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Just wanted to give everyone a heads up to this situation. A currency seller with the store names ZimbabweDollars.Net and TheCurrencyStore is outright scamming people.
I realize many people aren't fans of the Zimbawbwe Dollar to begin with but that aside should someone decide to buy it they should receive something and not be scammed and they should also get legitimate notes.
I personally was scammed by them about a year back. I made a purchase, they sent me 100 Trillion notes which were clearly printed on a home computer. The site says refunds no questions asked. They refused to refund me and told me to file a chargeback with my credit card company. After calling the police in his city and pestering him endlessly he finally refunded me. I've heard numerous stories on forums and from colleagues who made the same mistake. There's also a Youtube video from someone else who had the same experience.
I just talked to another online friend today who paid last week and received nothing and has no communication from the seller. It seems this has been going on for a while and neither Shopify or Stripe seem to care this guy is selling fake notes and/or outright scamming people so looks like he'll be able to continue. Just wanted to give you guys a heads up.
I was just inquiring as to whether or not more people are using online currency exchange and transfer, or if visiting your local bank is still the norm. I am going to be travelling later this year and will require a large amount of foreign currency. I was going to use this website but if anyone can suggest a different site I'm open to suggestions. What I have noticed is that by exchanging foreign currency online it looks like I can save about 2% on the exchange rate. Please let me know if there are any other good foreign exchange sites to check out.
hello again my friends. its your bud here with another worth of a take on what i see happening within the borders called iraq. and it is really good news from my vantage point! the topic of this opinion piece is the '6 major factors that influence an exchange rate'. i will cover each factor briefly in reference to iraq and hope to derive whether or not those invested are either in a good or bad position.
as many know, the importance of an exchange rate revolves around one country's trading relationships with other nations. trade relationships is the sole purpose of an exchange rate. where there is no international trade, an exchange rate tied to a currency has no domestic significance. with this in mind lets peer into the 6 factors of exchange rate influence between iraq and its trading partners.
1) Inflation - iraq has done a fantastic job steering its inflation rate. the latest report (aug 2015) has inflation at 2.2%. some economists would mark this as the ideal inflation rate. this places iraq is a great position with trading partners for determining a strong exchange rate to the iqd.
2) Interest Rates - iraq has maintained a steady interest rate of 6% over the last 5 years. compared to other nations, it is a phenomenal rate. the importance here is the attractiveness it has to foreign investors. should iraq sure up the security situation with daesh and clean up political corruption, foreign investors might feel confident enough to pour funds into iraq at these rates.
3) Current-Account - iraq has done quite well between trading partners and has held a positive current account balance (exports vs imports) over the previous 9 years except for 2010. oil is its primary export and it has been strong enough a commodity to keep iraq experiencing gains in its current accounts. as iraq build its non-oil sector through the plan for increased industry and agriculture, exports should increase and it will be reflected in the current account.
4) Public Debt - this is where the hidden gem is revealed and the reason for the title of my opinion piece. everything in the papers speak to iraq's "deficit financing". however for some reason it appears to be seen in a negative light. my opinion is much different. not all debt is good but in this instant i definitely believe it is. when most developing nations look to expand its economic markets as iraq is doing, there will be an inevitable deficit to fiscal policy (the budget). in the short term, this is a very very good thing! where most under developed nations utilize deficit financing for payment of domestic and foreign loans, this does not hold true for iraq. iraq is using this tool as developed nations would, for capital formation for economic growth and boosting the private sector. this type of debt is the best stimulate for the economy in the short term. (here is a good slide-show presentation explaining deficit financing.)
5) Terms of Trade - balance of trade for iraq is simply outstanding and last reported at approximately $40B usd ($44B previous year). compared to turkey (-$6B usd), japan (-$268B yen), germany $24B eur. i would say that iraq comparatively has a case for a strong dinar. its current accounts and balance of trades are unbeatable (maybe a little exaggeration there).
6) Political Stability & Economic Performance - well, you can't shine everywhere . unfortunately this important piece is dragging iraq down.....and i mean wayyyyyyyy down. nobody in their right mind want to stick hundreds of millions in an environment like this. this area alone is holding iraq back the most. all things considered, if this one area is corrected there is no reason why foreign investment wont flood the country and the domestic currency surge in demand.
there you have it gang. hopefully this piece wasn't too long. this should give us all a solid overview of the factors that influence the dinars TRUE exchange rate the most. from it we should be able to make a sound judgement on where the currency is headed and whether or not we want to remain involved.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The Bankster War on Cash; JPMorganChase Begins to Prohibit the Storage of Cash in Its Safety Deposit Boxes Letters are apparently going out to some JPMoragnChase customers announcing that cash will be prohibited from being stored in the bank's safety deposit boxes.
At the Collectors Universe message board, a commenter reports:
My mother has a SDB at a Chase branch with one of my siblings as co-signers. Last week they got a letter outlining a number of changes to the lease agreement, including this:
"Contents of the box: You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value."
Another change is that signatures will no longer be accepted to access the box. The next time they go in they have to bring two forms of ID and they will be issued a four-digit pin number that will be used to access the box then and in the future.
Professor Joseph Salerno of the Mises Institute writes:
Just last week, Citigroup's top economist, Willem Buiter, wrote a report calling for the abolishment of cash as a sound policy.
Hide your wallets, the banksters are on the move.
Citigroup's Gold "Expert" Demands A Cash Ban
inShare26 Late last year, Grexit "expert" Willem Buiter decided that he was a greater expert on the topic of monetary metals than on geopolitics by stating that "Gold Is A 6,000 Year Old Bubble." Now, he has decided that after gold, it is best to just do away with any physical currency altogether and the time to ban cash has arrived.
Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting-Man blog,
Citigroup’s Chief Economist Joins the Cash Ban BandwagonWe have discussed the views of Citigroup’s chief economist Willem Buiter previously in these pages (see “A Dose of Buiternomics” for details), on occasion of his coming out as a supporter of assorted monetary cranks, such as Silvio Gesell, to name one. Not to put too fine a point to it, Buiter is a monetary crank too.
Buiter is always shilling for more central bank intervention, and it seems no plan can ever be too silly or too extreme for him. In fact, he seems to have made the propagation of utterly crazy ideas his trademark.
Buiter has now joined one of his famous colleagues, Kenneth Rogoff, another intellectual enamored with central planning, in clamoring for a cash ban (for our discussion of Rogoff, see “Meet Kenneth Rogoff, Unreconstructed Statist”). Both Buiter and Rogoff want to make it impossible for citizens to escape the latest depredations of central bankers, such as the imposition of negative interest rates. This is to be done by forcing them to keep their money in accounts at fractionally reserved banks.
If Buiter gets his way, there won’t be a WSOP final table with piles of cash anymore.
Photo credit: David Becker / Las Vegas Review-Journal
As Bloomberg reports:
“The world’s central banks have a problem. When economic conditions worsen, they react by reducing interest rates in order to stimulate the economy. But, as has happened across the world in recent years, there comes a point where those central banks run out of room to cut — they can bring interest rates to zero, but reducing them further below that is fraught with problems, the biggest of which is cash in the economy.
In a new piece, Citi’s Willem Buiter looks at this problem, which is known as the effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates. Fundamentally, the ELB problem comes down to cash. According to Buiter, the ELB only exists at all due to the existence of cash, which is a bearer instrument that pays zero nominal rates. Why have your money on deposit at a negative rate that reduces your wealth when you can have it in cash and suffer no reduction? Cash therefore gives people an easy and effective way of avoiding negative nominal rates. Buiter’s note suggests three ways to address this problem: Abolish currency. Tax currency. Remove the fixed exchange rate between currency and central bank reserves/deposits.
Yes, Buiter’s solution to cash’s ability to allow people to avoid negative deposit rates is to abolish cash altogether. (Note that he’s far from being the first to float this idea. Ken Rogoff has given his endorsement to the idea as well, as have others.)
Before looking at the practicalities of abolishing currency, we should first look at whether it could ever be necessary. Due to the costs of holding large amounts of cash, Buiter puts the actual nominal rate at which the move to cash makes sense as closer to -100bp. So, in order for a cash abolition to become necessary, central banks would need to be in a position where they wished to set nominal rates much lower than that.
Buiter does not have to go far to find an example of where a central bank may have wanted to set interest rates much lower to -100bp. He uses (a fairly aggressive) Taylor Rule to show that Federal Reserve rates should have been as low as -6 percent during the financial crisis.”
As mentioned above, no meddling by a central bank is ever too extreme or too crazy for Mr. Buiter. Here is his ridiculous “Taylor rule” chart (the conclusions of which by the way would be vehemently disputed by none other than Mr. Taylor himself).
Buiter’s ridiculous chart asserting that a “negative interest rate of 6% would have been needed” in 2008-2010, via Citigroup, Bloomberg.
This nice gentlemen who wants to either “abolish cash” or “tax currency” for the good of us all, is a typical example of the modern-day viciously statist intellectual (h/t, Hans-Hermann Hoppe), who constantly pines for the authorities to implement social engineering on a grand scale. As long as they implement his plan, everything will be great.
Not Bothered by ConcernsBloomberg tells us that “Buiter is aware that his idea may a bit controversial”. What a relief. He even lists the disadvantages of abolishing cash, only to dismiss them out of hand. With the exception of one crucial point, he is mainly erecting straw men.
“Buiter is aware that his idea may be somewhat controversial, so he goes to the effort of listing the disadvantages of abolishing cash. Abolishing currency will constitute a noticeable change in many people’s lives and change often tends to be resisted. Currency use remains high among the poor and some older people. (Buiter suggests that keeping low-denomination cash in circulation — nothing larger than $5 — might solve this.) Central banks and governments would lose seigniorage revenue. Abolishing currency would inevitably be associated with a loss of privacy and create risks of excessive intrusion by the government. Switching exclusively to electronic payments may create new security and operational risks.
Buiter dismisses each of these concerns in turn, finishing with: In summary, we therefore conclude that the arguments against abolishing currency seem rather weak.
Whatever the strength of the arguments, the chances of an administration taking the decision to abolish cash seem vanishingly small.
We are surprised by the optimism expressed by Bloomberg that “the chances of an administration taking the decision to abolish cash seem vanishingly small”. We believe that governments all over the so-called “free world” are working feverishly to make a ban of cash currency a reality.
Naturally, we couldn’t care less about the “seignorage” revenue of the State. In our opinion central banks shouldn’t even exist, and “seignorage” is nothing but a euphemism for outright theft. It’s a nice touch that Buiter also doesn’t want to “throw seniors under the bus” and gives a brief thought to the poor as well. Why would any of them ever need anything more than a $5 note?
That someone like Buiter doesn’t find it difficult to dismiss the concern that “abolishing currency would inevitably be associated with a loss of privacy and create risks of excessive intrusion by the government” is no surprise, but it is indeed a legitimate concern. Under the cover of the “war on drugs” and lately the even bigger government-sponsored racket known as the “war on terror”, financial privacy has been all but eradicated already.
Willem Buiter, shill for statism and central planning, here seen at the Council for Foreign Relations. Did we mention that we believe he’s an atrocious economist?
Photo credit: Bloomberg
Needless to say, we dispute the idea that central banks should ever impose negative interest rates. This policy is revolting economic nonsense that greatly harms the economy. As we have previously pointed out, given that the natural rate of interest can never be zero or negative, it is an inescapable conclusion that any imposition of negative market rates will end up destroying scarce capital and leave society poorer.
Lastly, Buiter fails to list one counterargument that we believe is extremely important. Since he works for a charter member of the world’s most powerful banking cartel, this is no big surprise either. We will make up for his oversight.
The 2008 crisis has not shown that anyone needs “negative interest rates” as Buiter erroneously claims. It has mainly shown how rickety and de facto insolvent the fractionally reserved banking system really is. If not for the introduction of an accounting trick (under immense political pressure, the FASB allowed the banks to dispense with mark-to-market accounting, which suddenly made them “whole” again), a huge taxpayer bailout and money printing by the central bank on an unprecedented scale (in the post WW2 era), several of the biggest banks would have gone the way of Lehman.
It was a good reminder that although fiduciary media – deposit money that is not backed by standard money – are part of the money supply in the broader sense, their main characteristic is that they exist only in the form of accounting entries. Hence, fractionally reserved banks are at all times insolvent, since they cannot possibly pay all demand deposits on demand. This obvious violation of what once used to be a bailment contract has been sanctioned by the courts in the 19th century under the influence of banking interests. If one considers how deposit money is multiplied under this system, it should be obvious that the scheme is fundamentally fraudulent. It goes against the grain of legal traditions that have been well-established in Western culture since antiquity.
If cash were to be banned, people could no longer opt out from this system. Bank runs would no longer be possible at all. While a bank run these days only gives one government scrip that is itself an irredeemable liability of a central bank, it is at least slightly more “real” than the accounting entry known as deposit money. Most importantly, cash can insure one against a bank going under, or the breakdown of the entire banking system, which is always a potential danger. Banks would obviously love a cash ban – quite possibly they are the only ones who would love it even more than governments.
ConclusionWe keep being bombarded by moves to restrict the use of cash and demands to ban it altogether. These demands seem to mainly revolve around two arguments: one is that “only criminals need cash”, which is on a par with the absurd assertion that we should all be fine with Stasi-like ubiquitous government surveillance “if we have nothing to hide”. The other one is that a cash ban would make life easier for the central planners who are actively undermining the economy with their policy of debasement. We would argue that central banking and fiat money have done more than enough harm already and that the eradication of financial privacy has gone way too far. Money and banking should be freed from the clutches of government-directed monopolization and cartelization and should be returned to the free market.
Addendum:One of our readers has sent us a few links concerning recent examples of the war on cash waged by governments the world over, which we reproduce below. Indeed, there is little cause for optimism on this score. Given this increase in attempts to restrict the use of cash, the danger that possession of gold will one day be declared illegal again can no longer be so easily dismissed either.
THIS IS A GREAT ARTICLE THAT SHINES A LIGHT ON PROBABLY THE NUMBER 1 REASON OUR COUNTRY IS BROKE AND GOING DOWN THE TUBES, IT'S BASICALLY THIEVERY BY CENTRAL BANKS:
TO VIEW THE GRAPHS AND CHART, CLICK ON THE LINK, IT WOULDN'T LET ME BRING THEM OVER:
America: Bankrupt And On Borrowed Time
04/07/2015 17:00 -0400
Capital Expenditures Fail fixed Market Conditions Money Supply Reality
inShare Submitted by Thad Beversdorf via First Rebuttal blog,
Thomas Jefferson is credited with the following sage advice, “The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” And so it seems sometimes the answer is right in front of us all along and we just fail to see it.
We hear a lot of talk these days about inflation. For decades the western world has been misled about a necessity for inflation to grow an economy. This is entirely false. Inflation has no relevance to economic growth; inflation is a depressive force on an economy and it can only come by way of increased money supply.
The apex of the discussion is that price increase does not equate to inflation. Inflation is but one of two paths for rising prices. More specifically, prices can rise by way of supply/demand fundamentals of an asset itself and by way of supply/demand fundamentals of the currency form being used to transact the underlying asset. The prior will raise prices in all currency forms while the latter, being inflation, will raise prices only in that relevant currency.
For inflation to occur demand for a given currency must decline relative to its supply. This can happen if consumers lose faith in a currency and thus demand less of it, or by governments increasing supply without proportional increases in demand. The latter is exactly what we’ve seen over the past 100 years but to such a grotesque degree over the past 8 years that it may have actually shattered the foundation of the economy of which it was driving. This is precisely the chain reaction that Thomas Jefferson had warned us would result from a private central banking system.
Once the economy is broken an epidemic of resource misallocation leads to an immense narrowing of income distribution, ultimately paralyzing the velocity of money; the result being an income-less society save for an elite slice. This leads to mass public and consumer debt creation in an effort to stave off the collapsing natural demand that ultimately ends in deflation when the debt efforts, after a short reprise, actually hasten the collapsing demand by hammering the final nail in the budgetary coffin. At such a point deflation is essentially infinite as people are willing to trade anything for a dollar to purchase food, or inflation is infinite as people will simply circumvent dollars and barter; an interesting paradox that in practice will be a moot point given the vast majority will have nothing to trade for food or dollars because ownership is no longer a reality.
It seems then, that Jefferson’s prediction is theoretically sound, but let’s see if we can find any empirical evidence to either support or refute his cautionary message. We know that dollar inflation has been approximately 2400% since 1913, 2000% of that devaluation coming subsequent to 1971 when Nixon moved to a pure fiat currency. The reason we moved to a fiat currency is to remove the restriction on money supply that is inherent to a convertible currency. We can see in the next chart that inflation is directly linked to money supply, which has seen around 1700% increase since 1971.
This ‘easy’ money accelerated significantly around the mid 1990′s and this has led to a misallocation of resources. To see this, let’s look at the relationship between corporate fixed capital expenditures and dividends. The idea being that fixed capital expenditures are economically productive meaning they lead to economic expansion, whereas dividends divert cash off corporate balance sheets and thus detract from capital expenditures, having a contractionary force on the economy.
The above chart clearly depicts a significant change in the economy’s allocation of corporate resources at the same time money printing accelerated. Fixed capital investment was a much larger share of GDP than dividends up until the mid 1990′s when that began to reverse. Again moving to a market environment that promotes a contracting rather than expansionary economic process. We should be able to see this effect actually taking place via declining capacity utilization. As a result of that we should then see declining labour participation rate and declining incomes from slack in the labour market. Looking at the data this is exactly what we find.
Notice that all three indicators begin to trend downward around 1998, shortly after (and one could suggest as a direct result of) the resource misallocation that began a few years earlier in the mid 1990′s. The next link in this chain should be an expansion of consumer loans in an attempt to offset the resulting demand deterioration from the weakening job market conditions.
We find abundant empirical evidence in the above charts showing an acceleration of consumer debt during the mid 1990′s and again around 2009. And this is perfectly in line with our theory and so we seem to be on the right track. Now the obvious result of massive increases in consumer debt is that ownership is being replaced by indebtedness. That is, to a great extent now we rent or borrower our assets as opposed to owning them.
In the above chart we see that home ownership is now back to the level it was before we ended Bretton Woods in 1971. And it’s not just housing, today about 75% of new car sales are being financed and with longer maturities than ever before. In short, ownership of the 2 major assets typical to the traditional American family has been on a sharp decline for the past 10 years with no signs of slowing.
The American dream is built on ownership because it represents substantive progress by way of building a family’s net worth. A net worth that has declined by 40% since 2007 for all but the very top of the economic food chain. But it’s not only the American dream that is in retreat. The reality is that over the past 8 years increases in public debt have outgrown increases in GDP. The nation is borrowing more than it’s producing and spending more than it’s collecting every quarter. A trend that is to continue and to worsen each and every new year according to the CBO’s own projections.
Where does this leave America and really the rest of the western world whose data will mirror the US?
Bankrupt and on borrowed time.