This Is The End: Venezuela Runs Out Of Money To Print New Money
Back in February, when we commented on the unprecedented hyperinflation about the be unleashed in the Latin American country whose president just announced that he would expand the "weekend" for public workers to 5 days...
... we joked that it is unclear just where the country will find all the paper banknotes it needs for all its new physical currency. After all, central-bank data shows Venezuela more than doubled the supply of 100-, 50- and 2-bolivar notes in 2015 as it doubled monetary liquidity including bank deposits. Supply has grown even as Venezuela has fewer U.S. dollars to support new bolivars, a result of falling oil prices.
This question, as morbidly amusing as it may have been to us if not the local population, became particularly poignant recently when for the first time, one US Dollar could purchase more than 1000 Venezuela Bolivars on the black market (to be exact, it buys 1,127 as of today).
And then, as if on cue the WSJ responded: "millions of pounds of provisions, stuffed into three-dozen 747 cargo planes, arrived here from countries around the world in recent months to service Venezuela’s crippled economy. But instead of food and medicine, the planes carried another resource that often runs scarce here: bills of Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar.
The shipments were part of the import of at least five billion bank notes that President Nicolás Maduro’s administration authorized over the latter half of 2015 as the government boosts the supply of the country’s increasingly worthless currency, according to seven people familiar with the deals.
All of this brings us to today's latest update in the sad story of Venezuela's terminal collapse: today Bloomberg wrote a story that basically covers everything said above, noting that "Venezuela’s epic shortages are nothing new at this point. No diapers or car parts or aspirin -- it’s all been well documented. But now the country is at risk of running out of money itself."
Indeed, as we hinted three months ago, "Venezuela, in other words, is now so broke that it may not have enough money to pay for its money."
Among the new information revealed by Bloomberg is that last month, De La Rue, the world’s largest currency maker, sent a letter to the central bank complaining that it was owed $71 million and would inform its shareholders if the money were not forthcoming. The letter was leaked to a Venezuelan news website and confirmed by Bloomberg News.
"It’s an unprecedented case in history that a country with such high inflation cannot get new bills,”
said Jose Guerra, an opposition law maker and former director of economic research at the central bank. Late last year, the central bank ordered more than 10 billion bank notes, surpassing the 7.6 billion the U.S. Federal Reserve requested this year for an economy many times the size of Venezuela’s.