Thursday, May 06, 2010

8, 5.8%, 900% and K

The mind reels easily today.  Four items.

The Bolivar swap rate crosses the 8 per dollar mark

To understand the importance of that news you need to recall that the official rate is 2.6 per dollar, with a second 4.3 rate for non essential items. Now the swap market has broken the 8 psychological barrier of the "bolivar fuerte" against the US dollar.  But to understand it better you need to recall that when Chavez took office it was around 500, that is 0, 5 of today bolivares.  In other words if you had saved 1000 dollars in 1999 dedicated to "free" bolivares in a trust fund at 10% interest annual, in 1999 you were receiving enough to buy 100 dollars a year and today you would be receiving only for 6.25....   What else do you need to be told to be convinced that the Chavez economy policies have been a resounding failure?

The independent inflation marker notes 5.8% for last month

The statistics from the government are increasingly worthless.  CENDA is an organization that publishes more reliable inflation measurements.  Today they report that in April the "household basket" (cesta basica) went up by 5.8%.  Five point eight f.....g percent price increase in a single month!

Dengue cases increase ten fold in Caracas area

Readers of this blog will remember that yours truly was almost done in by Dengue last December and that since then he wrote about the government hiding dengue epidemics statistics.  Well, the front page of El Universal indicates that in spite of a drought Dengue cases have increased 900% from the same period last year.  There are two logical explanations for that.  One is that the lack of water makes people store water in all sorts of containers of dubious tightness creating thus a haven for Dengue mosquito reproduction which prefers clean water.  The other one is that the government does not perform the fumigation campaigns it used to do as recently as a couple of years ago.  Thus you have yet another example of the failure of the Chavez heath system which fails to prevent, fails to report and fails to cure, preferring to say that there is not such a thing as a Dengue epidemic and move on.

Kirchner becomes the first secretary of the still born UNASUR

To prove to you that the UNASUR has no future you just need to read that corrupt ex president Nestor Kirchner of Argentina has been named "by consensus" the UNASUR first secretary.  What can you possibly expect from that?  The gang of morally corrupt LatAm leaders putting up their common self-defense (against  justice, not foreign armies) and creating new ways to spend money uselessly.

Kirchner already failed in his first mission to create a consensus about whether to attend an euro-latam summit.  Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador have announced that they would not attend if Honduras invitation was not withdrawn.  Posing by the way as another "consensus" when the fact of the matter is that Colombia, Peru and other will attend anyway.  One wonders if the election of Kirchner tolerated by Colombia and Peru is not in fact a way to finish off UNASUR faster.  Thus dies the brain child of morally bankrupt Lula who demonstrates that he really does not have the credentials to become a UN secretary.  Amen of Chavez own personal failure through guilt by association becoming a confession that his only international effect is through blackmail.


  1. 1979 Boat People7:35 AM

    1)Venezuelans should be thankful that the Zimbabwe dollar is NOT YET at PAR with the Bolivar.

    2)When will these 4 clowns weak up to reality that they have lost the Honduras chess game?.

  2. Daniel, I like "still born" as an adjective for UNASUR. Quite apropos. It will never do anything. Though in a sense, it's wholly inaccurate. A still born baby will never draw breath, and one has to breathe A LOT to supply the amount of hot air that is yet to come from that group. :)

    1979BP - not yet, but you're optimistic about the possibility? So to speak.

    On Honduras, what reason to they have to change their position? They gain absolutely nothing, whereas giving in they would lose face. (Chavez, for one, is incapable of admitting error.) I really hope someone forces their hand on this, perhaps by pushing hard to get Honduras back in the OAS.

    It occurred to me today that their request - to "restore President and Citizen Zelaya's political rights" (or something like that) can't possibly be workable. How do you disallow the election? What do you do with Lobo? Plus, fully restoring Zelaya's rights means giving him back the right to be arrested again and tried (for lack of a better word) by the Supreme Court for violations of the Constitution. If I'm not mistaken, there's still a valid warrant for him if he sets foot in Honduras.

  3. Almost the last straw to see Lula siding with the idiot brigade on Honduras. Like you say, it absolutely disqualifies him from any serious consideration as a responsible international leader. That business is all about bruised egos now, nothing more. Even Kirchner, then, was apparently able to move on. "Well, he did camp at our Embassy." Oh, poor disrespected would-be world power! All the more reason, I would think, to hope that another bearded wonder doesn't make it on to the roster of presidents just as this one is leaving!

  4. Milonga5:11 AM

    I'm so disgusted that I can't even think of what to say! LatAm is becoming a nightmare of corruption. Please wake me up! This cannot be real!

  5. The Dengue increase is worrisome to say the least. It's a societal maintenance failure. It's not as dramatic as a generator fault but a hell of a lot more deadly.

  6. Martin, good question. I sometimes see how Lula might think he could look statesman-like on certain international issues (like Iran), but I can't even imagine it on Honduras right now. If anything, he knows that if he caves on it, his South American buddies won't be any more. And if he can't keep them on his side, he can't possibly have anybody.


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