PUDREVAL

Desmadre

Venezuela has always been corrupt – at least ever since I’ve been around. But it seems as if corruption has exploded in the last year, or two. If we are to go by the outlandish stories one hears, then whatever you might have thought about corruption a few years ago is now peanuts. One of…

Maduro Dilma

A disaster in Brasilia?

If you scan the vanilla-red webpages of Venezuela’s “hegemonized” media, you might learn that Nicolás Maduro went to a Mercosur summit in Brasilia today. Speeches were given, documents signed, and nothing major came out of it. Good thing we have the foreign media to give us the scoop. Apparently, Maduro, in a hissy fit, skipped…

SantaBarbara

Santa Bárbara

It’s 6:30 PM, and it’s already pitch dark in Maracaibo, courtesy of Hugo Chávez’s tantrum that led to a change in the time zone a few years back. I’m having dinner with an old high school friend at the shore of the lake. The warm, humid July breeze brings with it a mixture of dust and nostalgia. We’re…

Asdrúbal logo

Economists as detectives

While I was in Caracas, I spoke to economist Asdrúbal Oliveros about what it’s like to be an economist in a country with, essentially, no economy to speak of. I wrote my latest Transitions piece about our talk. The sirloin: In order to come up with his numbers, Oliveros relies on a web of contacts…

imf2

F-Rod and Hausmann at it again

The weekend negotiations between Greece and her creditors was quite the spectacle. One of the many lessons we can draw from it is that it’s really hard to be a left-wing populist when you’re presiding over a bankrupt economy. Sooner or later, you have to face reality. Speaking of Maduro … when will Venezuela have to face…

nexilogo

“You’re on your own,” says Japan

The Japan Times is reporting that exports to Venezuela will no longer be covered by insurance underwritten by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance. Basically, the country has become too insecure to be insured. This means that any Japanese company exporting to Venezuela will have to cover the risk of not getting paid for their shipments…