It’s a good thing we have Setty to remind us. Otherwise, some of us might forget to flip through PDVSA’s always revealing yet seldom well pondered Annual Report.
This year, I want to pull just one number out of the smouldering wreckage of PDVSA’s financials. According to the report, PDVSA’s Hanky Panky Spending ( a.k.a. its parafiscal contribution, a.k.a. its situado-skirting shenanigans, a.k.a. its plainly illegal appropriations) more than doubled its Zanahoria Fiscal Contribution (a.k.a. its quaintly legal contribution to the state in the form taxes, royalties and dividends.)
El cuerpo del delito is on page 158. It shows that PDVSA spent $24.9 billion directly on a smattering of government-backed “social initiatives,” misiones, and “funds”, including a cool $4 billion for Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela, a yummy $4.3 billion for something called the Fondo Miranda (!?), and a mouth-watering $5.0 billion for the
Cuento Fondo Chino.
On top of that, there’s our old friend Fonden, which gets a downright delectable $14.7 billion cash injection, money which will surely never be heard of again.
Overall, PDVSA spent a total of $39.6 billion on stuff that, in any sane country, elected legislators would have to debate and appropriate through a budget resolution.
In contrast, it contributed just $19.0 billion directly to the national treasury through taxes, royalties and dividends…y’know, the stuff that generates automatic transfers to state and local governments, some of which are controlled by the opposition (thank you, Tibisay!)
It strikes me that you can compute a kind of fiscal lawlessness ratio from those two numbers: just divide PDVSA’s illegal outlays by the legal ones. The higher the number, the more crooked the reds.
As of 2011, Venezuela’s Petrocaudillism Index stood at 2.08: for each petrodollar spent lawfully, $2.08 was spent in open violation of the constitution’s article 314.