A Budget Full of Silences

Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres announced the 2016 Budget in a short speech more notable for what he didn't say than what he did.


The Minister for the People’s Power Over the Economy, Finance and Public Banking (yeap, his title really is that long), Rodolfo Marco Torres, showed up at the National Assembly to present the National Budget for 2016.

In a short speech, he said the Government will spend BsF 1.548.574 million – a whopping 49.3% of the current Venezuelan money supply – surpassing the 2015 Budget by 108.8%.

But in Venezuela, the official budget is never the whole story – or anything near it. if we consider the actual amount spent by the government in 2015 the 2016 Budget comes short by 4.9%. Why? Because the actual spending tally includes 395 – 1.4 per day! – additional credits approved by the National Assembly up to October 6. ¡Como se goza!

But to be honest, I was really expecting – or hoping, once again – key economic data: estimated inflation, GDP and oil prices for 2016 and the exchange rate. I got 1 out of 4.

The estimated inflation and GDP were a no show and no adjustments to any of the three official exchange rates was announced.

All we got was the estimated oil price for 2016: 40 US$/barrel, which comes 30 short of the  70 US$/barrel oil price floor promoted by Venezuela just a few days ago.

We also got a rather repetitive promise: the government will pay all of its internal and external debt and all the social programs – Misiones – will stay afloat. Well, Venezuela has a pretty high probability of defaulting in 2016 and I’m not sure if the government will be able to keep such a high -but inefficient- social expenditure. Let’s just forget this promise ever happened.

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  1. They will never assume a higher oil price because all state budget allocations are calculated based on the assumed barrel price. All state budgets are affected by this measurement, independently of their political affiliation but we forget that each region controlled by Chavismo will have their own funds for popular development as its called. A weird case is Miranda, Capriles has a budget but Elias Jaua managed another one for Corpo Miranda that last time I checked was higher than Capriles budget, the legally elected governor. There you go Poder Popular
    I think the worst case is Aragua and its two different budgets, Tarek El Aisami is swimming in money compared to other states. He even sponsors Aragua FC with this parallel budget and it is tan Cara de Tabla that celebrates a freaking square remodel or repaving an avenue as a huge infrastructure projects.

  2. Sorry for the threadcrapping but … I hope CC has a moment to explain the latest Lorenzo Mendoza media crucifixion story.

    For personal reasons I’m very interested – My whole Venezuelan childhood is tied with Polar and their beer … because my father was a Polar trucker/salesman 🙂

  3. “The Minister for the People’s Power Over the Economy, Finance and Public Banking (yeap, his title really is that long)”

    Well, you should also be proud of the other 32. Yes, compatriots, Venezuela beat Burkina Fasso’s perennial dictatorship with the most “Ministries” on the Planet. It’s a “socialist” experiment in process, huge revolving door, with 13 extinct Ministries and about 107 Vice-Ministries (Keyword?)

    No wonder Cleptozuela’s exemplary corrupt bureacracy is on top of it’s game, they claim less than 3 Million public employees, but I’d venture to guestimate that at over 5 Million direct dictatorship leeches, affectionately known as “Enchufaos”.

    No wonder how Madurismo still enjoys 20% of popular support, plus the Chavista “undecided” exceed 50% of our brilliant populace: say 6 Million corrupt enchufados, and the rest, well, just incredibly ignorant, painfully brain-washed and under-educated, what else can you say. That’s according to the latest polls.

    You’d think that many of the enthusiastic, alert, brave electors on December 6 know all of this, have all the data, and really care about the repercussions of such inflated kleptocracy? Sadly, the vast majority still don’t have a clue.

    Gotta love, however, how they enjoy 2 redundant “Education” Ministries, precisely the most crucial area for any 3rd world devastated country, the only thing that can truly transform the system, precisely the one that is being destroyed the most, but that’s a long story.

    Among the most popular of our World Record-Breaking 32 ministries, and 107 Vice-ministries, of course, is “El Ministerio de la Felicidad Suprema Social”. But my favorite official rebolusionarian international banana outfit remains the illustrious: “Comité de Víctimas de las Guarimbas y Golpe Continuado”






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