Rwanda, marico, RWANDA!

Africa? We wish!

I keep promising Juan I’ll stop boring readers with these bond stories, but then I can’t resist. Check out today’s New York Times story on the superhot market for African sovereign debt: Ghana raised about $1 billion with a coupon, or interest rate, of 8.125 percent on a bond coming due in 2026; it is now…

maduro china kids

Fifty Shades of Default

Until a few weeks ago, I thought default was like pregnancy: you either are or you aren’t. Instead, 2014 is turning into an education on the grey area between default and defaaaaault. Take China. Under previous, hard-haggled-over financing agreements, Venezuela was supposed to send 330,000 b/d per day for the next three years to China as…

Stop_Digging_^_-_geograph.org.uk_-_195319

$12,000,000,000 in the Hole (and Digging)

Bank of America today estimates that, if oil prices stabilize at the level they’ve already fallen to, Venezuela will have to find an extra $12 billion in foreign financing to balance its external accounts in the next year. That’s on top of the already massive import cuts that have already sent the economy into recession this year…

tamoa5

A Time for Fireflies

This is the text of Laura Weffer’s speech last night on receiving the Cabot Prizes’ special commendation for her investigative reporting alongside Tamoa Calzadilla. I wouldn’t dream of trying to translate it. La oscuridad se ha apoderado de Venezuela. Hay censura y el Gobierno intenta silenciar las voces disidentes. Pero hay luz también. En Venezuela hay…

train-wreck

R&R: It Gets Worse

So I already blew one gasket over Reinhart and Rogoff’s Project Syndicate piece, and now the time has come to blow the other. Turns out Francisco Rodríguez over at Bank of America was just as suspicious as I was of their claims, but being a proper economist went back to their database to check. Turns…

Ceci n'est pas splitting hairs

Of Default and “Default”

Consider “default”. It’s a tricky one: both an ordinary English word and a term of art with a specific, legal definition in the field of finance. There’s a reason why this ordinary word is used to label that legal concept: the two meanings usually map onto each other reasonably well. But not always. Today, the debate about Venezuela’s shockingly mismanaged economy fell right into the space…