Chavismo created 100,000,000,000,000 bolívares. Here's what that means

One hundred trillion – cien billones criollos – is confusing. It's the kind of number so crazy you can't quite picture it. We gave it a try.

Original art by @modográfico

The fact that Venezuela is going through hyperinflation annoys me to no end, because we are a textbook case. A estas alturas, this is a very well understood phenomenon. We know how it works, we know what causes it and we know how to end it. Forget about the economic war or the sanctions; the government adds fuel to the hyperinflationary fire by creating bolivars out of thin air, to cover public expenses.

Since they’ve been doing it at an unprecedented rate, the monetary base is now beyond the 100 trillion bolivars.

102,513,206,955,373 bolívares, to be exact.


For reference, when Maduro took office in 2013, the monetary base was just 250 billion bolivars.

A hundred trillion is a number so big that wrapping your head around it is sort of complex. That’s why I decided to crunch some numbers:

If there are 3.5 trillion fish in the sea, there are 29 bolívares for each.

That’s 34 for every one of the three trillion trees on the planet.

That’s 250 bolívares for every star in our galaxy.

Still can’t see how much that is?

Alright: a human head normally has 150,000 hairs. If every bolivar was a hair, you would need 683 million people to have the same amount of bolivars existing right now. That’s double the population of the United States.

If every bolivar was a second, you would need 3,250,672 years to equal the amount that’s out there. I could tell you how many olympic pools you would fill if every bolivar was a drop, but I think you get it (it’s 2050 pools).

Now, when you see that the monetary base rose by 24%, like it did in the third week of december, you get an idea of how outrageous the figure is. Our central bank is financing the public deficit in the worst possible way and they have no intention of stopping.

Why bother collecting taxes right? That’s for normal countries. Here, you print what you need!

Carlos Hernández

Ciudad Guayana economist moonlighting as the keyboardist of a progressive power metal band. Carlos knows how to play Truco. 4 8 15 16 23 42