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#Venezuela, the World’s Riskiest Sovereign #Debt


No nation in the world is more likely to miss payments,
according to traders of its credit-default swaps.  Venezuela is running out of money.

Venezuela’s Descent Into World’s Riskiest Sovereign Credit: Q&A

February 10, 2016 — 11:00 AM CET

The
price of oil, which makes up almost all of the country’s exports, has
tumbled 75 percent in the past three years and investors are predicting
the country is on course for the biggest-ever emerging-market sovereign
default. No nation in the world is more likely to miss payments,
according to traders of its credit-default swaps.

The country already tops measures of the world’s most miserable
economy, with inflation of almost 100 percent last year, a currency
that has collapsed on the black market to less than 1 percent of its
official value and shortages of basic goods such as detergent and
antibiotics. It’s a horrific turnaround for what was once one of the
region’s most stable democracies, famous for its big cars, cheap
gasoline and beauty queens.

While
bond prices suggest that most investors are confident the country will
make good on a $1.5 billion obligation coming due Feb. 26, the outlook
dims for $4.1 billion of notes the state oil company is due to pay back
in October and November.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Venezuela:

How much debt does Venezuela have?

Venezuela
has $35.6 billion of dollar bonds outstanding and owes $67 billion once
interest payments are included. State-owned oil company Petroleos de
Venezuela SA, known as PDVSA, has $33.5 billion of bonds, and $52.6
billion counting interest.

If there’s a default, when is it most likely to come?

Venezuela
has the cash to pay back the bonds coming due in February along with
$326 million of interest payments this month. In October and November of
this year, PDVSA needs to pay back $4.1 billion of bonds and $1 billion
in interest. The notes’ price of about 56 cents on the dollar indicate
skepticism the country will be able to do that.

Trading in the credit-default swaps market suggests there’s a 76 percent chance Venezuela will default in the next 12 months.

What might the recovery value of the bonds be?

Estimates
vary between 20 cents on the dollar and as much as 71 cents in the case
of PDVSA bonds. Since Venezuela is so reliant on oil, the value is
hugely dependent on the price of crude. Estimates compiled by Bloomberg
for the year-end price of West Texas Intermediate range between $38 and
$70 a barrel.

A second factor is the exchange rate
Venezuela uses. The country has three official currency rates, ranging
from 6.3 bolivars per dollar to 199.9 per dollar, not to mention the
black-market rate of more than 1,000 per dollar. A weaker currency would
lower the ratio of debt to the size of the economy, improve the
country’s trade balance, and reduce leverage for PDVSA. All that would
imply a higher recovery value.

Barclays Plc says that recovery values are likely to be higher on bonds from PDVSA.

What overseas assets could investors try to seize?

PDVSA
has refineries, tankers and receivables. Of course, the value of the
oil assets depends in part on the price of crude. In August last year,
Barclays estimated the total at between $8 billion and $10 billion, but
that was with oil fetching at least $50 a barrel.

The operating assets of Citgo Holding Inc., PDVSA’s U.S. refining subsidiary, are already pledged to creditors. The unit’s $1.5 billion bonds due in 2020 are secured by a 100 percent equity stake in Citgo Petroleum Corp.

How did things get this bad?

During his 14 years in office,
former President Hugo Chavez nationalized companies and expanded the
government’s role in the economy. By the time of his death in 2013,
domestic industry had been crippled, leaving Venezuela almost entirely
dependent on imports for consumer goods. Those imports were paid for
with revenue from oil.

The economic model, characterized by
government largess and inefficiency, was nonetheless more or less
sustainable with oil prices above $100, despite the occasional shortage
of toilet paper
and the fact that the government had pledged much of its crude output
to repay loans from China and in subsidies to regional allies such as
Cuba.

As oil prices fell, the government relied more on creating
new money to meet its expenses, helping fuel the fastest inflation in
the world and making the black-market bolivar the worst-performing
currency in the world.

By
mid-2014, with oil hovering between $90 and $100, Venezuela was in
trouble. President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s handpicked successor, could
have boosted the country’s income in bolivars by devaluing the official
exchange rate of 6.3 per dollar at which it sold much of its hard
currency. Yet he postponed the decision — possibly out of concern for
the inflationary impact such a move could have — in favor of a series
of reluctant half measures.

Now, with the country’s oil fetching
about $25 a barrel, Venezuela’s crude income will fall toward $22
billion this year, according to Bank of America Corp. That’s barely
enough to cover $10 billion of debt service on bonds, $4.3 billion of
imports for the oil sector and $6.2 billion of payments on loans from
China, the bank wrote in a note Feb. 8.

Unless Maduro slashes
government subsidies and devalues the currency, Venezuela won’t have
enough dollar income left to pay debt and import food.

Would a default be the biggest ever for a sovereign?

No, it
would be the second-biggest. Greece defaulted on $261 billion in March
2012, according to Moody’s Investors Service data. Argentina defaulted
on $95 billion in 2001.

Has Venezuela defaulted before?

Ten
times on international debt, mostly in the 19th century, according to
data from Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth
Rogoff. Venezuela first defaulted in 1826, 15 years after declaring
independence from Spain.

Most recently, in 2005, it missed
payments on bonds linked to oil prices after the government fired
striking executives from PDVSA and the resulting chaos meant that the
prices needed to calculate the payments weren’t available. The bonds it
defaulted on were so-called Brady bonds, which were the result of a debt
restructuring following a default in 1990.

How would a Venezuelan default differ from Argentina’s?

With
any luck it won’t go on as long. Argentina’s default has dragged on for
14 years as successive governments have defied investors who refused to
accept losses of 70 cents on the dollar and fought them in U.S. courts.
Venezuela, on the other hand, would probably be motivated to settle
sooner in order to free up its oil shipments, according to Nomura.

Venezuela’s
bonds have collective-action clauses, which mean that reaching a
restructuring agreement with a majority of bondholders would require
everyone to go along with the deal. PDVSA notes don’t have that rule.
Investors are divided as to whether this makes default on one or the
other more likely or easier to resolve.

“Each sovereign default is
unique,” Siobhan Morden, the head of Latin American fixed-income
strategy at Nomura, wrote in a note to clients in February.

Is there any hope that things can get better?

There’s a case to be made that not all is lost.

First,
the government could implement reforms such as cutting subsidies on
gasoline or devaluing the currency, which would allow it to stretch its
dollar income much further. Bank of America Corp. says it expects
Venezuela to make all of this year’s bond payments, as long as it also
changes the currency regime, loosens price controls and cuts subsidies.

Second, the political opposition
is gaining ground. The opposition won two-thirds of the National
Assembly in elections late last year, giving it widespread powers to
dismiss ministers, block presidential decrees and block court
appointments.

Third, China could appear with new financing. The
Asian nation has already lent it about $17 billion and could presumably
come to the rescue again.

Fourth, oil prices could rise. The
country can scrape by with an average price this year of $50 to $65 a
barrel, according to estimates from Barclays, Bank of America and
Nomura.

Read the article online on Bloomberg here: Venezuela’s Descent Into World’s Riskiest Sovereign Credit: Q&A:

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#Kissinger the Freedom Fighter – @nfergus


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An excellent piece by Niall Ferguson on a side of Kissinger many people either do not know or have forgotten.

Kissinger the Freedom Fighter

ENLARGE

Illustration: Thomas Fuchs

By
Niall Ferguson

Sept. 18, 2015 6:00 a.m. ET


Surely no statesman in modern times, and certainly no American secretary of state, has been as revered and then as reviled as Henry Kissinger.
At the height of his fame, Kissinger appeared as a cartoon “Super K” on the cover of Newsweek, complete with tights and cape. Time magazine called him “the world’s indispensable man.” In 1974, his approval rating, according to the regular Harris survey, was an astounding 85%.
Since then, however, heaping opprobrium on Kissinger has become a thriving industry. The Nation magazine once caricatured him under a stars-and-stripes bedcover, gleefully ravishing a naked female whose head was the globe. The late Christopher Hitchens went further, accusing him of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Protest groups like Code Pink never tire of repeating such charges, most recently by disrupting a January hearing of the Senate Armed Forces Committee at which Kissinger was testifying.
The vitriol of the left is at first sight puzzling, especially when one considers how many of Kissinger’s initiatives were denounced by conservative critics at the time as too accommodating of America’s communist enemies. In his time as national security adviser, he played a key role in negotiating the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union. It was Kissinger who, with Zhou Enlai, opened diplomatic communications between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China. It was Kissinger who extricated the U.S. from the Vietnam War. And it was Kissinger who pressed for the end of white rule in Rhodesia.
Critics of every stripe tend to agree that Kissinger took foreign-policy realism too far. According to authors Marvin and Bernard Kalb, writing in the mid-1970s, he pursued “a global realpolitik that placed a higher priority on pragmatism than on morality.” His former Harvard colleague, the late Stanley Hoffmann, called Kissinger a Machiavellian who believed that “the preservation of the state…requires both ruthlessness and deceit at the expense of foreign and internal adversaries.” Even a relatively sympathetic writer, Walter Isaacson, concluded in his 2005 biography that “power-oriented realpolitik and secretive diplomatic maneuvering…were the basis of [Kissinger’s] policies.”
This view of Kissinger is in urgent need of revision. When one actually reads what he wrote, especially in the years before his rise to international prominence, it is astounding how little one finds of the Machiavellian realist. At least in the first half of his career, Henry Kissinger was an idealist.
To be sure, Kissinger was not an idealist in the sense often used to characterize that tradition in U.S. foreign policy, dating back to Woodrow Wilson, which emphasizes the subordination of the “might” of states to supranational laws, courts and assemblies. Rather, I am using the term “idealism” in its philosophical sense—a doctrine that elevates thought and perception above supposedly objective realities.
Idealism stands in opposition to philosophies that see human actions and events as determined by factors beyond our control, such as laws of history or economic development. Kissinger rejected the idea that such “necessity” was the crucial element in human affairs. He exalted the role of human freedom, choice and agency in shaping the world.
His unpublished senior thesis at Harvard, “The Meaning of History,” was an admiring critique of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of history. Kissinger’s central argument was that freedom is “an inner experience of life as a process of deciding meaningful alternatives.” “Perpetual peace” might indeed be the ultimate goal of history, as Kant famously argued, but from the point of view of the individual, there was nothing inevitable about that outcome. “Whatever one’s conception about the necessity of events, [and]…however we may explain actions in retrospect, their accomplishment occurred with the inner conviction of choice.”
From this point on, Kissinger was consistent in rejecting the idea that politics, especially international politics, was simply a matter of feeding data into some kind of social-scientific calculating machine. This applied especially to the place of economics in the contest between the West and the communist bloc.
Kissinger rejected the economic determinism of Marxism-Leninism, which saw all human affairs as rigidly driven by class struggle, but he was also critical of those who thought that the West’s superiority was just a matter of higher productivity. It was dangerous, he argued in his senior thesis, to allow “an argument about democracy [to] become a discussion of the efficiency of economic systems.” By contrast, the “inward intuition of freedom…would reject totalitarianism even if it were economically more efficient.” To the idealist, the contest with the Soviet Union had to be about more than relative growth rates.

President Lyndon Johnson hosts Henry Kissinger at the White House days after the 45-year-old Harvard professor was tapped by President-elect Richard Nixon as his national security adviser, Washington, Dec. 5, 1968. At left is the outgoing national security adviser, Walt Rostow. ENLARGE

President Lyndon Johnson hosts Henry Kissinger at the White House days after the 45-year-old Harvard professor was tapped by President-elect Richard Nixon as his national security adviser, Washington, Dec. 5, 1968. At left is the outgoing national security adviser, Walt Rostow. Photo: Associated Press


Why, if it was an economic contest, did the Cold War prove so hard for the much richer United States to win? To that question, Kissinger was able to offer a compelling answer. Quite simply, it wasn’t about economics. It wasn’t even about nuclear stockpiles, much less tank divisions. It was primarily about freedom.
In a remarkable interview with ABC’s Mike Wallace in July 1958, the young Kissinger made the startling argument that the U.S. was being insufficiently idealistic in its Cold War strategy. Asked by Wallace if he thought the U.S. could exist “in a completely socialist revolutionary world,” Kissinger replied:
“You could well argue that a capitalist society or, what is more interesting to me, a free society, is a more revolutionary phenomenon than 19th-century socialism, and this illustrates precisely one of our problems. I think we should go on the spiritual offensive in the world. We should identify ourselves with the revolution. We should say that freedom, if it is liberated, can achieve many of these things.…Even when we have engaged in constructive steps…we have always justified them on the basis of a communist threat, very rarely on the basis of things we wanted to do because of our intrinsic dynamism.”
The U.S., he continued, should say more than, “We must keep Latin America from going communist.” Its message to the southern hemisphere should be, “These are things we want to do because of the values we stand for.”
On the central Cold War question of Germany, too, Kissinger was an idealist, insisting on the principle of self-determination and opposing a permanent division of the country. He was dismayed when, to end the Berlin crisis of 1961, President John F. Kennedy pragmatically concluded, “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.”
While at the highest level the Cold War was a nuclear-armed standoff—not least when the superpowers were eyeball to eyeball in Germany—it was also a succession of hot conventional wars in what came to be known as the Third World: the new nations emerging as the old European empires crumbled. To the leaders of anticolonial movements, communism appeared to have much to offer: not only state-led industrialization but also a permanent grip on political power. What could the U.S. offer as an alternative?
Like many of his contemporaries, Kissinger exaggerated the Soviet Union’s capacity to win a contest defined in terms of output growth. But he was quite right to argue that the Western claim to superiority needed to be based on more than productivity.
What made democracy work in the West, Kissinger pointed out, were certain peculiar limitations on governmental power, not least the rule of law. These limitations were not naturally occurring in the “new countries,” he argued in his 1960 book “The Necessity for Choice.” Therefore, “unless we address ourselves to the problem of encouraging institutions which protect human dignity, the future of freedom is dim indeed.”

The aim was not to win a contest between rival models of economic development but above all to “fill…a spiritual void,” for “even Communism has made many more converts through the theological quality of Marxism than through the materialistic aspect on which it prides itself.”
“Unless we are able to make the concepts of freedom and respect for human dignity meaningful to the new nations,” Kissinger concluded, “the much-vaunted economic competition between us and Communism…will be without meaning.”
All this helps to explain why, when the question initially arose of how far to prop up the government of South Vietnam in the early 1960s, Kissinger believed that the country’s right to self-determination was worth American lives. True foreign-policy realists, like the University of Chicago’s Hans Morgenthau, vehemently disagreed.
Kissinger’s idealism was the idealism of a generation forged in the searing heat of World War II. As a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, who returned there in 1944 in an American uniform to play his part in the final defeat of Nazism, he had paid a personal price for the diplomatic failures of the 1930s.
After the euphoria of V-E Day, Kissinger astonished his parents by staying in Germany for two more years. “You’ll never understand it,” he wrote to them, “& I would never explain it except in blood & misery & hope. Sometimes when I look down our table and see the empty spaces of our good and capable men, the men that should be here to nail down what we fought for, I think of…the night Hitler’s death was announced. That night [we] agreed that no matter what happened, no matter who weakened, we would stay to do in our little way what we could to make all previous sacrifices meaningful.”
More than 20 years later, on the eve of his unexpected appointment as President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser, Kissinger expressed his dismay at the failure of a new generation to feel a similar responsibility toward Vietnam. In an essay that he wrote for the Brookings Institution in 1968, he could hardly overlook “the contemporary unrest” that was sweeping American campuses. But he struggled to make sense of a “younger generation [who] consider the management of power irrelevant, perhaps even immoral” and whose “new ethic of freedom is not ‘civic’; it is indifferent or even hostile to systems and notions of order.”
As Kissinger observed, there was something unforgivable about the way the “protest movements [had] made heroes of leaders in repressive new countries,” oblivious to “the absurdity of founding a claim for freedom on protagonists of the totalitarian state—such as Guevara or Ho or Mao.” The student radicals failed to see that they were living through a fundamental transformation of the postwar international order. “The age of the superpowers,” Kissinger announced, “is drawing to an end.”

Kissinger testifying before the Santa Fe Foreign Relations Committee June 27, 1966. ENLARGE

Kissinger testifying before the Santa Fe Foreign Relations Committee June 27, 1966. Photo: CSU Archives/Everett Collection


This international revolution, he argued in the essay, had “deep-seated” and “structural” causes. The first of these was what was already occasionally referred to as globalization: the multiplication of nation states since the breakup of the European empires, combined with unprecedented economic integration and the emergence of “problems of bureaucratization, pollution, environmental control, urban growth…[that] know no national considerations.”
The second driver of change was technology. Paradoxically, the “gargantuan” increase in destructive power made possible by innovations in nuclear technology tended to reduce the superpowers’ influence over smaller countries. This was not only because the superpowers seemed less and less likely ever to use their vast atomic arsenals; it was also because each new power that joined the nuclear club substantially reduced the value of membership. In this post-superpower world, “a radio transmitter [could] be a more effective form of pressure than a squadron of B-52s,” while annexing territory would count for less than acquiring nuclear weapons.
Yet what mattered more than these changes in the material world was how Americans thought about them. In his 1968 essay, Kissinger urged his fellow citizens to answer two simple questions: “What is it in our interest to prevent? What should we seek to accomplish?”
If the Vietnam War had done nothing else good, it had at least proved that the answer to these questions could not be “Everything”—for a U.S. that was “the trustee of every non-Communist area” would very soon “exhaust its psychological resources.” Nor, however, could the answers to Kissinger’s questions be “Nothing.” Generation gap or no generation gap, it was time for “the American mood” to stop “oscillat[ing] dangerously between being ashamed of power and expecting too much of it.”
If such arguments sound familiar, it is because they still resonate today. “Optimism alternating with bewilderment; euphoria giving way to frustration”: That was how Kissinger summed up the American trajectory in Vietnam. In our own day, we have relived that cycle in Iraq.
No doubt controversy will continue to rage about the actions that Kissinger took after he went to work in Washington in 1969, from his support for the bombing of Cambodia to his desire to see President Salvador Allende of Chile overthrown.
But even his most determined critics would have difficulty denying that he was prescient about the shape of the post-Cold War world: a new era of economic globalization, of technological revolution, of nuclear proliferation, but also an era in which international order was primarily a function of the ebb and flow of America’s faith in itself. Nearly a half-century later, Henry Kissinger’s idealistic analysis still applies.
Mr. Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This essay is adapted from “Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist,” published later this month by Penguin Press.

Read the article online here: 

Is a bear market really coming! Contrarian indicators disagree.


“…back to 1980s, whenever bearish newsletter advisors outnumbered bullish ones for the first time in a year, three month stock returns were positive 100% of the time.”

Everything I have been reading lately on the stock markets is bearish. Rarely are the talking heads all right on their calls. 


This from Short Side of Long: 

Lowest percentage of bullish newsletter editors since Lehman bankruptcy

 

Source: Short Side of Long

We discussed sentiment at the beginning of this month, focusing on Investor Intelligence newsletter and advisor survey. At the time, we concluded that bullish sentiment has dropped to levels we have not seen since March 2009 lows. A quick update this week shows that bullish advisors have fallen even further. Apart from the Lehman bankruptcy and the aftermath market crash of October 2008, there has been no other time bullish sentiment was this low in the last two decades.

Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, Russian default in 1998, Tech crash in early 2000s, September ’11 attacks, World dot com bankruptcy and all other panics have not scared the bulls as much as the first potential Federal Reserve interest rate hike since 2006. It is very clear that market participants have gotten use to extremely loose monetary policies via all major central banks.

Furthermore, for the first time since the Eurozone entered a recession in 2011, bearish newsletter advisors have now outnumbered the bullish ones. According to SentimenTrader research with he data going back to 1980s, whenever bearish newsletter advisors outnumbered bullish ones for the first time in a year, three month stock returns were positive 100% of the time. The average return was about 8% gain in the coming 12 week timeframe.

First time since 2011 EU recession, there are more bearish than bullish advisors 

Source: Short Side of Long

 

Swissie under pressure- Over the last 3 weeks #CHF lost 5% vs. #EUR & +3% vs. #USD


All the media is talking about the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan. But very little is said about the weakness of the Swiss Franc versus the Euro. Over the last 3 weeks the Swissie lost 5% versus the Euro and over 3% versus the U.S. Dollar.
 
We said for some time that the strong Swiss Franc was unsustainable as the export industry and tourism was suffering substantially.
Investors enjoyed a solid and strong Swiss Franc for decades and that made Switzerland what it is today. It brought funds into Switzerland which allowed the industry to finance well below rates of other countries. A huge advantage.
 
Unfortunately that has become now past history and the Swiss Franc will become a weak currency in the future, weaker than the U.S. Dollar and the Euro. It will take a lot of time until investors start to believe this but our task is to advise our clients early so they are able to achieve superior performance. We are very fortunate to call the turnaround in the Swissie very early.

 

#Venezuela is basically bankrupt again – A primer on the situation in Venezuela from the @WashingtonPost


Venezuela is basically bankrupt again

By Matt O’Brien

Venezuela
is running out of food, running out of beer, and running out of
dollars. In other words, it’s not going bankrupt gradually anymore. It’s
going bankrupt much more suddenly.

And the government is to blame.

Now,
more than anywhere else, socialism should have worked in Venezuela.
After all, it has the world’s largest oil reserves, so it should have
had more than enough petrodollars to finance a generous safety net. But
rather than creating a Norwegian-style state, Venezuela has opted for a
more Soviet one. It started when the late Hugo Chavez turned the
country’s state-owned oil company from being largely autonomous to being
little more than his personal piggy bank. Profits came out, but new
investment didn’t go in, and, as a result, oil production fell 25 percent between 1999 and 2o13. Oil exports plunged twice as much, because so much of the country’s crude stays home at the extremely subsidized price of 1.5 U.S. cents per gallon.

But
Venezuela’s government didn’t want to just control the petrodollars. It
wanted to control all the dollars. That would give it the power to tell
businesses that need dollars to, well, stay in business what kind of
prices, profits, and production they could offer. So, to that end, the
regime has set up a three-tiered exchange rate that let companies and
cronies—is there a difference?—get a hold of dollars for what is now 100
times less than the black market rate, which they are then supposed to
use to buy imports with.

The only problem is this creates
shortages when it works and worse ones when it doesn’t. That’s because
the government doesn’t just decide who gets cheap dollars, but also how much they
and everyone else can charge. Companies that don’t get dollars at the
official exchange rate would lose money selling at the official prices,
so they don’t—they leave their stores empty. But even ones that do get
low-cost dollars would make more money selling them in the black market
than using them to sell goods at the official prices, so they don’t as
well—their stores stay just as barren. In other words, it’s not
profitable for unsubsidized companies to stock their shelves, but not
profitable enough for subsidized ones to do so, either. That’s why
Venezuela’s supermarkets don’t have enough food, its breweries don’t
have enough hops to keep making beer, and its factories don’t have enough pulp to produce toilet paper. That’s left Venezuela well-supplied with only one thing: lines.

But
now Venezuela is facing a new shortage. Oil is back down to around
$50-a-barrel, which means the government barely has enough dollars to
pay back what it owes, let alone dole them out to companies. So it’s
had to print more money than usual—which was already a lot—to try to
paper over this problem. The result, as you can see below, has been a
complete collapse in Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar. Going by the
black market rate, which is the closest there is to an actual one, the
bolivar has plummeted from 79 per dollar last August to 687 today.
That’s an 89 percent drop in the last year, with 40 percent of that
coming in the last two months alone.

At
this rate, hyperinflation won’t be far away, if it isn’t already here.
Venezuela officially had 68.5 percent inflation last December, the last
time it published any numbers, but that figure should be much higher now
that import prices are. It’s just another default, as Ricardo Hausmann
points out, in a long line of them on Venezuela’s people. The lack of
food, medicine, and any other basic item you can think of is, in part,
the result of the government using what dollars it does have to pay
foreign creditors instead of domestic ones. Making the currency worth
little more than the paper it’s printed on is just another way of doing
that.

The question now is whether Venezuela will run out of the
last thing it has left, besides day-long lines. And that’s people’s
patience with an economic system that could hardly fail more than it
already has. With elections looming, the government has gone back to
doing what it always has, stealing from the few to give to the many,
this time commandeering food warehouses to turn into cheap public housing.

Venezuela’s government can’t afford to say let them eat cake, because Venezuela’s people actually can’t afford to.

 
Matt O’Brien is a reporter for Wonkblog covering economic affairs. He was previously a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Venezuela is basically bankrupt again – The Washington Post

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#Greece: #IMF Confirms Receiving Payment @stratfor


Paid $3.2bn to IMF & $4.6bn to ECB
 

Greece: IMF Confirms Receiving Payment

July 20, 2015 | 16:21 GMT

The International Monetary Fund confirmed that Greece paid the remaining $2.2 billion it owed the international body, CNBC reported July 20. Meanwhile, an anonymous Greek finance ministry official says Greece paid $510 million to the Bank of Greece and $4.6 billion to the European Central Bank.

#Moldova’s Instability Could Be #Romania’s Opportunity http://stratfor.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74786417f9554984d314d06bd&id=2d91a79284&e=b0b3cf982a


Everyone’s looking to split up, but someone want a reunification …
Moldova’s Instability Could Be Romania’s Opportunity <!–[if (gte mso 9)|(IE)]>

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Moldova’s Instability Could Be Romania’s Opportunity

July 17, 2015 | 09:15 GMT

Romania is the country best suited to bolster Moldova’s ailing banking sector and economy. Click here to continue reading…