Things that are scarce

I hate to discuss this, but it’s so shocking it needs to be told. Apparently the latest thing you simply cannot find in Venezuela’ shelves is … sanitary napkins. As if women needing to buy this product needed one more thing to foul their mood.

But you know what else you can’t find in Caracas either? Credibility.

Remember how on December 29th the government announced a devaluation of the official exchange rate?

Here is BCV director Armando León, on January 5th (I’m paraphrasing): “The exchange rate unification will not have an additional impact on inflation.”

Here is BCV President Nelson Merentes on December 30th: “Our econometric models tell us that the [devaluation’s] impact on prices will not be significant.”

Here is Finance Minister Jorge Giordani on December 30th: “The [devaluation’s] impact will be minor, because we now have more judicial transparency and a stronger financial sector.”

Here is “vicepresident” Ricardo Menéndez on January 3rd: “The [devaluation] may even help lower prices.”

Guess what? Inflation in January alone was 2.8%. In January of last year, it was 1.7%. In December, it was 1.8%. The probable cause for this inflationary spike? Oh, I have no idea…

So next time you hear the economic gurus of the government spouting off predictions that make no sense, remember: they have no credibility. Sanitary napkins are far from the only thing you cannot find.