Economists as detectives

While I was in Caracas, I spoke to economist Asdrúbal Oliveros about what it’s like to be an economist in a country with, essentially, no economy to speak of. I wrote my latest Transitions piece about our talk.

The sirloin:

In order to come up with his numbers, Oliveros relies on a web of contacts – colleagues, former classmates, and the businesspeople he advises all provide clues about what’s really happening.

Even bureaucrats sometimes turn to him to find out what is going on. Civil servants in government departments such as the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank are simply being ignored by their government. “They ask me for help in figuring out what the government is thinking, or planning on doing,” says Oliveros. “They’re as much in the dark as the rest of us.”

A big thank you to Asdrúbal for his time.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.