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…

a-view-from-the-water

Shielding Wall Street from the debacle

This Reuters article on a Boston forum of Wall Street-type investors is very illuminating. Obviously, the markets are jittery about what is undoubtedly “the worst-managed economy in the world.” But the highlight of the article is a quote by our old foe Mark Weisbrot: So I rang up Mark Weisbrot, the co-director of the liberal-leaning Center for…

deshojando-margaritas

Citgo on the block again?

As pundits mull Venezuela’s big win in yesterday’s ICSID ruling on the ExxonMobil case (don’t miss this interesting comment from Venetexan), the Maduro administration continues to ponder what to do about Citgo. A few weeks ago, Maduro himself had suggested that the Citgo sale privatization was a no-go. But yesterday, Reuters said our friendly French bankers have asked for more…

That's tiny!

Dude, Your Strategic Fund Has Less than a Week’s Worth of Imports In It

For years – literally years – we’ve been wondering exactly how much money the Venezuelan government had squirrelled away in its “parafiscal funds”: Fonden- and Fondo Chino-style unaudited, unreported, wholly discretionary accounting black boxes. Finally, yesterday, Maduro let the cat out of the bag: announcing he would finally unite all of these different pots into a…

Left-leaning horse being added to this logo as we speak

The “no comment” revolution

Financial markets are spooked about the last bastion of reason in the Venezuelan government finally falling, according to Bloomberg’s Anatoly Kurmanaev – whose work continues to be interesting and thought-provoking. The money quote: “A spokesman for the Finance Ministry declined to comment on potential bond sales … A spokeswoman for the central bank declined to…

Tail-between-my-legs Chronicles

Venezuela is now the riskiest country in the world. This damning-yet-not-completely-unexpected development is not unrelated with what is happening in Buenos Aires. Argentina, who for years has been the international financial community’s “enemigo público número uno,” has lost a string of court battles in the World Bank’s ICSID arbitration court. They have even lost battles…