chalmette

The election needs to be bought

It’s distressing to think about the Venezuelan government’s latest financial moves. Not for what the moves entail, necessarily, but because of the obvious reason that is driving them. First, the government announces it is tapping IMF holdings, about $389 million it held in its “Special Drawing Rights.” Then, they announced a new “agreement” (i.e. loan) with…

fud130844coque

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.…

PDVSA - 3

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.…

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.…