39 stories up on One Liberty Plaza (foreground on the right)

Moron Risk

It’s hard to pick out which is the more munificent of the money quotes in Katia Porzecanski’s Bloomberg piece about Wall Street investment banker types mobbing the Manhattan law offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP to grill the lawyers with “what ifs” about the Venezuela default they all expect. Is the most surprising detail that such…

cumbre-petrocaribe

Latin American integration for sale (with a WSJ update)

Hugo Chávez was a man whose rhetoric could only be matched by his wallet. For example, he used to boast about how Petrocaribe, the financing scheme whereby Venezuela sold oil under favorable conditions to several Caribbean nations, was a tool of integration and “transforming union.” “Petrocaribe,” he would say, “is an instrument of liberation.” I wonder how…

thelma-and-louise-1

Searching for a narrative

(A guest post by Venezuelan economist and Harvard Research Fellow José Ramón Morales, despairing at the pervasiveness of populist discourse, even in the face of a bankrupt economy) Searching for a Reasonable Economic Narrative for the Opposition: A Provocation and an Invitation José Ramón Morales Arilla After years of attacks that reached the point of…

marco torres 2

The plan is …

So what did Venezuelan President Maduro say yesterday after Venezuela suffered a heavy blow at the OPEC meeting? Basically, we will not cut anything significant in the budget. Social and military investment – whatever that is – will not suffer. Not a single bolívar will be cut from the budget (hint: why would they? they can just keep on…

Cane stage

Fire Ramírez

Today’s OPEC meeting in Vienna has all the makings of a turning point in the history of oil, and Venezuela. In agreeing not to cut oil production quotas in the face of a steep price decline – driving oil prices into the mesosphere – the organization has decided that business as usual … is over. The long-term challenge…

Nomura

A benchmark for our troubles

This has been a gruesome year for Venezuela. But as our economy collapses, economists are finding it hard to assess just how screwed up we are, since Venezuela’s Central Bank refuses to publish economic data. It’s also becoming very hard to forecast how clusterfucked we’ll be in 2015. In this context, economists have to come up with whatever they can.…