Involving: the return of the Chavez, populist rhetoric, bolivar money supply figures, and Bulgaria protests austerity by firing her finance minister.

Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Venezuela.

    Link: oh Venezuela.

    Hugo Chavez is reportedly recovered and back in Venezuela. And ready to take on the new war against the evil people that are causing havoc with the currency.

    *rolls eyes*

    Last week, the government devalued the bolivar by 32% against the dollar (from 4.3 bolivars down to 6.3 bolivers). The black market rate is currently 23 bolivars to the dollar.

    Vice-President Marduro: “The corrupt right wing wants to damage the republic by attacking its currency”.

    *rolls eyes again*

    Of course – it has nothing to do with the economic forces associated with populist spending and money printing:

    And I’m sure that there are absolutely no government officials buying dollars from the Central Bank at 6.3 bolivars and sell them back on the black market at 23 bolivars (an instant 365% return).

    It’s the right wing bastards. Obviously.

  2. Bulgarian finance minister fired.

    Link: not popular.

    Simeon Djankov, much praised by the EU for being an austerity champion, has been fired 4 months ahead of the Bulgarian general election.

    Also: the Bulgarians are protesting, demanding higher wages and lower energy prices.

    In my mind, it’s just a sad example of the impact democracy can have. Coming through their austerity last year, Bulgaria managed to exhibit growth (0.5% of GDP). Can that be credited to austerity? I think that’s debatable.

    But the point is that Bulgaria managed to grow with austerity. And surely that’s a healthier alternative? A citizenry that is less reliant on its government for subsidy and more reliant on itself for generating growth sounds like the kind of sustainability that economic health is based on.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.