Archive for January 10th, 2004

A little billion of errors

January 10, 2004

 


And another good article on the subject of the Millardito (little billion), this time by Gerver Torres in today’s El Universal:


 


A little billion of errors by Gerver Torres


 


The request by the President of Venezuela for the Central bank to give him “a little billion dollars” of the international reserves offers a privileged opportunity to evaluate the billion wrongs in which we are submerged.


In the first place is the topic of the autonomy of the Central Bank. At a moment in which countries make efforts to exhibit the largest possible independence from their monetary authorities, ours is under siege. The autonomy of central banks is offered as a guarantee of more price stability and thus it is good for generating confidence.


A country in which the monetary authority can match with authority and independence for the stability of prices is more attractive for investments and will thus enjoy more growth and employment. In this sense, the President’s request is a direct attack against the value of the Bolivar and aga9snt employment.


Second, is the mess of in which our public management finds itself. The Government has an instrument to define its priorities. That instrument is the national budget. The idea of a budget is that the Government propose in it its policies and priorities and they be discussed in the National Assembly. It thus happens that the President makes his request for the little billion soon after presenting and formulating the budget for this fiscal year. In this sense, the request by the President is an anthem to improvisation and disorganization.


Third, there is a total lack of knowledge about how the economy functions. Money is asked from the international reserves as if they were additional money that we had for eventual expenses. It so happens that the international reserves are an expression of the equivalence between dollars and the bolivars that are already circulating in the economy. Dollars and bolivars are sides of the same coin. We can not pretend to spend twice. It is as if someone that is told that it has two thousand five hundred bolivars wanted to spend amounts, the two thousand five hundred and the dollar. In this sense the President’s request is a demonstration of economic ignorance.


Finally, there are the contradictions in economic policy. These produce a general asphyxia of the economy when you bar rot from getting foreign currency via exchange controls, when you impose high interest rates, when you don’t promote investment. Then, using a single move, you want to revive a sector. In this sense the request by the President is an act of Government incongruence.


For all these reasons, the request for a billion dollars has to be seen with billions of reserve.

A little billion of errors

January 10, 2004

 


And another good article on the subject of the Millardito (little billion), this time by Gerver Torres in today’s El Universal:


 


A little billion of errors by Gerver Torres


 


The request by the President of Venezuela for the Central bank to give him “a little billion dollars” of the international reserves offers a privileged opportunity to evaluate the billion wrongs in which we are submerged.


In the first place is the topic of the autonomy of the Central Bank. At a moment in which countries make efforts to exhibit the largest possible independence from their monetary authorities, ours is under siege. The autonomy of central banks is offered as a guarantee of more price stability and thus it is good for generating confidence.


A country in which the monetary authority can match with authority and independence for the stability of prices is more attractive for investments and will thus enjoy more growth and employment. In this sense, the President’s request is a direct attack against the value of the Bolivar and aga9snt employment.


Second, is the mess of in which our public management finds itself. The Government has an instrument to define its priorities. That instrument is the national budget. The idea of a budget is that the Government propose in it its policies and priorities and they be discussed in the National Assembly. It thus happens that the President makes his request for the little billion soon after presenting and formulating the budget for this fiscal year. In this sense, the request by the President is an anthem to improvisation and disorganization.


Third, there is a total lack of knowledge about how the economy functions. Money is asked from the international reserves as if they were additional money that we had for eventual expenses. It so happens that the international reserves are an expression of the equivalence between dollars and the bolivars that are already circulating in the economy. Dollars and bolivars are sides of the same coin. We can not pretend to spend twice. It is as if someone that is told that it has two thousand five hundred bolivars wanted to spend amounts, the two thousand five hundred and the dollar. In this sense the President’s request is a demonstration of economic ignorance.


Finally, there are the contradictions in economic policy. These produce a general asphyxia of the economy when you bar rot from getting foreign currency via exchange controls, when you impose high interest rates, when you don’t promote investment. Then, using a single move, you want to revive a sector. In this sense the request by the President is an act of Government incongruence.


For all these reasons, the request for a billion dollars has to be seen with billions of reserve.

Turning the bolivar into Monopoly money

January 10, 2004

 


Central Bank Director Armando Leon gives a very simple explanation for how absurd (or is it stupid?) Chavez’ request to have the Central Bank give him US$ 1 billion  from the country’s international reserves for agriculture is:


 


“The difference between Venezuela and a game of Monopoly is that currencies have backing, thus using the reserves would imply that the bills in circulation would be similar to the bills in Monopoly”


 


At last someone explains it simply!

Turning the bolivar into Monopoly money

January 10, 2004

 


Central Bank Director Armando Leon gives a very simple explanation for how absurd (or is it stupid?) Chavez’ request to have the Central Bank give him US$ 1 billion  from the country’s international reserves for agriculture is:


 


“The difference between Venezuela and a game of Monopoly is that currencies have backing, thus using the reserves would imply that the bills in circulation would be similar to the bills in Monopoly”


 


At last someone explains it simply!

Gustavo Coronel gives Danny Glover hell for his stance and visit

January 10, 2004

 


I was trying to ignore Danny Glover’s visit but succumbed yesterday with my post “Lethal Ignorance”, I do it again today, this article by Gustavo Coronel is too good not to post:


 


Danny Glover travels to Venezuela to show his support for Black Venezuelans
By Gustavo Coronel


 


 


Andres Izarra, spokesman of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington and the son of one of Chavez’s most intimate friends, has informed us that actor Danny Glover is visiting Venezuela for nine days to “meet with Chávez and to study the situation of blacks in the country.” Welcome to Venezuela Danny! I hope they show you how the Venezuelan poor really live and that you tell the U.S. people about it when you return home. I hope you are honest about it.

However, on the basis of your public record, I doubt that you will make an honest report of the Venezuelan situation to your people. You are an admirer of Fidel Castro and signed a letter in his support in May 2003. Although Cuban black political dissidents like Angel Moya, Oscar Biscet, Ivan Hernandez and Jorge Olivera are in a  Cuban prison for 18 to 25 years only because they do not agree with the dictator, you have never said a word about this. Another Cuban black, Eusebio Penalver, spent 28 years in a Castro prison and you never said a word. In a seminar held in
Stanford University on September 15th, 2003, you actually asked for the life of Osama Bin Laden to be spared! Since you said that you opposed the death penalty, you added that even Bin Laden should be protected, since everybody has human rights. This is an extreme position that would deserve respect if you were ethically coherent, but you are not.

You are not ethically coherent because, in your movies, you play a cop who kills everybody who moves, before giving them their day in court. In the “Lethal Weapon” series of movies, mentioned by Izarra with pride, you and your clearly psychopathic partner (Mel Gibson) really have a field day shooting and destroying the bad guys but do not think of reading them their rights. And yet, you claim that the life of Osama Bin Laden should be spared. Go and tell this to the relatives of the thousands of victims of September 11!

You have also expressed your support of Bertrand Aristide in
Haiti, although he also leaves a lot to be desired in the realm of human rights. Predictably you are a rabid anti-Bush activist and call him “racist.” Of course you are entitled to your political views but you have to pay the price for your unwise preferences. You cannot claim to be a human rights activist and defend Castro, Bin Laden, Aristide and now, Chávez.

This is why I have little hopes that you will return to your country really enlightened about the sad situation of the Venezuelan people under the government of Chávez. Although you have more than the money required to pay for your own fact finding trip to Venezuela, the briefing from the Venezuelan Embassy, at the service of Chávez, suggests that you are a guest of the government, not a guest of the Venezuelan people.

The pretended purpose of the trip is, in itself, an indication of the distorted nature of your visit. You are coming to
Venezuela to “study” the situation of the Venezuelan blacks. Sir, you are being a racist. You would be hard put to find “blacks” in Venezuela, except in villages such as Curiepe. In Venezuela almost everybody is dark. We are a mestizo country, Sir. We have no black oppressed minority in Venezuela, but a great mass of mestizos and mulattos lacking running water, decent schools and hospitals, running like rabbits to get home before sunset arrives, together with murderers and robbers; lacking decent employment and the required amount of daily calories. Are you telling me that, in the middle of this social chaos produced by the most inefficient and corrupt government we have had in modern Venezuelan history, you are coming to “study” the situation of blacks in the country? As they say in your native San Francisco: Give me a break.

On the strength of your frequent visits to
Cuba and of your friendship with Aristide, it would seem that your visit to Venezuela is just one more propaganda trip, paid by Venezuelans, black and white alike. The government spends a lot of money inviting fellow travelers to Venezuela: Ignacio Ramonet, Greg Palast, Michael Lebowitz, an Argentinean lady who wears a handkerchief over her head and rejoices in the destruction of the twin towers and other assorted members of the intellectual lower Pliocene. Now they have recruited you.

I think I understand. You are running out of worthy crusades to embrace and you feel that, next to a worthy crusade, your best choice is an unworthy crusade.

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