Cracking down on street vendors

The central government has launched a new front in the economic war: going after street vendors (buhoneros) who sell groceries and other regulated products, as well as those who engage in the practice of smuggling (bachaqueo). The latest Official Gazette has a list of 42 products including food, hygiene products, medicines & medical supplies, school supplies, etc., that can no…


The electric crisis is about to get worse

An excellent, alarming piece by César Batiz in Clímax highlights the coming gloom for Venezuelans: Guri, the country’s most important dam, is not getting enough water. The dry period is about to begin, and thermal plants do not have enough installed capacity available. After a reported $38 billion spent on revamping the country’s electricity generating sector (Derwick gets a…


Budgets matter

It must be difficult being a macroeconomic analyst in Venezuela. Case in point: the country’s budget. We all know the government spends via the official budget, which gets approved via the legislative process, with all the trappings of a pseudo-democracy. But then, we also know the government spends money outside of the budget via the BUDGET.…


Could the Saudi strategy be working?

Take it away, OilPrice.com … “Slumping oil prices are putting pressure on U.S. drillers. The number of active rigs drilling for oil and gas fell by their most in two months, according to the latest data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. There were 19 oil rigs that were removed from operation as of Oct.…

Crude Oil Brent

The predators from Riyadh

Yesterday, French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in understanding imperfect markets such as monopolies or oligopolies. Personally, Tirole has been a huge influence in how I view the world. His graduate-level textbook on Industrial Organization remains, to me, the standard in the field, even though it is getting…


Graph of the day

I’m not sure what the calculations were to get at this number, but the figure is significantly lower than Monaldi’s estimate of $200 as a breakeven price. Regardless, we’re far from where we would like to be.