Dec 10

- Venezuela Default Probability Has Never Been Higher; Maduro “Working To Raise Oil Prices” (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014):

With OPEC slashing demand expectations to 12 year lows, oil prices have re-cratered today putting further pressure on socialist-utopia Venezuala which needs $121/bbl to break-even. Credit risk for the South American nation has exploded today to record highs – implying a 93% probability of default and President Maduro has taken to the airwaves to calm a benefit-needy nation… tensions are mounting…

Default risk has gone vertical…

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As bond prices and black market FX crash further. Continue reading »

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Dec 09

Venezuelan Bonds Crash To Lowest Price Since 1998 (ZeroHedge, Dec 9, 2014):

Bond prices in Venezuela have totally collapsed this morning – at 45c on the dollar, they are the lowest since 1998as the realization of the “abyss” they are staring into sparks an exodus from all credit positions in the country. VENZ 5Y CDS rallied 130bps which signals hedgers unwinding and the simultaneous sale of the underlying bonds implies broad-based capital flight (and profit taking) as 1Y CDS surges to record highs at 4830bps.

VENZ Bond prices collapse to 1998 lows…

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  • VENEZUELA 2027 DOLLAR BONDS FALL TO LOWEST SINCE 1998

Venezuela’s 1Y CDS has smashed to record highs implying imminent devaluation or default…

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If you didn’t think this was serious, think again. (as Bloomberg reports)

The scores of money managers and analysts who crowded into Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s panel discussion on Venezuela last week are a testament to the deepening concern over whether President Nicolas Maduro can make good on the nation’s debt obligations. Continue reading »

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Dec 08

- “Cash-Strapped” Venezuela Stares Into The Abyss… And Its Default Risk Goes Parabolic (ZeroHedge, Dec 8, 2014):

Some two weeks ago (when Venezuela CDS was trading at only 2300  bps) we previewed what – with almost absolute certainty – would be the first “casualty of the crude carnage” – Nicholas Maduro’s little socialist paradise that couldn’t: Venezuela. As a reminder, back then we learned that the OPEC member was in such dire straits it had burned through a third of a Chinese’ bailout loan in the matter of days.

Since then it only got worse, and as we reported early last week in How Goldman Sachs Became Broke Venezuela’s Loan Shark, Venezuela is now scrambling to obtain any cash even if it means doing deals with the devil, or, alternatively, god’s busy worker on this planet, Goldman Sachs.

Then, in a bout of desperation, late the same week, the country – desperate to give the impression that it is not terminally insolvent and still has some foreign reserves left – ordered its Central Bank to dramatically change the rules, in a step “that enables them to count a whole new set of ‘assets’ as potential international reserves including “stones” and “precious metals held in their vaults on behalf of foreign financial institutions.” Continue reading »

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Nov 28

Gold Shortage, Worst In 21st Century, Sends 1Y GOFO To Lowest Ever… And India Just Made It Worse (ZeroHedge):

While we have covered the aberration that is a negative gold GOFO rate previously and in extensive detail in this post, an abridged version of what negative GOFO means comes courtesy of Deutsche Bank’s recent discussion on what a successful Swiss gold referendum. To wit: “It is interesting to note that benchmark gold-dollar swap rates have recently traded negative, meaning investors are paying to borrow gold. This is unusual as gold is traditionally used as a source of collateral for cash financing…. [A] number of factors may play a role, such as excess dollar liquidity or an increased demand for collateral on the back of the global regulatory developments.” In short a gold shortage at the institutional, read commercial and central bank, level. And not just a shortage but the biggest shortage in history, judging by today’s latest plunge in the 1 Month GOFO which just dropped to -0.5% and , worse, 1 Year GOFO that just hit its lowest print in the 21st century, and is also about to go negative: something that has never happened before further suggesting the gold shortage could go on for a long, long time!

The Russian navy frigate Smolny is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire

- Russian Warship Flotilla Enters English Channel For Military Exercises (ZeroHedge):

The French delivery of two Mistral ships to Russia may be postponed indefinitely (a move which ultimately would cost Hollande over $4 billion in contract breach penalty fees he simply can’t afford to pay), but that doesn’t mean the Russian navy has been hobbled or is hiding in the corner. To the contrary: according to the following tweet from the UK Ministry of Defense, Russia’s navy is getting quite bolder. “Four Russian ships escorted through Dover Strait from North Sea by @RoyalNavy HMS Tyne this morning. Ships have left UK waters.”  What happened? As Bloomberg reports, at least 4 vessels which departed the Russian Northern Fleet main base on November 20, led by anti-submarine ship Severomorsk, entered English channel for exercises that include anti-sabotage training, damage control in case of fire and water intake, state-run news service RIA Novosti says, citing statement from Navy.

 …

us TVs

- The 2014 Black Friday Frenzy: America Goes Shopping, In Photos (ZeroHedge)

Black Friday

- “An Unstoppable Zombie Holiday” – Humanity Shudders as America Exports Black Friday to the World (Liberty Blitzkrieg):

Greater Manchester Police said two arrests were made and injuries reported as police closed some stores to prevent more severe problems. One woman was injured by a falling television set.

The force tweeted “Keep calm, people!” at one point.

There were problems in many parts of Britain, including Wales and Scotland.

– From the Associated PressBlack Friday Chaos Hits Britain

Black Friday is one of those days when all the hope and optimism one possesses for the future of humanity is threatened by the gross, primal, in-your-face reality. I’ve written about the holiday before, specifically, in the piece, The SDR: The Same Demented Regime. Here’s an excerpt:

- Government uses 225-year-old law to force companies to unlock phones (RT):

Revelations about how governments swallow up huge amounts of data have led to consumers and companies embracing encryption like never before, but feds may have found a hidden weapon within a centuries-old law now being used in court.

Late last month, a federal magistrate in New York approved a request filed by United States attorneys and compelled an unnamed cell phone maker to unlock a mobile device that had been seized by authorities pursuant to an investigation. In ordering the company to do as much, though, the judge agreed with an argument made weeks earlier by the US government in which its lawyers said the All Writs Act, a law first put on the books 225 years ago in 1789, should be evoked.

US attorneys told the court in an Oct. 10 filing that they had seized a mobile phone while investigating alleged credit card fraud and, despite obtaining a search warrant, had been unable to bypass the phone’s password-protection. With the data otherwise inaccessible, federal prosecutors said the court could order the manufacturer to provide “reasonable technical assistance” in unlocking the device by relying on the All Writs Act.

- How Bloomberg’s Algo-Writers Serve The Cult Of Keynesian Central Banking (David Stockman’s Contra Corner):

If you ever needed proof that the financial press has been completely indoctrinated in the cult of Keynesian central banking consider the following…

- WTF Chart Of The Day: Centrally Planned Confidence Edition (ZeroHedge):

Because nothing says “spend on Black Friday” like a fractionally positive Dow Jones Industrial Average close in the green… unrigged

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WTF!!!

- About Those Eyeball-Based Valuations: “Half Of Twitter Accounts Created In 2013 Have Already Been Deleted”(ZeroHedge):

Still paying a #Div/0 valuation for Facebook or Twitter based on expectations of exponential growth in eyeballs, or rather “eyeballs“? Then perhaps read this first. “.. many of the “users” on social media sites aren’t real people at all – they’re celebrity staff tweeting on behalf of their employer, or PRs promoting a company, or even fake accounts for people that don’t exist at all. In fact, half of all Twitter accounts created in 2013 have already been deleted.”

- Flood leaves Gaza in ruins, UN declares state of emergency (RT):

An estimated 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged as the streets of Gaza City. They were flooded with water and sewage after a week of torrential downpours, prompting the UN Palestinian refugee agency to declare a state of emergency in the area.

Forced out of their homes, thousands of Palestinians are now sleeping in classrooms and makeshift shelters after a massive weeklong storm ravaged the region, reports the Ma’an News Agency. This includes the nearly 30,000 who had been staying at emergency housing after Israel’s 51-day summer offensive.

 – The Price Of Oil Exposes The True State Of The Economy (The Automatic Earth):

We should be glad the price of oil has fallen the way it has (losing another 6% today as we write this). Not because it makes the gas in our cars a bit cheaper, that’s nothing compared to the other service the price slump provides. That is, it allows us to see how the economy is really doing, without the multilayered veil of propaganda, spin, fixed data and bailouts and handouts for the banking system.

- The First Oil-Exporting Casualty Of The Crude Carnage: Venezuela (ZeroHedge):

What best shows that for Venezuela it is essentially game over, is that as the chart below shows, Venezuela’s international reserves declined $1.3 billion in the week after President Nicolas Maduro transfered $4 billion of Chinese loans to the central bank. In other words, the scrambling oil exporter was forced to burn one third of its Chinese bail-out loan to keep itself solvent. The country’s reserves dropped to $22.2 billion today, according to central bank data. As Bloomberg also notes, Maduro on Nov. 18 ordered the Chinese loan proceeds to be moved from an off-budget fund, so that they would show up in reserves and help boost investor confidence in an economy beset by the world’s highest inflation and widest budget deficit. The following day, Venezuelan bonds rose the most in six years in intraday trading. “If the plan was to calm the bondholders, then burning through a third of that money in five working days doesn’t do it in any way,” Henkel Garcia, director of Caracas-based consultancy Econometrica, said in a telephone interview.

- ‘Disturbing’: Arms firms dine at Tower of London days after ‘sea of poppies’ closed (RT):

The Tower of London hosted a networking dinner for global arms manufacturers, mere days after the extremely popular ‘sea of poppies’ remembrance installation closed. Tower managers have been accused of “crass insensitivity.”

The event, co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin – the world’s biggest defense firm – was billed as an “acclaimed and influential … chance to make new business connections” for senior defense manufacturers.

The guest of honor at the £240-per-head event was Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton.

- What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day — Paul Craig Roberts:

When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

- ‘Disturbing’: Arms firms dine at Tower of London days after ‘sea of poppies’ closed (RT):

The Tower of London hosted a networking dinner for global arms manufacturers, mere days after the extremely popular ‘sea of poppies’ remembrance installation closed. Tower managers have been accused of “crass insensitivity.”

The event, co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin – the world’s biggest defense firm – was billed as an “acclaimed and influential … chance to make new business connections” for senior defense manufacturers.

The guest of honor at the £240-per-head event was Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton.

- School Expels Child Over Vaccine That Even the Doctor Refuses to Give (The Daily Sheeple):

An 8 year-old Long Island girl has been kicked out of school, and the reason is outrageous.

Ceili McNicholas was told not to return to Long Island’s Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School after her mother Jamie refused to let her receive the T-Dap booster, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

The decision to skip the booster wasn’t solely Jamie’s idea – her daughter’s pediatrician won’t administer the shot because it is labeled for children ages 10 and over. Ceili is only 8.

- Fukushima Engineer: Officials covering up how badly groundwater is contaminated — Scientist: “We’re measuring higher levels off Japan” — Radiation near California already exceeds expectations, will be rising for years to come — TV: “Cleanup can’t be done… They lied from the start, Tepco is a den of inequity” (VIDEOS) (ENENews)

- Fracking toxins may be as dangerous as tobacco, asbestos & thalidomide – UK chief scientist (RT):

The effects of fracking could be as dangerous as asbestos, thalidomide, or tobacco toxins, the UK’s leading scientist has warned, claiming the government has adopted the process without considering the side effects.

In a flagship report produced by Professor Sir Mark Walport, the government’s chief advisor on science policy, it is warned that fracking could have serious negative impacts on health and the environment that could last for decades.

- Foreigners ‘like seeing our children die’, can’t help with Mid-East, says Erdogan (RT):

Muslim countries are able to solve their problems on their own, the Turkish president believes. He says far from offering help, the West is actually exploiting “conflicts in the Middle East” and only cares about the region’s riches.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Islamic countries to unite in order to solve “the biggest humanitarian and political crisis in their history,” according to AFP, citing the Turkish president’s speech in Istanbul on Thursday.

The only condition to overcome the crisis in the Islamic world is unity, solidarity and alliance,” he said. “Believe me, we can resolve every problem as long as we are united.”

Erdogan says there is no use counting on help from the Western world.

I speak openly, foreigners love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world,” he said. “They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East. Believe me, they don’t like us.”

They look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die,” the president went on.

- Switzerland Hands Out Iodine in Case of Nuclear Disaster (Blooomberg):

Switzerland is distributing iodide tablets to more than half the country’s population for use in the event of a nuclear disaster.

- Pennsylvania snowfall shatters 114-year-old records (Ice Age now):

Obliterates record for both the day and the month.

- Ice already forming on Great Lakes (Ice Age now):

Earliest in at least 40 years.

- Tamir Rice Video Shows Cop Opening Fire On 12-Year-Old (Huffington Post):

CLEVELAND (AP) — The police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun fired within 1½ to 2 seconds of pulling up in his cruiser, police said Wednesday. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster three times to put up his hands, they said.

The city released a surveillance video that shows the shooting of Tamir Rice, who was carrying an airsoft gun that shoots non-lethal plastic pellets.

Much of the footage shows what appears to be a bored kid alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. Tamir is seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appears to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting at a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

The gun wasn’t real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir’s was lacking the bright orange tip that is usually put on such weapons to indicate they’re not real guns.

BS propaganda: Thanksgiving attack: Syrian hackers strike U.S. media websites (Examiner):

American,Canadian and European news organizations claimed on Thanksgiving Day that their websites were hacked by a group identifying themselves as the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a cyber-terrorist group that is allied with Syria’s Assad regime.

 – Half-blind UK widow commits suicide after incapacity benefit cut (RT):

A partially-blind widow, who suffered crippling back pain for over a decade, committed suicide after her incapacity benefit was cut because state assessors claimed she was fit to work.

- As Japanese Bankruptcies Soar, Goldman Warns “Further Yen Depreciation Could Be A Net Burden” (ZeroHedge):

It is no secret that one of the primary drivers of relentless S&P 500 levitation over the past two years, ever since the start of Japan’s mammoth QE, has been the use of the Yen as the carry currency of choice (once again as during the credit bubble of the early-2000s), whose shorting has directly resulted in E-mini levitation. One look at the intraday chart of any JPY pair and the S&P500 is largely sufficient to confirm this. Those days, however, may be coming to an end, at least according to Goldman which overnight released a note saying that the Yen is “Almost at breakeven: Further yen depreciation could be a net burden.”

- Activists advocate criminal charges for child porn possession (RT)

And if you remember what Barrie Trower said, then you know that it is our governments who will upload child porn onto our computers if “need be”:

- Former Royal Navy Microwave Weapons Expert And UK Intelligence Services Agent Dr. Barrie Trower: Dangers And Lethality Of Microwave Technology (Video – 2:19:36)

- Former Royal Navy Microwave Weapons Expert: NWO TECHNOLOGY UPDATE – Deadly Mobile Phones & The Worst Genocide Ever Committed – The Dangers Of Wi-Fi To Women And Children (Video)

- A Thanksgiving Message (Liberty Blitzkrieg):

I ended the 2012 piece with the following quote, which I want to share again today.

“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time
to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”

– Tecumseh
(1768-1813) Shawnee Chief

Who’s Making Money Off The War On Drugs?

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Nov 14

- Venezuelan Bonds Are Collapsing, FinMin Denies Devaluation Looming (ZeroHedge, Nov 13, 2014):

While talking heads proclaim – incorrectly – that low oil prices are unequivocally good for the US economy, it is very much not the case for oil producers around the world. Most notably, Venezuela – which ‘needs’ oil prices above $100 to maintain its socialist utopia – and currently ranks at a lowly 100th on the world’s prosperity index, is in grave trouble if this trend continues. Venezuelan bonds plunged to new record lows today as oil prices hit fresh cycle lows, strongly suggesting default or currency devaluation is imminent. However, as is usual (think Mexico) Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres ruled out devaluation even as oil price drop exacerbates country’s finances. As one analyst noted, “there’s broad understanding that in the absence of any corrective policy measures that these guys are going to be in serious trouble.” It appears they already are. The Maduro government desperately needs a rise in oil prices, but Saudi Arabia has so far rebuffed calls for an emergency meeting as it pursues a strategy of waiting out higher cost competitors. OPEC does not plan on meeting until Nov. 27. That is still an eternity for a country that is beginning to unravel.

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Oct 22

- What ‘Democracy’ Really Means in U.S. and New York Times Jargon: Latin America Edition (The Intercept, Oct 17, 2014):

One of the most accidentally revealing media accounts highlighting the real meaning of “democracy” in U.S. discourse is a still-remarkable 2002 New York Times Editorial on the U.S.-backed military coup in Venezuela, which temporarily removed that country’s democratically elected (and very popular) president, Hugo Chávez. Rather than describe that coup as what it was by definition – a direct attack on democracy by a foreign power and domestic military which disliked the popularly elected president – the Times, in the most Orwellian fashion imaginable, literally celebrated the coup as a victory for democracy:

With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona.

Thankfully, said the NYT, democracy in Venezuela was no longer in danger . . . because the democratically-elected leader was forcibly removed by the military and replaced by an unelected, pro-U.S. “business leader.” The Champions of Democracy at the NYT then demanded a ruler more to their liking: “Venezuela urgently needs a leader with a strong democratic mandate to clean up the mess, encourage entrepreneurial freedom and slim down and professionalize the bureaucracy.” Continue reading »

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Oct 07

- Picturing Venezuela’s Surreal Prices (ZeroHedge, Oct 6, 2014):

Venezuela’s economic crisis has led to some shocking and surreal price distortions that hit people’s buying power dramatically. While the government of President Nicolas Maduro calls the country’s minimum wage of Bs. 4,252 the highest in the region when converted to $675 using the official exchange rate, the galloping black market for currency considers it as just $42.50 when converted at the street rate of Bs. 100 per US dollar, the rate which many importers and retail outlets must use to acquire hard currency. From Coke to crayons and carrots and from Tires to TVs, Venezuelan prices offer a glimpse of a modern-day hyperinflation.

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Sep 13

In Venezuela First They Came For The Toilet Paper; Then They Came For The News Paper… (ZeroHedge, Sep 11, 2014):

Bidet sales across Venezuela are set to soar as just months after running out of toilet paper, AP reports that Venezuela’s oldest newspaper is shutting down due to falling advertising, mounting inflation and a lack of basic materials. In addition, at least nine Venezuelan regional newspapers have stopped circulation because of the shortages. Of course, this is likely great news for President Maduro who can now manage his people’s minds direct from his Twitter feed… welcome to socialist utopia.

As AP reports, Continue reading »

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Aug 31

- Venezuelan government announces mandatory biometric cards to control supermarket shoppers (Natural News, Aug 28, 2014):

Venezuela’s continuing experiment with Marxist socialism continues to be an abject failure — as much as every other country’s experimentation with Marxist socialism — as evidenced by the country’s shrinking productivity, tanking economy and shortages of basic goods.

So bad have things gotten in the South American nation that its leader, President Nicolas Maduro, has announced that every citizen will soon be required to carry a “biometric card” that limits food purchases through the use of electronic scanners and government databases.

As reported by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper: Continue reading »

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Aug 24

- Israeli F-16 Missile Attacks Venezuelan Humanitarian Aid Mission in Gaza (Global Research, Aug 21, 2014):

Venezuelan ambassador to Egypt, Juan Antonio Hernandez, said Wednesday that an Israeli aircraft attacked the Venezuelan humanitarian delegation in Rafah along the border post between Egypt and Palestine. The delegation was delivering twelve tons of aid to the Palestinian people. No one was injured during the attack.

The F-16 airplane dropped a missile very close to the humanitarian site, though it did not explode. The ambassador confirmed that the missile fell approximately 50 to 70 meters from the site. Continue reading »

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Jul 23

- Venezuela’s Transformation To Socialist Utopia Is Nearly Complete As Its Factories Grind To A Halt (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

Venezuela’s transformation to a socialist utopia has been well-documented on these pages. Recall:

In retrospect, one can only hope the same “socialist paradise” fate isn’t headed to the other “fairness doctrine” members such as the US and France, because with socialist utopias like these who needs capitalist hell? Continue reading »

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Jul 16

perri-air_0

- Breathing The Air In Venezuela? Prepare To Pay (ZeroHedge; July 15, 2014):

There is something to be said about every socialist paradise in the history of socialist paradises: they always run out of other people’s money. And when they do, stuff like this happens: the biggest international airport in Venezuela is charging a fee for the right to inhale clean air.

As BBC correctly notes, we’re used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we fly – passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further – passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax ($20) for the air they breathe. Continue reading »

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Jun 10

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back (ZeroHedge, June 9, 2014):

2013 was a good year for Goldman Sachs investments in Emerging Markets, most notably Venezuelan bonds (as they bet on socialism and won). A year later and Goldman’s EM debt portfolio is still loaded with Venezuelan bonds… and the arrears are mounting. As Bloomberg reports, at a time when Venezuela’s record $25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders.

Continue reading »

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Apr 03

FYI.

See also:

- Venezuela Bolivar Devalues 89% in Start of New FX Market

- Venezuela Devalues Bolivar By Another 44% For Some, Still 600% Higher Than Black Market Due To 50% Inflation

- Venezuela Launches First Nuke In Currency Wars, Devalues Currency By 46%!


- Venezuela: A Call for Peace (New York Times, April 1, 2014):

By Nicolas Maduro

CARACAS, Venezuela — THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.

According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent.

We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil.

Continue reading »

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Mar 25

- Venezuela’s Maduro Averts Military Coup, Arrests Three Air Force Generals (ZeroHedge, March 25, 2014):

A day after Venezuela formally devalued its currency by way of the new and improved FX central planning system SICAD II, which sent the official value of the Bolivar 89% lower, the government desperately needed a distraction. It got just that when earlier today Socialist par excellence Nicolas Maduro announced that he had narrowly avoided a coup after he arrested three air force generals suspected of plotting an uprising against the leftist government.

The AFP reports:

Maduro told a meeting of South American foreign ministers that the three generals, who were not identified, had been in contact with the opposition and “were trying to rise up against the legitimately constituted government.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Venezuela Bolivar Devalues 89% in Start of New FX Market (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2014):

Venezuela’s exchange rate is a Gordian Knot of rules and regulations meant to baffle onlookers with bullshit and, we suspect, hide the hyperinflation from prying eyes just a little longer.Today’s launch of SICAD II, a new currency market which allows the free-market to bid for USD (in Bolivars), appears to be an effort to provide liquidity to a black-market for dollars. SICAD II priced at 55 Bolivars today – an 88% devaluation from the official rate of 6.29 (and another auction-based rate SICAD I – applicable to some firms – of 10.8).

20140324_C+VEF

This new SICAD II rate will replace SICAD I as the official tourist rate.

Confused? You should be – the bottom line is that Maduro and his cronies continue to suppress the reality of a hyperinflating currency as student marches grow ever more popular and outspoken. Continue reading »

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Mar 15

Venezuela_Regime_Change

- Obama Administration Targets Venezuela for ‘Regime Change’ (American Free Press, March 14, 2014)

• Ousted U.S. consular officials caught conspiring with protest groups

Continuing unrest in Venezuela can be traced to an ongoing plot by the Obama administration to topple the country’s democratically elected government and replace it with a regime run by rich families and corporations allied with Washington.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded the late Hugo Chavez, a Washington nemesis, recently expelled three United States consular officials, accusing them of conspiring for months with protest groups funded by Washington.

Continue reading »

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Feb 23

Paratroopers sent into San Cristobal in the border state of Tachira and an internet blackout imposed, as residents say they are living in a ‘war zone’

Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes
Objects placed by opposition protesters block a road in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela

- Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes (Telegraph, Feb 21, 2014):

President Nicolas Maduro has ordered paratroopers into the restive Venezuelan border city of San Cristobal amid fierce clashes between government forces and opposition protesters, as the leftist leader warned the US to stay out of the country’s growing unrest.

The battalion was rushed in on Thursday night to “restore order” in San Cristobal, where Mr Maduro has threatened to impose martial law to quell the protests that began in the city two weeks ago and have since spread nationwide, claiming the lives of at least six people.

Continue reading »

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Feb 21

- Venezuela Revokes CNN Journalist Credentials Amid “War Propaganda” (ZeroHedge, Feb 21, 2014):

“The CNN team was informed that their correspondent credentials were revoked,” Venezuela’s Information Ministry vice-president Francisco Perez stated. Ironically, for CNN, the decision was announced vis Perez’ Twitter account, following Maduro’s proclamations last night that “Enough! I won’t accept war propaganda against Venezuela.” Interestingly, given the opposition’s need to raise the awareness among the ‘poor’ in Venezuela if they are to succeed, local television networks have provided almost no live coverage of the protests against Maduro. While just one “journalist” has his credentials revoked, Maduro has threatened, to expel the whole network from the country if it did not “rectify” the way it has covered deadly political protests. Continue reading »

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Feb 17

- What’s Going On In Venezuela (In A Nutshell) (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2014)

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