Our broke-ass oil giant...

So, why are PDVSA’s 2014 bonds yielding upwards of 14%?! Because PDVSA is one singularly broke-ass company these days. How broke? Its debt and accounts payables have soared to $70 billion this year, up 288% in the 11 years since Chávez took office, con oil-boom y todo. Parlez-vous "debt overhang"?

Result? PDVSA now has to mortgage not-yet-extracted oil just to get new joint ventures funded!

It’s the kind of set-up that would’ve sent Alí Rodríguez and Bernard Mommer into fits of frothing-at-the-mouth nationalistic grandstanding had anybody in the BC (Before-Chávez) era dared to suggest it. But, now that the revolution is doing it, it’s a brave anti-imperialist stand.