cheating casino is to cheat. In their case investors cheated themselves out of fortunes looking for speculation and low fee safe havens. At least it worked out for the Icelanders. Either that or they would've been another Greece. Take your pick on what you think is fair.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:46 | Link to Comment Cortez the Killer
Cortez the Killer's picture

Let them sell their poetry, the filthy cowards

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:47 | Link to Comment Jethro
Jethro's picture

My vote is that this is partially self-inflicted, and partly helped along by the US and Israel.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/researchers-find-possible-state-sponsored-virus-in-mideast/

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:03 | Link to Comment LongBalls
LongBalls's picture

Remember this. If Iran is put in a position of fighting their own people or launching an attack to rally their citizens against a common enemy..........

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:03 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Serious question.  How could anyone "pump" enough fake currency into circulation for it to create hyper-inflation in such a short period time?  I mean if you had truck loads of it, how would you distribute it and to whom?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:41 | Link to Comment BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Digitally?

Could the US mint switch from printing FRNs and print Rial for a day? I bet it could.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:44 | Link to Comment azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Benny got a new model HP, very flexible. He taught his puppet LIESman to operate so they go 2 shifts now

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:57 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

In the financial markets you could.  Would have to have the cooperation of a major bank or corp, though, IMO.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:46 | Link to Comment drivenZ
drivenZ's picture

such a quick drop is probably not from counterfeiting. Why would anyone, inside or outside the country want to hold Rial's? You can't do anything with it due to the sanctions and once it starts it's nearly impossible to stop.  There's stories of Afghan workers(hundreds of thousands work in Iran apparently) coming across the border and selling rials for dollars. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:05 | Link to Comment Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

According to this report, 2 Europeans were among the black market currency dealers arrested today in a police crackdown on money exchangers

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/iranian-riot-police-storm-exch...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 21:44 | Link to Comment cbaba
cbaba's picture

I feel the same, there must be something else, they have oil and they can can sell it for  gold, and they can have a steady income,  inflation OK, but why hyperinflation ? then there must be many newly printed rials in circulation which doesn't make sense.. if they can figure the way to distinguish between the fake and real rials, than they can stop this hyperinflation.

 

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 06:36 | Link to Comment Boeing Boy
Boeing Boy's picture

Beats a conventional air attack with limited prospects of success.   Iranian people might overthrow their own regime instead.  Couldn't happen to a nicer president.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:11 | Link to Comment redpill
redpill's picture

Awesome, been awhile since we've gotten to see the sudden and acute death of a fiat currency before our eyes.  Get out the bottle of arak.  What's the shot word for the next 24 hrs?   Unrest?  Riot?  Control?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:13 | Link to Comment Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

No shots. Just staring at the lovely graph above for 5 min.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:50 | Link to Comment Jethro
Jethro's picture

How do you say "Bernanke" in Farsi?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:11 | Link to Comment Overfed
Overfed's picture

Sociopathic Monster. Oh, wait, that's English. My bad.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:52 | Link to Comment saturn
saturn's picture

Bernanke's wet dream..

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:10 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

Big shots and Iman's bucks in Swiss last year....Bentowelhead v.2

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:11 | Link to Comment czarangelus
czarangelus's picture

Fucking monsters.

 

What's funny is Bennie Boy and the imperial buffoons are going to unwittingly cause the same disaster for Americans that they've caused to peoples all over the world.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:15 | Link to Comment Drachma
Drachma's picture

Unwittingly?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:45 | Link to Comment NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Some have difficulty taking that last logical step that connects ALL of the dots.

Plausibility is the hallmark of belief systems. Especially flawed ones.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:11 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

CATO, my little yellow friend....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | Link to Comment Cdad
Cdad's picture

Hyper inlfation? Well, then it is a damn good thing The Bernanke is on the job protecting us all from deflation, then.  Whew!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:18 | Link to Comment Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

If he was head of the CB if Iran, he would have stopped this in 15 minutes..

At least 15 minutes ago...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:56 | Link to Comment saturn
saturn's picture

I thought the FED were the primary consultant in this matter!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:04 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

There is no Iranian CB.

The correlevance of "no central bank" and "enemy of the united kingdom/states" is essentially 1.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:28 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Thu, 10/04/2012 - 01:00 | Link to Comment phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

Their central bank is not hooked up to the BIS, aka the NWO. Not many of those left eh? Back to school please. NEXT.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | Link to Comment swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

Coming to your and my own banana republics soon, too.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | Link to Comment Haager
Haager's picture

And this hyperinflation in Iran has how much exactly to do with the sanctions, the oil and the severely reduced options for Iranians to get USD? Or is it in fact based on self inflicted Iranian economical malfunction?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:15 | Link to Comment swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

The exclusion from the SWIFT system is a huge deal for currency markets.

Additionally, the CIA is most likely trying to crash the rial: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/10/iranian-currency-falls-17-i...

 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:24 | Link to Comment OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

I'm trying to understand why we hate Iran QUITE so much. OK here are a few possibilities:

1. Because our 51st state Israel hates them. But the Israelis hate everybody, and everybody (except the US) hates them right back.

2. It's the old Sunni versus Shi'a thing, Saudi/Qatar/US versus Iran, same old story, we get the oil but have to help the Saudis against their sworn enemies etc etc.

3. We need a new enemy. Iraq just doesn't cut it any more. Afghanistan worked for quite a while, until the Taliban kicked our asses, US now hides in their forts and even then gets their ass kicked (Camp Bastion). The sheeple are tired of hearing about that particular country, it's gotten stale. China's not yet ready to fully demonize, plus it's problematic making them a bona fide enemy as they own our ass. Gaddafi's gone, we shit the bed there, ditto Mubarak, Assad's probably on his way out so we can't spend billions there. Hey maybe Venezuela or Brazil or someplace, maybe I'll send a note to the State Dept. Hilary turned them into the advance committee for the Pentagon, maybe they haven't looked at a map of Latin America in a while. Reagan's guys noticed that Latin America is close to North America and they had some fun with it.

4. They took our guys hostage back in the 1980's. This plays well for the older crowd but younger voters wouldn't remember.

If we were worried about an Islamic Bomb we would be all over Pakistan, sure we bomb them every few days but that's not a "hot" war, yet.

Seems like it's a combination of the above>

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 21:52 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

howza 'bout...

The Iranians are currently the regional "brute" power because we just blew the shit out of Iraq.  As global oil production decreases, the importance of ensuring that oil-rich countries can't demand a premium increases for the US. 

Most of "The World" is on the US side of that trade.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 01:09 | Link to Comment phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

Their central bank does not take instructions from the BIS. Neither did Libya's. And a few others you might know.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:29 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The Iranians currency traders just take the SWIFTest dhou across the bathtub and do business the old fashioned way.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:31 | Link to Comment eduard khil
eduard khil's picture

Or it could be that the biggest countries buying oil from them (China and India) aren't buying much anymore after falling off a cliff.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:34 | Link to Comment Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

The war criminals in D.C. will kill far more people with their sanctions than they will with their bombs, as they did in Iraq.  Except those sanctions hit almost entirely -- and solely -- the civilian population.  They will, of course, still bomb at some point, because Lockheed Martin can't keep building toys if they're not breaking them.

 

Self-inflicted?  Have you read anything at all?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:19 | Link to Comment Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

Luckily, suicide bombers don't have to be paid. Just saying.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:22 | Link to Comment swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

There are no Shiite suicide bombers.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:28 | Link to Comment tradebot
tradebot's picture

No, just chicken shiites

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | Link to Comment hannah
hannah's picture

'There are no Shiite suicide bombers.'

 

you spelled shite wrong...?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:07 | Link to Comment swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

It's a transcription, so there are no precise spelling rules I guess ;-)

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:37 | Link to Comment hannah
hannah's picture

shiite=shite=shit......;)

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 01:16 | Link to Comment phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

Amusing, the one branch of Islam that breeds smart people is shit. We like the illiterate branch better. Birds of a feather are flocking outside.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:37 | Link to Comment Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

Touché good sir. Not only was it a poor taste joke but factually inaccurate.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:29 | Link to Comment Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Surviving Family members are paid.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | Link to Comment Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

That's why you gotta recruit at orphanages.

I am honestly disgusted with myself for joking about it...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:52 | Link to Comment Jethro
Jethro's picture

<golf clap>

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 04:30 | Link to Comment supermaxedout
supermaxedout's picture

Paid by not being all killed. The payment is that they are aloud to continue living.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:14 | Link to Comment “Rebellion to t...
“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”-ThomasJefferson's picture

Take a good look at our near future.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:14 | Link to Comment ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

They'll have no other recourse but the yuan. 

 

 

And so it begins.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:19 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

And so it begins.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:38 | Link to Comment JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Yes it does. When a currency implodes it can happen fast. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:22 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

You misunderstand. The reference was to Iran going to the yuan and the rise of an alternative to the dollar.

The end of the Petro-dollar will bring the end of US hegemony.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:02 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I don't know about "no other recourse".  The problem with the yaun is China keeps it artificially undervalued. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:15 | Link to Comment zilverreiger
zilverreiger's picture

Soon in a currency near you!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:16 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

So I wonder how many kids we will kill this time?...500,000....1,000,000?

 

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? 

 

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:26 | Link to Comment Drachma
Drachma's picture

Raging psychopathy does have that tendency of making someone look callous and indifferent to the suffering of human beings. Albright takes the cake.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:31 | Link to Comment Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

I'll never call scum like Albright "the Honorable."

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:35 | Link to Comment hannah
hannah's picture

Madeleine Albright has killed more children by turning them to stone than the sanctions ever did...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:46 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Where, oh where is Perseus when we really need him?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:59 | Link to Comment Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

I don't plan on having children, but if I ever did, I would name the firstborn son Perseus. Doesn't really jive with the modern world, but I don't really give half a shit.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:42 | Link to Comment Tegrat
Tegrat's picture

That's not a perseus, it's a man bag. Ya know, European....

 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:20 | Link to Comment Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

La Rochefoucauld put it, "We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others."

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:10 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Who's the Secretary of State now?  I heard they pack a snuke.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:16 | Link to Comment LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

What does any of this have to do with the debate tonight?...

 

oh, wait...nevermind.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:17 | Link to Comment There is No Spoon
There is No Spoon's picture

perhaps this explains the action in crude - Iran dumping at whatever price it can get

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:21 | Link to Comment NewWorldOrange
NewWorldOrange's picture

Coming soon...the real seat of power in Iran (the Ayatollah), in a desperate attempt to save his own ass, unseats Ahmadinejad...Then what else is he to do but announce a new currency at least partially backed by gold? Would all seem to be the logical course of action for him.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:17 | Link to Comment SelfGov
SelfGov's picture

They should just start using the Yuan.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:25 | Link to Comment magpie
magpie's picture

AUD (Yuan Jr.)

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