Venezuela Oil Industry Collapsing & May Take the Gov’t With It

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserve in the world. However, they are out of gasoline. The government has attributed this to poor management which has led to the stoppage of 80% of the country’s refineries. So much for socialism. The assumption that government is competent of managing anything is proven by this very example.
My old friend, Milton Friedman, said it best:
‘If you put the Federal Government in charge of the Sahara desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.’

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 28, 2017.

Venezuelans Abandon Bolivar – Merchants Insist On Being Paid In Dollars

Venezuelans are struggling to carry out basic transactions like purchasing food as the value of their currency, the bolivar, has plunged against the dollar amid the country’s worsening economic collapse.
According to Reuters, over the past year, Venezuela’s currency weakened 97.5% against the greenback: Put another way, $1,000 of local currency purchased in early January would be worth just $25 now. The annual inflation rate in 2017 could reach $2,000. Though at least one other estimate puts the real rate of inflation closer to 2,800%.
Of course, President Maduro has blamed websites like DolarToday – which publishes the closest thing to an official black-market rate by surveying clandestine exchanges in Caracas and other cities – for the spread of black-market activity, part of a conspiracy organized by Washington and his local political opponents to force him from power.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.

Nigeria, Venezuela, & USA – “We’re Worse Off Today Than 50 Years Ago”

Fifty years ago, the world was a very different place.
PCs and smartphones were the stuff of Sci-Fi and numerous nations found themselves at crucial crossroads in their evolution.
While Russia and US could arguably be back in another Cold War, Pew Research asked 43,000 around the world whether life is better (or worse) now than 50 years ago.
The results may surprise you…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.

The Dangerous Dream of Secession

A fundamental requirement for lasting peace and prosperity is to reject government by coercive monopolies such as we have had for all of human history. How anyone can expect a government invested with a monopoly on violence to restrain itself from bullying people whenever it can get away with it is difficult to understand. Most people apparently refuse to explore alternatives to statism and hope their particular government doesn’t go the way of Zimbabwe or Venezuela – or Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.
As I’ve detailed in my book The Fall of Tyranny, The Rise of Liberty we have two strong trends working in our favor: the inevitable blowup of state finances, coupled with the exponential growth of digital technologies. The result of these forces – state bankruptcy and exponential tech growth – will put individuals and voluntary associations front and center in everyday life.
Recently, and paradoxically, mankind’s number one futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that nation states will become the horse and buggy of our future, while assuring the world a universal basic income (UBI) will emerge from the sick beds of declining states. Come again? Kurzweil and his billionaire pal Mark Zuckerberg, who’s also touting a UBI and saying ‘People like me should pay for it,’ ought to look more closely at their positions.
The exponential pace of technology is evolving into a merger of humans with their technology as miniaturization on an atomic scale enables an enhancement or replacement of our biological substrate. As Kurzweil notes in The Singularity is Near, ‘all of these technologies quickly become so inexpensive as to become almost free.’ Humans enhanced with nanotech won’t need a UBI even if states were able to provide it.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 17 December 2017.

Bank Of England Warns The UK: ‘Economic Collapse’ If UK Keeps Borrowing Money

The Bank of England is putting the United Kingdom on alert. Should the UK keep borrowing money, there will be a ‘Venezuela-style’ economic collapse that will devastate normal citizens.
A senior Bank official has warned that the UK’s economy would be unlikely to survive borrowing any more cash. Richard Sharp, a member of the Bank’s Financial Stability Committee, claimed an extra 1trillion had already been borrowed since the 2008 financial crisis, and any more could see the economy collapse in the same quick manner that Venezuela’s did.
The Times reported on the stark warning mere days after Philip Hammond announced a 25 billion spending spree in the budget.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 13th, 2017.

Russia May Turn To Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency To Challenge Sanctions & The Petrodollar

The gradual acceptance of digital currencies, with major exchanges about to launch bitcoin futures trading, may prompt some oil producing nations to ditch the US dollar in crude trade in favor of cryptocurrencies, an oil analyst says.
***
As RT reports, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have more than one thing in common.
All three are major oil producing nations dependent on the dollar since the global crude market is traditionally dominated by contracts denominated in US currency.
Moscow, Tehran and Caracas are also facing US sanctions; penalties which are proving effective since the sanctioned countries are dependent on the US dollar to sell their crude.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.

Bitcoin vs Fiat Currency: Which Fails First?

What if bitcoin is a reflection of trust in the future value of fiat currencies? I am struck by the mainstream confidence that bitcoin is a fraud/fad that will soon collapse, while central bank fiat currencies are presumed to be rock-solid and without risk. Those with supreme confidence in fiat currencies might want to look at a chart of Venezuela’s fiat currency, which has declined from 10 to the US dollar in 2012 to 5,000 to the USD earlier this year to a current value in December 2017 of between 90,000 and 100,000 to $1: *** Exchange Rate in Venezuela: On 1 December, the bolivar traded in the parallel market at 103,024 VED per USD, a stunning 59.9% depreciation from the same day last month. Analysts participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect the parallel dollar to remain under severe pressure next year. They project a non-official exchange rate of 2,069,486 VEF per USD by the end of 2018. In 2019, the panel sees the non-official exchange rate trading at 2,725,000 VEF per USD.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017.

Maduro Unveils “The Petro”: Venezuela’s Official Cryptocurrency To “Overcome Financial Blockade”

You sure he didn't say 'KLEPTO-currency'? — Wild Goose (@TrueSinews) December 3, 2017

Three months ago, in a not entirely surprising move meant to circumvent US economic sanctions on Venezuela, president Nicolas Maduro announced that his nation would stop accepting dollars as payment for oil imports, followed just days later by the announcement that in a dramatic shift away from the Petrodollar and toward Beijing, Venezuela would begin publishing its oil basket price in Chinese yuan. The strategic shift away from the USD did not work quite as expect, because a little over two months later, both Venezuela and its state-owned energy company, PDVSA were declared in default on their debt obligations by ISDA, which triggered the respective CDS contracts as the country’s long-expected insolvency became fact.
Fast forward to today when seemingly impressed by the global crypto craze, Maduro on Sunday announced the creation of the “Petro“, Venezuela’s official cryptocurrency “to advance in the matter of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and to overcome the financial blockade”.
“Venezuela announces the creation of its cryptocurrency, the Petro; this will allow us to move towards new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of the country,” Maduro said during his weekly television program, broadcast on the state channel VTV.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.

Bitcoin Blasts Through $8,000… and In Zimbabwe Tops $13,500 As Mugabe Regime Crumbles Again

Bitcoin has just blasted to another new all-time high of $8,055!
***
But, that is the US dollar price.
Bitcoin often trades at higher prices in relation to other currencies, but none so much lately as the Zimbabwean ‘New Zim dollar.’
Here’s a little tip. If you have already run one of your fiat currencies into the ground, putting adjectives like ‘Strong’, as in Venezuela’s ‘Strong Bolivar’ or ‘New’ as in the Zimbabwe ‘New Zim dollar’ in front of the name doesn’t make it automatically better.
In fact, if you have the same corrupt, criminal, communists running the country you will very quickly end up with wheelbarrow money again.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on November 20, 2017.

Venezuela, PDVSA CDS Triggered: ISDA Says Credit Event Has Occured

In a long overdue, and not exactly surprising decision, moments ago the ISDA Determination Committee decided, after punting for three days in a row, that a Failure to Pay Credit Event has occured with respect to both the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as well as Petroleos de Venezuela, S. A.
Specifically, in today’s determination, in response to the question whether a “Failure to Pay Credit Event occurred with respect to Petroleos de Venezuela, S. A.?” ISDA said that the Determinations Committee voted 15 to 0 that a failure to pay credit event had occurred with respect to PDVSA.
ISDA said the DC also voted 15 to 0 that date of credit event was Nov. 13 and that the potential failure to pay occurred on Oct. 12. ISDA also announced that the DC agreed to reconvene Nov. 20 to continue talks regarding the CDS auction, now that the Credit Default Swaps have been triggered.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.

Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela and Zimbabwe

– Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela and Zimbabwe
– Real inflation in Zimbabwe is 313 percent annually and 112 percent on a monthly basis
– Venezuela’s new 100,000-bolivar note is worth less oday thehan USD 2.50
– Maduro announces plans to eliminate all physical cash
– Gold rises in response to ongoing crises
***
A military coup-de-grace in Zimbabwe and a bankrupt Venezuela. Both countries have extreme hyperinflation, citizens are starving and basic medical treatment is near impossible to find. These are the real world problems 47.5 million people are currently facing.
Presidents Robert Mugabe and Nicolas Maduro both deny the crises in their respective countries. For Maduro it is the media propagating false truths. In Zimbabwe the response to hyperinflation has been to declare it illegal.
Both countries are in the media spotlight after a significant week that has left one man powerless and another scrambling to restore faith in his bankrupt country.

This post was published at Gold Core on November 16, 2017.

Venezuela Signs $3.2 Billion Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia

As Venezuela teeters right on the brink of complete financial collapse, Bloomberg reports that Russia has agreed to restructure roughly $3.2 billion in outstanding obligations. While details of the restructuring agreement are scarce, both sides reported that the deal spreads payments out over 10 years with minimal cash service required over the next six years.
Russia signed an agreement to restructure $3.15 billion of debt owed by Venezuela, throwing a lifeline to a crisis-wracked ally that’s struggling to repay creditors.
The deal spreads the loan payments out over a decade, with ‘minimal’ payments over the first six years, the Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement. The pact doesn’t cover obligations of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA to its Russian counterpart Rosneft PJSC, however.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.

Nobody Is Going to Bail Out Venezuela

Henkel Garcia U, Andres Bello Catholic University (UCAB)
Venezuela, the South American country convulsed by economic and humanitarian catastrophe, has defaulted on some of its debt after missing an interest payment due in October.
Even as investors meet in Caracas to discuss restructuring US$60 billion in foreign debt, the country is in urgent need of international financial assistance.
Yet few nations are rushing in to offer financial assistance to the ailing country. Under the authoritarian regime of Nicols Maduro, Venezuela is isolated in Latin America, and the United States, Canada, and the European Union have all imposed sanctions against Venezuelan officials. Maduro has at times suggested he would not even accept humanitarian aid.
Still, no indebted nation is totally alone in this world. As a financial analyst, I know there are always international players who see opportunity in the problems of others. And for Venezuela, my home country, all hope of a bailout rests with China, Russia, and the International Monetary Fund.
Will they do anything to help?

This post was published at FinancialSense on THE CONVERSATION /1/15/2017.

Venezuela Defaults On A Debt Payment – Is This The First Domino To Fall?

Did you know that Venezuela just went into default? This should be an absolutely enormous story, but the mainstream media is being very quiet about it. Wall Street and other major financial centers around the globe could potentially be facing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and the ripple effects could be felt for years to come. Sovereign nations are not supposed to ever default on debt payments, and so this is a very rare occurrence indeed. I have been writing about Venezuela for years, and now the crisis that has been raging in that nation threatens to escalate to an entirely new level.
Things are already so bad in Venezuela that people have been eating dogs, cats and zoo animals, but now that Venezuela has officially defaulted, there will be no more loans from the rest of the world and the desperation will grow even deeper…
Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.
The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.
A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela’s food and medical shortages.
So what might that ‘dangerous series of events’ look like?
Well, Venezuela already has another 420 million dollars of debt payments that are overdue. Investors around the world are facing absolutely catastrophic losses, and the legal wrangling over this crisis could take many years to resolve. The following comes from Forbes…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 14th, 2017.

Goldman’s Asset Arm Takes Big Hit On Venezuelan Bond Bloodbath

The fallout from the Venezuelan bond restructuring has claimed a major victim in Goldman Sachs Asset Management, or rather some of the ‘muppets’ who trusted Goldman to invest their money. However, the route which led Goldman to losing a chunk of client money wasn’t just a case of bad judgement, being riddled with the usual mixture of greed, questionable ethics and government intervention. As we detailed in ‘Goldman Accused Of Funding Maduro’s Dictatorship’.
Goldman controversially purchased $2.8 billion of 2022 bonds in May 2017 in the state-owned oil producer PDVSA, for about $865 million – or about 31 cents on the dollar. This prompted Julio Borges, President of the National Assembly and head of Venezuela’s opposition, to accuse Goldman of ‘aiding and abetting the country’s dictatorial regime.’Borges threatened that any future democratic government would not recognise or pay on the bonds. In true Goldman fashion, however, the deal was just too lucrative to pass up, or so it seemed at the time, as Goldman paid a then 30% discount to other Venezuelan bonds with a similar maturity. Goldman’s ‘defence’ was that it did not buy the bonds directly from PDVSA, consequently it did not transfer funds directly to the Venezuelan regime.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2017.

NOV 3/POOR JOBS REPORT BUT THAT DID NOT MATTER AS THE CROOKS RAIDED GOLD AND SILVER/COMEX SILVER OI CONTINUES TO RISE WITH ITS LATEST READING OVER 206,000 CONTRACTS/AFTER THE USA FINISHED OFF ISI…

GOLD: $1268.90 DOWN $8.65
Silver: $16.85 down 27 cents
Closing access prices:
Gold $1270.00
silver: $16.86
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1300.00 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1280.05
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $19.90(premiums getting larger)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1292.04
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1277.00

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on November 3, 2017.

Dollar Rebounds, Futures Rise Ahead Of Surge In Payrolls

One day after the dollar slumped sharply on initial disappointment with the GOP tax plan, the greenback has rebounded ahead of a nonfarm payrolls report that is expected to show the US economy gained over 300,000 jobs in the post-hurricane rebound, and as investors reassessed the latest news on U. S. tax-cut plans. Stocks in Europe and Asia advanced, US equity futures were as usual in the green, while oil headed for an eight-month high on signs OPEC will agree to extend supply cuts.
In an otherwise quiet session, the biggest overnight news was President Nicolas Maduro announcing Venezuela will seek to restructure its global debt after the state oil company makes one more payment. While the risk of contagion is low, the emerging-market index of currencies declined for the first time this week. In early trading, the PDVSA dollar bonds maturing 2027 plunged at the start of trading, slumping 10 cents on the dollar to 20 cents in early London trading. As a result, EMFX weakened across the board with some analysts noting the Venezuela debt restructuring as a driver, though most weakness occurred after Turkey’s inflation report.
In global macro, markets are in their usual pre-NFP lull, with most G-10 currencies staying within yesterday’s ranges. The weakest quarter for Australian retail sales in seven years sent the Aussie lower and bonds climbing. The Aussie dollar dropped as much as 0.5 percent back below 77 U. S. cents and bond yields extended declines as traders pushed back bets on the timing for an interest-rate increase. The Bloomberg Dollar Index was steady in Asia, amid modest moves in most G-10 currencies, before edging higher with the start of the London session as fast-money names added dollar longs before U. S. jobs report. Treasury futures were stuck in tight ranges through Asian hours, on very muted volumes, just 37% of recent averages, with cash markets closed for a Japan holiday; as Bloomberg reports, TSYs came under pressure in London, widening vs Germany.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.

Frontrunning: November 3

House GOP Readies for Tax-Bill Battle (WSJ) GOP’s United Front on Tax Cuts Masks Divisions (BBG) Republican tax plan a blow to Democratic states, officials say (Reuters) As Trump Embarks on Asia Tour, North Korea Looms Large (WSJ) Apple Store Lines Return as iPhone X Debuts (WSJ) There’s Some Good News About 401(k)s in the Tax Bill (BBG) iPhone Xs Are Already Being Resold in Hong Kong (BBG) CNN to Launch Subscriptions for Digital News (WSJ) Mr. Ordinary: Who Is Jerome Powell, Trump’s Fed Pick? (WSJ) U. S. bomber drills aggravate North Korea ahead of Trump’s Asia visit (Reuters) Bitcoin Is the ‘Very Definition’ of a Bubble, Credit Suisse CEO Says (BBG) Goldman Retreats From Options as Stock Derivatives Trading Struggles (WSJ) Here’s a Juicy Tax Break. Now, How to Keep Everybody From Claiming It? (BBG) Dark Side at Fidelity: Women Describe a Culture of Revenge (BBG) Get Ready for an Appalachian Gas Bonanza (BBG) PDVSA Bonds Slump After Venezuela Calls for Restructuring: Chart (BBG) Drug Deaths Rose More Last Year Than in the Previous Four Combined (BBG) Overnight Media Digest
WSJ
– Two U. S. B-1B bombers flew near North Korea on Thursday, alongside Japanese and South Korean jet fighters, provoking anger from Pyongyang ahead of President Donald Trump’s closely watched trip to Asia. on.wsj.com/2gZ02qP
– The Justice Department is laying the groundwork for a potential lawsuit challenging AT&T Inc’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Inc if the government and companies can’t agree on a settlement, according to people familiar with the matter. on.wsj.com/2ipyGuh
– T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp are working to salvage their potential blockbuster merger, people familiar with the matter said, days after Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son appeared to call off the talks. on.wsj.com/2gZNq2Q

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.

“Tomorrow Will Be Ugly”: Venezuela To Restructure All Debt As Creditors Panic Over Imminent Default

One week ago, we and many others wondered, if the time has finally come for Venezuela, which was facing a “no grace period” $842 million principal payment for bonds issued by state-run energy company PDVSA, to default on its billions of unrepayable obligations. As we reported then, the liquidity crisis for Venezuela was especially acute because even if it did make the first PDVSA payment, it was facing a second, even larger one today, when PDVSA had to make another $1.121BN payment.
Well, despite a several day transfer delay, Venezuela did make the first payment, however it was not clear if Caracas would also make today’s payment, although as Reuters reported earlier, “markets remained optimistic that President Nicolas Maduro’s government will make the payment, though investors expect delays. PDVSA last week struggled for days to deliver funds for a separate bond payment amid confusion over which banks were charged with transferring the money.”
PDVSA bonds were down slightly in early trading on Thursday, while Venezuelan bonds were mixed, according to Thomson Reuters data.
However, as we previewed again last week, and as Reuters confirmed today, “most economists say a default is increasingly likely in the medium term as Venezuela’s collapsing socialist economic model has left the once-prosperous population destitute and led to deterioration of the OPEC nation’s vital oil industry.”
It now appears that that is indeed the case, and the long overdue Venezuela default, which has been speculated ever since 2014, is finally nigh, because during a nationwide TV address, Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolas Maduro said the country will seek to restructure its global debt after the state-owned oil company makes the PDVSA payment due at midnight. Maduro blamed a financial blockade that is preventing the nation from rolling over its debt, according to Bloomberg.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.