My other job is dead easy sometimes:

Reverol’s story is so far-fetched, so plain weird, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it doesn’t make the least bit of sense in its own fantastical terms. If the “international mafias” that haunt the minister’s imagination really were stockpiling 100-bolivar bills purely to sell them to the United States following regime collapse, why would they possibly care if they’re legal tender in Venezuela?

The minister clearly has not thought his own conspiracy theory through. He’s proposing to fight a secret plan to withdraw money from the country in order to cause economic chaos by…withdrawing much more paper money from circulation and creating far more chaos, especially among the poor, who often don’t have bank accounts in which to deposit their banknotes in the first place.

This version of the conspiracy theory refutes itself just as readily as the other one.

Other government officials, including President Nicolás Maduro, have portrayed the decision as aimed more at illegal exchange bureaus along the Colombian border, which the government is convinced are manipulating the value of the bolivar.

This makes more sense than the tall tales about Macedonian warehouses, but not that much more. To believe it, you’d have to think businessmen in Colombia are choosing to hoard one of the world’s fastest-depreciating assets. This version of the conspiracy theory refutes itself just as readily as the other one. With the bolivar losing 10 percent to 20 percent of its value every single month, stockpiling Venezuelan banknotes would be a little like trying to stockpile ice in open air in Phoenix in the summer.

Time was when the crazy lies they told made some kind of sense. Ya ni eso…

46 COMMENTS

  1. What if the hoarding of the hundred bolivar note was not financially motivated but political? After all, how much would have been spent gathering up these bills in relation to the CIA s’ Black Ops not for public knowledge off the books budget?

    • The problem is the total lack of logical connection between the problem they allege and the solution they’ve rammed through.

      In order to counteract a dastardly plan to withdraw 300 million notes from circulation, they decided to withdraw 6.1 billion notes from circulation.

      Genius!

      • The 6.1 billion notes will be replaced.(I understand it’s not being done on time) Meanwhile you only need to check Dolartoday to see the bolivar is strengthening against the black market dollar. If Dolartoday takes a big hit and the bolivar stabilizes at a value that reflects reality the government could set a new unitary exchange rate perhaps at or close to the implicit rate. Coupled with subsidies to poor people this would be a good thing, no?

        • If Dollartoday takes a big hit then the founder will have rely on his 9-7 at Home Depot.

          Meanwhile I can sell you some stability along with this gorgeous white horse, I am letting it go cheap due to the obvious birth-defect.

          • I happen not to subscribe to the yarn that Dolartoday is simply the hobby of a clerk in a store in Alabama who edits the page on his bathroom breaks. No doubt this guy is going to weather any foreseeable storm Some of the exchange houses in Cucuta, “maybe not.”

        • The reason that the Dollar today rates is stabilizing is because the demand for dollars in Venezuela is going down. Why because no one has currency (100 BF notes) used to purchase dollars. They are doing this because the bat shit crazy government dictated the demise of the 100BF notes. What do you think will happen when (or if) the higher denominate notes are issued by the government? Could it be that the dollar today rate will accelerate exponentially? What do you think will happen if they don’t issue the notes? Could it be a massively accelerating death rate due to the lack of food? If the Maburros do their typical midstream bait and switch …. Sorry not enough notes you have to pay with debit card for everything. How will the poor lower class do that w/o bank accounts or the knowledge of how to manage such an account? No more across the border trips to buy life sustaining food and medical supplies …. Oh we forgot to mention that the rest of the world does not take Venezuelan “Plastic” (Woops!)

          No matter how you slice it this is a major effort to further “Fuck Over” the Venezuelan People (as if they have been Screwed enough already ……

          • Just on the food an medical supplies part, I am related to someone whose friends and family, as well as an incredibly selfless and generous complete stranger, had to take extraordinary measures this week to maintain a supply of life saving drugs….because why? Because a little narco fairy told someone that 100 Bolivar notes are being stolen and stored by the CIA in Poland…..

            The person I know is one person who got lucky during this mess, out of untold thousands who did not, I am sure. Middle class person you say? Yes indeed. The really poor (i.e. most people) are largely not making the pilgrimage to Cucuta for drugs they can’t get in Venezuela, so that particular challenge was not cut off from them this week. No- they are just suffering and dying needlessly, having no potential access to drugs whatsoever, because the regime will not acknowledge a problem, but I digress….

            In short, Mr. Weixel, spare a thought for what might be a more rational, sustainable and not needlessly and grossly life threatening and economy destroying way to stabilize a currency, and perhaps a reasonably sensible explanation for it. There was no reason behind this move this week because none was offered. Instead we were insulted by an idiot.

            That little insane presentation of Sr. Reverol and what it set in motion….it had a high price. We can’t begin to imagine.

          • Mosquito, actuallty there ARE people who buy dollars in black market rates using truckloads of Bs bills.

            It happens because it is the regime’s cronies themselves who allow that to happen.

            The chavista regime is a gang of criminals hellbent on destroying Venezuela and giving the butchered pieces to castro in Cuba.

          • I’ve read that any Venezuelan with a cedula can now open a bank account and get a debit card. Transactions by debit card are to be charged a lower VAT.

            I know that the food situation in Venezuela is bad, with only a third of the population telling pollsters that they eat three times a day. The country is on the precipice of run away inflation.

            You’d expect some drastic action to stop the spiral. I’d be in agreement that the goverment’s actions to date haven’t been what’s needed. If we’re seeing a prelude to a single reality based exchange rate with food stamp type subsidies it’d be a good thing.

          • Weixel dixit: “I’ve read that any Venezuelan with a cedula can now open a bank account and get a debit card. Transactions by debit card are to be charged a lower VAT.”

            When you barely live paycheck to paycheck and really can’t save a dime, it’s hard to open an account. Never mind the lack of trust in banks in Venezuela and how unreliable ATM’s can be.

            Furthermore, this move away from cash to debit cards puts one’s economic behavior info right in government hands, and with this regime one can only expect the worst.

            Say hello to “Lista Tascon version Economica”

          • Eugene, my old friend from Oil Wars days, we really need people like you to support this Bolivarian shit. Keep on with the effort.

          • Well, after all, his ideas are mostly “Socialism rulez! (As long as I don’t have to give up my capitalist lifestyle!)” and “Anyone who disagrees with me is a dog!”

            In fact, he’s actually claiming that the 6 billion bills will be replaced, with other bills that are from five times that much more Bs worth (500Bs) and up to twenty times their worth (20k)

            Just. Let. That. Idea. Sink.

            So, the racist bernilieber here says that this is “politically motivated”, the guy obviously hasn’t even bothered to at least do his homework and properly read ANY chavista speech from the last 17 years, which all say “EVERYTHING THAT GOES WRONG IS FOR POLITICAL REASONS, THUS WE’RE NOT GUILTY OF IT BECAUSE WE’RE SAINT APOLITICALS”

            Also, he shows that he’s crassly ignorant about the PREVIOUS monetary conversion chavismo already did in 2008 (Go and research it, zealot, so you don’t embarrass yourself defending the regime that much)

            And then he claims that “the Bs is getting strong again”, well, when the demand for $s goes down and the regime basically is burning about half of the inorganic money themselves printed in the first place, that’s the expected result, but it was easier (and funnier to chavistas) to force people to a bank to get rid of their bills.

            Now, when there were 6 billion 100 Bs bills around, they amounted about 600 billion Bs (600.000.000.000 Bs) and that the same 6 billion bills will be replaced by the most “worthy” ones.

            So, chavistas will let loose on the streets about not 600 billion Bs, but like how much, like 3 TRILLION Bs (And that’s if the 100Bs bills are replaced with the 500 Bs ones)

            Boy, the $ will not only step on the 10.000 Bs mark, it will freakin’ Sho Ryu Ken it through the roof.

            Still, because I know how this guy is, he won’t even read past the first paragraph, because that’s like all the leftist fanatics are.

          • Quico, la cagaste. You have no reason to drag Pence and the new admin into this the way you did. That new admin may be your lifesaver. Un poquito mas de seriedad porfavor. Yesterday the State Dept issued a strong advisory on Venezuela. We have American hostages in Venezuela (which you refuse to cover) and Obama (Kerry & Shannon) could give a shit about the American hostage. We have different priorities but that is no reason for you to dish the incoming Vice President of the US. Rosneft want the Americans to drill. Something is going to have to give. The new SecState is not a dumbass like Kerry is over Venezuela. I have more hope for the new admin than this one.

        • Eugene,

          When I read your comments I think you have come from a time machine from 2006 at the latest.
          You talk all the time about subsidies. Don’t you get that the government has been subsidizing mostly companies that import food, dodgy Brazilian producers of coffee, rice, etc? The people who own cars, not the people that use buses?
          Still – even to this date – the people who go on vacation to Miami – not the people who go to public hospitals?

          I was born in the only general public hospital there is in Valencia – since Chávez came to power nothing was built of that scale-. I went to school in a poor village of my region without paying anything. I received a glass of real milk – not powder – made in Venezuela “Leche Carabobo” back in the eighties at school and even meals.

          We no longer have that. The situation is really worse than we had in 1989, much worse (not to mention the murder rate was around 8 murders per 100.000 back then and it must be over 60 now)

          You talk about a government that seems to be “just a little inept”.

          No. It is a government that refuses to let Rafael Ramírez be prosecuted for the disappearance or missmanagement of many BILLIONS of dollars.

          Wake up!

      • ” I’d be in agreement that the goverment’s actions to date haven’t been what’s needed”. IThe understatement of the year award goes to … “Eugene Weixel” . I’m gonna take a wild guess and assume you don’t live in Venezuela and probably you don’t have to make 6 hour lines to withdraw cash to pay for public transportation or food. I presume that you don’t also lnow much about Venezuela and how in many of the poorest neighborhoods and rural shops don’t accept your Amex

        • He’s a fully fledged “socialist, left wing” american, living in the mean capitalist empire, enjoying the decadent benefits of the evil capitalism, but longing for a socialist government from a crackpot as Bernie Sanders.

          You can check his FB page, the access is right there in his nickname, just try to avoid it when you’re eating, as reading so many absurdities together might make you turn back your food.

  2. El chigüire bipolar aprovecha la situación y cuenta cosas como “Viejito que tardó 4 horas en sacar pensión en billetes de 100 ignora que tardará 7 horas en devolverla “. Esta mezcla de humor disparatado que al mismo tiempo es la pura realidad hace de Venezuela un país realmente único (no es que no lo fuese pero ahora muchísimo más). Lamento sinceramente todo lo que está ocurriendo pero a veces no puedo evitar reírme con algunas casos que aparecen en la prensa. Imaginar por ejemplo la cara de pendejo que se le debe de quedar a aquellos que, tras depositar su dinero e ir a sacar a un cajero, este les devolvió los billetes de cien que acababan de depositar, no tiene nada de divertido para quien está sufriendo todo este caos y me solidarizo con ellos pero para los que podemos verlo desde fuera, como digo, no deja de tener su humor.

    • El humor pone a pensar a la gente, y al mismo tiempo le recuerda a los conformistas que las cosas están mal pro culpa de los cómplices.

      La técnica del chavismo para todos los problemas es “CÁLLATE LA JETA O TE MATO”, ha sido así desde los deslaves de Vargas en el 99.

  3. The regime could issue a decree that anyone wanting to continue their allotment of food should construct above their dwelling a landing pad for the return of Hugo Chavez. It could mobilize millions to do so, everyone but maybe 13% being absolutely certain that it was a completely absurd exercise. The question is, why order people to do crazy and disruptive shit? That is an excellent question.

    I am sure there are some scholars here who have read Arendt and so on who could explain why authoritarian regimes impose massively disruptive and irrational measures on a vast scale. But to take a stab at it, it must have something to do with the consolidating effect making massive numbers of people do crazy things has on a regime’s power. Having everyone forced to follow an absurd exercise in lock step, rather than do something useful, confirms and consolidates arbitrary power. I think of what North Koreans go through every day, everyone moving in lock step through a series of absurd rituals that reinforce their powerlessness and the power of the regime over them.

    Whether or not this is a conscious strategy, or just what regimes with no limits on their power naturally do, I don’t know.

    Either that or Reverol is truly an idiot, in the thrall of idiots. I didn’t see one iota of a nudge or a wink with his presentation, no indication of a massive cynic smartly plying his trade (a la Diosdado). So it could just be that dumb and dumber have been given full authority to run with this scheme.

  4. O sea, you’re frustrated at trying o make the illogical logical. The worst part of this Bs. 100 fiasco, apart from the incredible harm done to the poorest non-bank account stratum (40%, Bloomberg, dixit.), is that NM will feel justified in his idiocy by the temporary BM $ decline in response to the temporary lack of Bs. replacement bills, and the Cuban puppet masters, seeing a tepid at best Pueblo negative response to this yet another insult to their well-being, will be emboldened to tighten the screws even more on Cubazuela to complete its final conversion to Cuba II….

  5. They are withdrawing the most useful bill and haven´t yet rolled out the new bills… at what point does Venezuela run out of money? BTW the withdrawal of the 100 note has “stregnthened” the value of the bolivar in cucuta, cause there is just less of it… today the exchange houses here were giving 120,000 pesos for every 100,000 bolivars…but only 50 thousands bolivares for every 100,000 pesos. Last week peso to bolivar rate was pretty much 1 to 1…

  6. The verbal abuse aimed at me here far from bothers me.

    I care about what’s happening to Venezuelans and I do not support or endorse the government’s actions until now. If you look at my posts from previous threads I’ve been a Johnny one note about the mass embezzlement and also the government’s insistence that external debt be paid in full with no delay while people are hungry and lack medicines, and without auditing the debt for fraud.

    https://youtu.be/2WgKmbEKEM0

    At this point there is no happily ever after painless next step. Or is there?

    I’m one who suspects that a thorough audit of the embezzlement wouldn’t leave either side of the divide looking good.

    I also suspect that the hapless opposition wouldn’t want the power now even if they could have it because whoever is in charge for the next two years is going to preside over very hard times and probably will be voted out in 2018.

  7. Venezuelan economy’s 2016 summary so far:
    July- you have some money but there are no products on the stores
    September- there is food in the stores but not enough money to pay it
    December- There is food and some money but no means of payment

  8. The functioning result of this rapid deadline paper-currency cancellation would be a huge windfall in seignorage, a massive government profit-taking given the amount of 100 Bolivar bills they hope will be stranded. This will have an easily foreseen, but temporary, uplift in the Bolivar black market exchange value. (I bet some economist here could figure out what this does to the M1?). As has been mentioned by others here, a similar stunt was done by Castro:

    August 9, 1961:”…The Cuban leader estimated that under the currency ex-change 400 million pesos in the old currency held out-side Cuba became worthless paper. Castro claimed most of the money was held by wealthy Cuban exiles in the United States and that making their money worthless was an “annihilating-strike” against counter-revolutionaries seeking to overthrow his regime.”
    There’s also an interesting similarity to this of the U.S military placing restraints on black-market use of MPC’s or ‘script’ by scheduling a collection and re-issue of new script during a strict base lock-down period.
    The thing that’s missing in the present 100 Bolivar stranding is the limits on deposits, or rather, as Castro did, simply a cap (Cuba 10,000 pesos in 1961) that any Cuban ended up getting in return.

    There’s no question the idea and the real functioning result came from Havana and the Reverol spiel about warehouses is an absurd ‘red herring’ that only has to sound; in announcing such a thing; not that it matters if anybody listening would believe it; but, simply, the stern announcement of such, sounds like the Chavista’s (Reverol in this instance) actually, deeply believe the storyline they tell. It just stops all rebuttal dead – the very notion of trying to reason with folks who hold a deep conviction for the ridiculous.

  9. For all Venezuelans this is the worst time ever , shortages , crime , inflation have made the lives of millions miserable , the govt of course gets blamed for this sorry state of affairs , thus the huge number of people who are mad at the regime and would like a change , even many people who have a sentimental attachment to Chavismo , what can the regime do aside from attempting to silence all bad news and criticism from public media under its direct and indirect control ?? easy…. try to pin blame for this dreadful fall in Venezuelan customary standard of living on its political enemies thru the methodical use of misinformation , they evidently cant justify their failures using any kind of reasoned argument so the only road open to them is to use really crazy stories which purpose is not to persuade peoples mind that the blame lies with the opposition or external enemies but to stun stuppify and daze peoples mind so they dont know what to believe, for this purpose they concoct and publicize use stories that can be rationally argued but only stories so fantastic , so outlandish that the mind is left in a daze , that allows them thru the use of repetition and cheap bombastic rethoric confuse the mind of people so they dont know what to think ….!!

    If you cant convince them at least confuse them so they cannot structure a rational explanation for the absurd futility and harm of their inept measures ……..

    I actually had a colleague who used this strategy when negotiating items where he couldnt win his points but didnt want the other side to win theirs so thru sheer cuss headedness he forced an agreement on the text which was full of confusing phrases ….at least he said .. if this gets to court , the judges decision will be a ‘toss up’.

    When I read about all the crazy stories the regime uses or concocts to try and pin the blame on all the harm they cause and all the failures they experience on others (the economic war, the attack on Delcy in Argentina, the measure to abolish all 100 bs bills) I wonder whether the strategy of the regime is not to offer an explanation that can be understood and argued on a rational basis but rather to offer a stuppefying story that leaves people dazed and confused…!!

    In spanish one might call this strategy : ‘la tactica del aturdimiento inducido’…..the regimes speech is intended not actually to convince anyone but only to confuse things so they can avoid losing any critical scrutiny of their actions !!

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