PDVAL Math

For this exercise, assume: You have a $28 million budget for transport. The maximum payload of the Boeing 777 you’re using is 102 tons.  The distance between Buenos Aires and Caracas is 5086 km. The marginal cost (in terms of extra jet-fueled burned) of transporting one ton of cargo over 1000 km. is $91. The…

A Patchwork Orange

Ever notice how chavismo’s instinct, when facing a clear policy failure, is always to see how they can patch it up? Take SITME – the Central Bank’s baroquely controlled alternative to the just-as-baroquely-controlled CADIVI foreign exchange control system. SITME amounts a patch on the old parallel dollar market, which the government tolerated as a patch…

SITME Bond Yield Voodoo

The kicker is that your bank has to document every step of that operation to the Central Bank, which is thereby empowered to effectively control the implicit price you pay for each dollar, and the total amounts involved. That, as I grasp it, is the short version. Now, it seems very clear to me that…

Game Changer

As you see the opposing team running, ball-in-hand, towards your goal, you could be forgiven for concluding that somehow, in the last few minutes, the game you were playing had changed. You may still be wearing soccer uniforms, there may still be 11 of you on a field against 11 on the other side, but…

Rohter stones Stone (Updated)

It’s a follow-up to a previous article in which he bashed Stone’s documentary slash love poem to Hugo Chávez.  One month ago, I incurred the wrath of Oliver Stone for stating the obvious in an article I wrote:  his new movie South of the Border, ostensibly a “documentary” about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and a group of…

Oliver Stone watch #2

Forget spending time with the family, the only right answer is: going to a swearing-in ceremony for the PSUV in a government-owned stadium, and have the ceremony force-fed to the entire country. That’s what happened yesterday. Hugo Chávez presided over the ceremony – and yes, if "swearing-in" of volunteers sounds a bit, I dunno, Stalinist,…

Venezuela Responds to Colombia’s Allegations of Collussion with the Guerrillas

This is the transcript of Venezuelan ambassador to OAS Roy Chaderton’s response to Colombia’s detailed, extensively documented allegations of Venezuelan collusion with Colombian narco-guerrilla rebel groups: Nyaaaaaaaaaaa nyaaaaaaaa I’m-not-listening-to-you-nyaaaaaaaanyaaaa nyaaaaa not listening not listening  nyaaaaaaaaa nyaaaaaaaaaaa not listening not listening  nyaaaaaaaa I’m-not-listening not listening not listening nyaaaaaaaa nyaaaa-not-listening-not-listening nyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I’m-not-listening-to-you-nyaaaaaaaa not listening not listening nyaaaaa nyaaaaaaa nyaaaaaaaa…

Burning bridges

A chavista tragedy in three acts. Act 1: 2,046 new school teachers, with a specialization in "Cultural Development" (whatever that is), graduate under a government-sponsored program. Good for them, I guess. Act 2: Hugo Chávez goes to the graduation and forces all TV and radio stations in the country to carry his speech for several hours,…