nave282

A matter of keeping your priorities straight

After tons of criticisms and complaints, CENCOEX – the replacement to currency distributor CADIVI – has finally received praise for doing things right on time. Was it for food supplies? For medicines? Nope, it was for baseball players. Oscar Prieto Párraga, the current head of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) has thanked both the Sports Minister Antonio…

target-valentines-90

The Bank That Sells $10 Bills for $1

Over on the FT’s Beyond Brics blog, Francisco Rodríguez explains why saying that since Venezuela can’t keep goods markets supplied, it should default on foreign debt is like telling someone with a toothache that he should call the plumber: Imagine for a moment that a central bank – any central bank – decided to put up a…

PantallaBCV

Inflation-gate

After a never-before-seen, jaw-dropping, soul-crushing three-month delay, the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV for its acronym in Spanish) published inflation rates for June, July, and August. But with the jumbled way in which they rolled out these figures, they might as well have saved themselves the trouble. So far, and according to these numbers, prices have risen by 39% in…

CItgo

The Citgo fire sale

Reuters is reporting that PDVSA wants to sell Citgo for $10 billion dollars – the equivalent of 8 months’ worth of the cost of the gasoline subsidy. “Investment bank Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N), which is running the sale process for Citgo on behalf of PDVSA, has sent offering materials to potential buyers, the people said, asking not to…

bell pottinger

Spinning the revolution

I had to do a double-take upon learning that PDVSA had hired Bell Pottinger, the PR firm run by Margaret Thatcher’s former communications director to “clean its image.” Of course, no comment from the revolution, so we have no idea how much they (we) are paying for this, nor for what purpose exactly. The part that stood out from…