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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 | 2853349 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 | 2853363 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

straits of hormuz closing immanent.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:17 | 2853410 CH1
CH1's picture

I don't think so.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:20 | 2853429 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Usually an opinion is followed by an arguement.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:22 | 2853448 THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

That applies to Vastdom and CH1 both.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:52 | 2853617 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 | 2853732 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Russia and China might not concur...

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:37 | 2853798 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 | 2853838 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 | 2853858 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 | 2853919 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 | 2853992 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:27 | 2854087 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 | 2853993 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

dupe.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:43 | 2853954 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 | 2853995 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 | 2854093 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 | 2854064 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 | 2854116 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 | 2854390 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 | 2855146 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 | 2853465 akak
akak's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:48 | 2853577 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 | 2853629 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 | 2853673 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 | 2853689 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 | 2853846 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 | 2854055 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:24 | 2853664 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 | 2853417 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 | 2853451 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 | 2853802 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:45 | 2853829 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 | 2854001 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Eventually you are simply forgotten.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:33 | 2854106 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

LOL.  Denial is a hell of a drug.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:09 | 2854431 Jackfish
Jackfish's picture

Cocaine is a hell of a drug

http://youtu.be/udNHsk57f24

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 08:54 | 2855385 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 | 2853466 giggler123
giggler123's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:22 | 2853747 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 | 2853763 magpie
magpie's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | 2853520 tradebot
tradebot's picture

Cool, we haven't blasted anyone in weeks!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:39 | 2853550 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 | 2853611 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:34 | 2853786 viahj
viahj's picture

THEY'VE GOT BLASTERS, BLAST THEM!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | 2853371 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 | 2853789 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 | 2853886 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 | 2853413 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Luckily the US counterfeiters are easy to spot

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:43 | 2853568 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

They all look the same to me.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:58 | 2853646 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:26 | 2853478 ACP
ACP's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:40 | 2853807 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Benny set up the HP to print RIAL's

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:38 | 2853505 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 | 2853662 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 | 2853811 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

spreading democracy again woohoo

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:01 | 2854003 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:52 | 2854174 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 | 2854617 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

thanks for mentioning "tool" first.

Tool.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 00:43 | 2854850 phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

Limecat approves of this comment.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:03 | 2854413 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 | 2854477 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | 2853518 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 | 2853575 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 | 2853631 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Lucid.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:09 | 2853691 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 | 2853818 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Pretty interesting thesis

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 20:20 | 2853889 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 | 2854832 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 21:46 | 2854354 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 | 2853917 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 | 2853985 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 | 2854994 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 | 2856123 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 | 2858675 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 | 2854302 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 | 2854474 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 | 2854661 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 | 2854723 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 | 2855154 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 | 2855893 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 | 2853587 Cortez the Killer
Cortez the Killer's picture

Let them sell their poetry, the filthy cowards

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:47 | 2853594 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 | 2853658 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 | 2853665 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 | 2853813 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 | 2853823 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 | 2854183 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 | 2853835 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 | 2853880 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 | 2854345 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 | 2855150 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 | 2853352 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 | 2853370 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:50 | 2853609 Jethro
Jethro's picture

How do you say "Bernanke" in Farsi?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:11 | 2853700 Overfed
Overfed's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:52 | 2853620 saturn
saturn's picture

Bernanke's wet dream..

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:10 | 2853355 max2205
max2205's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:11 | 2853359 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 | 2853394 Drachma
Drachma's picture

Unwittingly?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:45 | 2853581 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 | 2853360 max2205
max2205's picture

CATO, my little yellow friend....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | 2853361 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 | 2853416 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 | 2853637 saturn
saturn's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:04 | 2853668 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 | 2853924 Harbanger
Thu, 10/04/2012 - 01:00 | 2854877 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 | 2853362 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | 2853366 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 | 2853387 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 | 2853752 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 | 2854372 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 | 2854889 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 | 2853771 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 | 2853503 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 | 2853526 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 | 2853378 Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:22 | 2853457 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

There are no Shiite suicide bombers.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:28 | 2853489 tradebot
tradebot's picture

No, just chicken shiites

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | 2853515 hannah
hannah's picture

'There are no Shiite suicide bombers.'

 

you spelled shite wrong...?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:07 | 2853683 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:37 | 2853799 hannah
hannah's picture

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

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 01:16 | 2854898 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 | 2853543 Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:29 | 2853494 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Surviving Family members are paid.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | 2853519 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 | 2853621 Jethro
Jethro's picture

<golf clap>

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 04:30 | 2855066 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 | 2853380 “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 | 2853382 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

They'll have no other recourse but the yuan. 

 

 

And so it begins.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:19 | 2853427 CH1
CH1's picture

And so it begins.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:38 | 2853546 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:22 | 2853748 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 | 2854006 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 | 2853388 zilverreiger
zilverreiger's picture

Soon in a currency near you!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:16 | 2853393 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 | 2853481 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 | 2853506 Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:35 | 2853532 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 | 2853588 akak
akak's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:59 | 2853643 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 | 2853816 Tegrat
Tegrat's picture

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

 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:20 | 2853740 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 | 2853894 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

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

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:16 | 2853397 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 | 2853406 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 | 2853407 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 | 2853408 SelfGov
SelfGov's picture

They should just start using the Yuan.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:25 | 2853754 magpie
magpie's picture

AUD (Yuan Jr.)

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