Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Canadian Cannabis Stocks CRASH as Canopy Growth Hits a Dead End - 14th Dec 19
Retail Sector Isn’t Dead, and These 6% Dividend Paying Stocks Prove It - 14th Dec 19
Top 5 Ways to Add Value to Your Home - 14th Dec 19
Beware Gold Stocks Downside - 13th Dec 19
Fed Says No Interest Rate Hikes In 2020. What About Gold? - 13th Dec 19
The ABC’s of Fiat Money - 13th Dec 19
Why Jo Swinson and the Lib Dems LOST Seats General Election 2019 - Sheffiled Hallam Result - 13th Dec 19
UK General Election 2019 BBC Exit Poll Forecast Accuracy Analysis - 12th Dec 19
Technical Analysis Update: Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) - Saudi Arabia ETF (KSA) - 12th Dec 19
Silver Miners Pinpoint the Precious Metals’ Outlook - 12th Dec 19
How Google Has Become the Worlds Biggest Travel Company - 12th Dec 19
UK Election Seats Forecasts - Tories 326, Labour 241, SNP 40, Lib Dems 17 - 12th Dec 19
UK General Election 2019 Final Seats Per Party Forecast - 12th Dec 19
What UK CPI, RPI INFLATION Forecasts for General Election Result 2019 - 11th Dec 19
Gold ETF Holdings Surge… But Do They Actually Hold Gold? - 11th Dec 19
Gold, Silver Reversals, Lower Prices and Our Precious Profits - 11th Dec 19
Opinion Pollsters, YouGov MRP General Election 2019 Result Seats Forecast - 11th Dec 19
UK General Election Tory and Labour Marginal Seats Analysis, Implied Forecast 2019 - 11th Dec 19
UK General Election 2019 - Tory Seats Forecast Based on GDP Growth - 11th Dec 19
YouGov's MRP Poll Final Tory Seats Forecast Revised Down From 359 to 338, Possibly Lower? - 10th Dec 19
What UK Economy (Average Earnings) Predicts for General Election Results 2019 - 10th Dec 19
Labour vs Tory Manifesto's UK General Election Parliamentary Seats Forecast 2019 - 10th Dec 19
Lumber is about to rally and how to play it with this ETF - 10th Dec 19
Social Mood and Leaders Impact on General Election Forecast 2019 - 9th Dec 19
Long-term Potential for Gold Remains Strong! - 9th Dec 19
Stock and Financial Markets Review - 9th Dec 19
Labour / Tory Manifesto's Impact on UK General Election Seats Forecast 2019 - 9th Dec 19
Tory Seats Forecast 2019 General Election Based on UK House Prices Momentum Analysis - 9th Dec 19
Top Tory Marginal Seats at Risk of Loss to Labour and Lib Dems - Election 2019 - 9th Dec 19
UK House Prices Momentum Tory Seats Forecast General Election 2019 - 8th Dec 19
Why Labour is Set to Lose Sheffield Seats at General Election 2019 - 8th Dec 19
Gold and Silver Opportunity Here Is As Good As It Gets - 8th Dec 19
High Yield Bond and Transports Signal Gold Buy Signal - 8th Dec 19
Gold & Silver Stocks Belie CoT Caution - 8th Dec 19
Will Labour Government Spending Bankrupt Britain? UK Debt and Deficits - 7th Dec 19
Lib Dem Fake Tory Election Leaflets - Sheffield Hallam General Election 2019 - 7th Dec 19
You Should Be Buying Gold Stocks Now - 6th Dec 19
The End of Apple Has Begun - 6th Dec 19
How Much Crude Oil Do You Unknowingly Eat? - 6th Dec 19
Labour vs Tory Manifesto Voter Bribes Impact on UK General Election Forecast - 6th Dec 19
Gold Price Forecast – Has the Recovery Finished? - 6th Dec 19
Precious Metals Ratio Charts - 6th Dec 19
Climate Emergency vs Labour Tree Felling Councils Reality - Sheffield General Election 2019 - 6th Dec 19
What Fake UK Unemployment Statistics Predict for General Election Result 2019 - 6th Dec 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

UK General Election Forecast 2019

The U.S. Declares Economic War Against Venezuela

Economics / Venezuela Feb 02, 2019 - 06:04 PM GMT

By: Steve_H_Hanke

Economics

Since the election of Hugo Chavez in December of 1998, Venezuelans have embraced Chavismo. This peculiar form of socialism has allowed Venezuela to morph into what is in essence an organized crime syndicate and has pushed the country in an economic death spiral. For the stunning evidence of this death spiral, we need look no further than Venezuela’s inflation rate.

Today, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate is 112,189%/yr. The chart below tracks the daily measurements of this annual rate. Unlike the fantastic inflation forecasts thrown around by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the data in the chart are real measurements—accurate measurements.


Today, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate was measured at 112,189%/yr.Prof. Steve H. Hanke

Venezuela is suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation—a rather rare phenomenon. Indeed, there have only been 58 episodes of hyperinflation recorded in history, but Venezuela’s episode is a special case. Although its rate of inflation is modest by hyperinflations standards, its longevity is extended. Venezuela’s episode has lasted a 27 months to date, and there have only been 4 other episodes recorded in history that have lasted longer.

Alas, the word “hyperinflation” is thrown around carelessly and misused frequently in the press. Indeed, the debasement of language in the popular press has gone to such lengths that the word “hyperinflation” has almost lost its meaning.

So, just what is the definition of this oft-misused word? The convention adopted in the scientific literature is to classify an inflation as a hyperinflation if the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%. This definition was adopted in 1956, after Phillip Cagan published his seminal analysis of hyperinflation, which appeared in a book, edited by Milton Friedman, Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money.

Since I use high-frequency data to measure inflation in countries where inflation is elevated, I have been able to refine Cagan’s 50% per month hyperinflation hurdle. With improved measurement techniques, I now define a hyperinflation as an inflation in which the inflation rate exceeds 50% per month for at least thirty consecutive days.

***

For some time now, the United States has been using Venezuela’s vulnerabilities to engage in a low-grade economic war. Instead of military action, the U.S. has imposed selected economic sanctions against certain Venezuelans. These have amounted to slaps on the wrist, with threats of worse to come. But, as January 28, 2019, the U.S. has declared a full-scale economic assault. Indeed, it declared an embargo against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)—the country’s state-owned oil company that controls the world’s largest oil reserves and produces virtually all of Venezuela’s foreign exchange.

This move shouldn’t surprise us. In a fundamental sense, economic warfare is nothing more than protectionism, a doctrine that is near and dear to the heart of President Trump and his administration. The measures taken under the protections flag are often precisely the same as those employed under the economic warfare flag. Both, of course, fly in the face of free trade, which lies at the root of free-market capitalism.

At the same time that Washington declared economic war, Caracas announced that it was going to devalue its currency, the bolivar, in an attempt to allow its value to align with that in the black-market (read: free market). As the accompanying chart shows, the official bolivar/U.S. dollar exchange rate plunged, and shot past the black-market rate. This realignment of the official and black-market exchange rates carries with it significant implications.

Prof. Steve H. Hanke

The black-market premium (BPM) is a convenient metric that allows us to understand the importance and relationship between the official and black-market exchange rates.

Prof. Steve H. Hanke

The following chart shows the course of the BMP since November 2018. For all of the dates, except today’s, the BMP has registered positive. This means that Venezuelans were willing to pay a premium for U.S. dollars on the black-market than if they were lucky enough (read: privileged enough) to obtain them at the official rate.

Prof. Steve H. Hanke

For the privileged, Maduro’s cronies and regime insiders, the premium meant that they could buy dollars “cheap” at the official rate and immediately sell their greenbacks “dear” on the black-market. In the process, they would pocket the black-market premiums. By keeping the official rate set so that the bolivar was artificially overvalued via controls, the Maduro regime could restrict access to the Venezuela’s foreign exchange reserves and doll them out to friends, guaranteeing massive profits at no risk.

But, the largess for loyalists has dramatically dried up. Indeed, the BMP has turned negative. What does this unusual negative BMP mean? Well, it implies that market participants expect the bolivar to appreciate relative to the greenback, and that individuals are willing to pay a premium to obtain bolivars on the black-market. This indicates that those in the market, at least for today, expect the Grim Reaper to put an end to Chavismo and Venezuela’s death spiral.

By Steve H. Hanke

www.cato.org/people/hanke.html

Twitter: @Steve_Hanke

Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Prof. Hanke is also a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; a Distinguished Professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia; a Senior Advisor at the Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Research Institute in Beijing; a Special Counselor to the Center for Financial Stability in New York; a member of the National Bank of Kuwait’s International Advisory Board (chaired by Sir John Major); a member of the Financial Advisory Council of the United Arab Emirates; and a contributing editor at Globe Asia Magazine.

Copyright © 2019 Steve H. Hanke - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Steve H. Hanke Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules