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Lee and the BIV: Two deaths

The world is mourning the death of Lee Kuan Yew, the visionary yet controversial father of modern Singapore. We at home should also get ready to mourn the imminent passing of the Industrial Bank of Venezuela. Those two deaths have more in common than you think. The term “padre de la patria” is thrown around a lot,…

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Anzoátegui’s Black Dunes

I once called it “Anzoátegui’s unnatural wonder”: A large accumulation of petroleum coke, which is located outside PDVSA’s José Antonio Anzoátegui Petrochemical Complex (better known to the locals as Jose Refinery). The coke mountain started way back in 2009 after a fire caused heavy damage to the docks used to transport the materials to export ships.…

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Oil and bullets

Two interesting stories, from the indispensable foreign press. First, Bloomberg’s Anatoly Kurmanaev explores the lack of progress in reining in guns and munition, and how it shows the powerful sway of the military. He reminds us that, in theory, the military should have begun coding individual bullets as a way of tightening control over munition.…

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Worth Less

A year ago, the 100 bolivar banknote you see here on your left – Venezuela’s highest denominated, mind you – would buy you 92.6 U.S. cents on the parallel market. By last Wednesday, that note was worth less. By then, it could buy you just 49 and a half U.S. cents: 46.5% fewer cents, over the…