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Good morning and Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all had a safe and wonderful holiday season. As we head into 2014 with a long year behind us, I want to take a short moment to remind you to focus on the BIG picture. Sometimes it's easy to get distracted by the little brush fires that constantly pop up in any major event or undertaking… and that is Iraq's situation. They are progressing towards a monumental return to their former glory, and along the way things will happen. As long as they keep progressing, I'm still confident in their upcoming success. Speaking of "monumental" and "success", one of the best bits of news floating around out there is the CBI being accepted into the BIS and expecting an official credit rating shortly. The unofficial rate is "B"… more on that later. The BIS will only be dealing with the CBI (Central Bank of Iraq), not Warka or National Bank of Iraq or any other bank… only the CBI. Turki tells us that "BIS plans annually to invest cash reserves deposited with him by the world's central banks…" Basically, the CBI was just accepted into the Big Boy Club, and the path to major international transactions is opening wide! How can that NOT be good for us?! Here's some food for thought... would it make sense, when ReValuing the Dinar, to use the Credit Rating as a ratio, since the Dinar is pegged directly to the Dollar? I think it's going to have some influence, at the very least! And without further adieu… here's the weekly questions! I will sprinkle some more tidbits throughout. Not only do they need a rate, they need imports upon which to collect said tariffs. With the value of the dinar so low, it makes no sense to put efforts into creating and enforcing tariffs. The more I hear about tariffs, the more I say "GOOD! RV to an increased rate so people will be buying things to be imported, and collect the revenue to help pay for the RV. Everyone wins!" Great question, and probably the only negative thing I see happening right now. Luckily Iraq is out of Chapter 7 and is free to fight for themselves, so we should see a quick resolution to this one way or another. Maliki may very well do exactly that! I was pondering the exact same thing over the last couple days. I'll add to your thoughts one thing - US Congress has been delaying sending US arms (including Apache helicopters!) to Iraq for exactly that reason... because some believe Maliki would use our weapons against the Sunnis. If Iraq ends up in desperate need of these instruments, and it finally gets through our Congress and into his hands, we may be looking at a major power shift in Iraq. If that happens, things will move even faster than ever! Hogwash. Nothing significant, unfortunately. My opinion is that it is ready to go... they are just waiting on the other pieces to line up, and then everything happens at once. Living on the dollar is fine, but it's still 1166 dinars. They aren't doing themselves any favors by keeping the rate of the dinar low. Once the rate of the dinar is back up, they won't want to use dollars anymore. That's a good question, but I don't see the investment being affected by a change in the reserve currency. The value is still the same until it is changed, whether it's written in spanish, english, or chinese. Actually, I think the opposite is true. Iraq's Dinar lost value at one point in somewhat recent history. Since that time, they have consistently proven their ability to raise and maintain the value. With that said, their track record looks very favorably on their ability to RV. That was a GREAT game! I never expected to make it that far, and them boys put in a great effort! Hey Rusty, good question. Since we won't have significant warning prior to a major rate change, I believe the ISX is a follower, not a leader. =========================== That's about it for this week (SO FAR!). Stay warm, it's cold out there for most of us!